How To Workout With Your Cycle
There’s no doubt we’ve grown up in a patriarchal society where the idea of being super productive is the key to success & happiness.
More than 90% of research was done on men, so women have been doing, eating, thinking and even working out based on this 24-hour hormone cycle research!
As a woman or someone with a biological womb, you have a month-long hormone cycle in tune with the moon, with 4 distinct phases.
This means you have different energy levels & muscle toning abilities each day and week. So working out like men will completely throw your hormones out of balance, causing PMS, period pains or other hormonal imbalances.
Sometimes it’s good to challenge yourself and other times, it’s more important to rest. Nature & happiness is all about living in balance.
No matter what your workout of preference is, the overall idea of working out with your cycle is honoring the intensity levels.
Here’s how working out with your cycle would look like based on each phase:
Menstruation is the first day of your period until the last day of your period, usually 3-6 days long. This phase is when all of your hormones are at their lowest, meaning your energy is the lowest!
The idea of this phase is to relax, recharge and regenerate by having zero intensity to your downward energy workout.
- Low-impact movements
- Yin yoga, stretching or other gentle movements
- Less standing, more laying & calming floor exercises
- Cat/Cow without too much abdominal tightening
This phase starts once you stop bleeding and goes until Ovulation, usually ~7-10 days long)
Oestrogen, the muscle-building & quicker recovery hormone, starts out low but rises until it peaks at Ovulation, along with your energy levels. The idea of this phase is to gradually increase intensity & challenge to your workouts.
- Weight lifting
- Resistance training & rebounding
- HIIT & Circuit training
- Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga yoga
Ovulation is just one day when Oestrogen & Testosterone (risk-taking & “challenge accepted” hormone) peak around the middle of your cycle. This is when your body is fertile and has the most energy to have the most intense workout out of any other time of your cycle.
One thing to note is that Oestrogen causes joints to swell, so make sure to engage your muscles during workouts to protect your joints.
- Planks, push-ups, chair pose & other stabilizing poses
- HIIT & circuit training
- Weight lifting - higher weight, low repetition
- Hot yoga, Hatha yoga
- Boxing & Kickboxing
- Resistance training & rebounding
This phase comes after ovulation & lasts until your period begins, usually 11-15 days long. This is where sedating Progesterone comes out, making your body think you’re pregnant and causing your stress levels to naturally rise.
If you over-exercise in your Luteal phase, you raise more stress and you’re actually turning on fat-storage, muscle wasting and bone density loss, as well as adding more PMS & period pains. This is because your body is trying to hold onto your fat & nutrients while your body thinks & hopes it’s pregnant.
Your energy is lower so your workout intensity levels also need to be lower.
- Flow movements
- Gentle Flow, Vinyasa yoga
- Nature walks
- Weight lifting - lighter weights & more repetition
These are all examples on how you could move your beautiful body in each of your 4 phases.
If you have a hobby like surfing or horseback riding that you enjoy doing on a daily basis, remember to just add or lower your intensity based on where you are in your cycle.
By honoring your body’s cycle, you reduce hormonal imbalances like PMS, period pains & other not-feeling-so-great symptoms.
It’s so important to live by nature’s cycle and to honor your womb’s wisdom.
Remember, it’s always about balance & connecting to your inner nature.
Hormone Cycle Expert
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