Cycle Syncing Workouts
Bailey Fitzgerald R.H.N
Welcome to my blog on cycle syncing exercises! As women, our bodies go through a hormonal cycle that affects us physically and mentally every month. But did you know that you can optimize your exercise routine to align with your menstrual cycle and reap maximum benefits from your workouts? By tailoring your workouts to your menstrual phase, you can improve your energy levels, reduce cramps and bloating, and even enhance your overall fitness and well-being. In this blog, we will explore the concept of cycle syncing exercises, break down the different phases of the menstrual cycle, and suggest exercises that are best suited for each phase. So, whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out, read on to discover how you can leverage your menstrual cycle to supercharge your workouts and achieve your fitness goals.
The follicular phase is the first phase of the menstrual cycle, beginning on the first day of your period and lasting until ovulation. During this phase, your body experiences a surge in estrogen levels, which can boost your energy, endurance, and focus. With the right exercises, you can capitalize on this surge and kickstart your fitness routine for the month ahead. Here are some exercises that are particularly beneficial during the follicular phase:
- Cardiovascular exercise: The follicular phase is a great time to focus on cardio, as your body’s increased estrogen levels can help improve your endurance and stamina. Try incorporating activities such as running, cycling, or swimming into your routine to get your heart rate up and build cardiovascular fitness.
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT): HIIT is a form of exercise that involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. During the follicular phase, your body’s increased estrogen levels can help you perform better during these intense intervals, making HIIT a great way to challenge yourself and boost your fitness.
- Flow yoga: Flow yoga, also known as Vinyasa yoga, is a more active type of yoga that involves moving through poses in a flowing sequence. It can be helpful during the follicular phase as it can help to increase energy, promote circulation, and balance hormones. Flow yoga sequences that incorporate sun salutations, warrior poses, and standing balances can be particularly beneficial during this time.
- Overall, the follicular phase is a time to focus on exercises that challenge your body and help you build a strong foundation for the rest of your menstrual cycle.
The menstrual phase is the time when your body sheds the lining of the uterus, and you may experience cramps, fatigue, and other uncomfortable symptoms. While it’s important to listen to your body and rest when needed during this phase, light exercise can actually help alleviate some of the discomfort and improve your mood. Here are some exercises that are particularly beneficial during the menstrual phase:
- Walking: Going for a brisk walk can help get your blood flowing and reduce cramps and bloating. Aim for a 30-minute walk each day and be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers to accommodate any changes in body temperature.
- Yin yoga: Yin yoga is a passive style of yoga that involves holding poses for longer periods of time (typically 3-5 minutes). It can be helpful during the menstrual phase as it can help to reduce tension and cramps in the lower back and hips. Yin yoga poses such as dragon pose, pigeon pose, and sphinx pose can be particularly beneficial during this time.
- Stretching: Gentle stretching can help alleviate tension and improve circulation during the menstrual phase. Focus on stretching out tight muscles, such as your lower back and hips, and hold each stretch for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and rest when needed during the menstrual phase. Don’t push yourself too hard and be sure to stay hydrated and nourished with healthy foods.
The ovulatory phase is the time when your body releases an egg from the ovary, typically around day 14 of a 28-day menstrual cycle. During this phase, your body experiences a surge in hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, which can increase your energy and strength. With the right exercises, you can make the most of this surge and optimize your fitness routine. Here are some exercises that are particularly beneficial during the ovulatory phase:
- Strength training: During the ovulatory phase, your body’s increased testosterone levels can help you build muscle and improve your overall strength. Incorporate exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses into your routine to target major muscle groups and challenge your body.
- Plyometrics: Plyometrics are explosive exercises that involve jumping and other high-impact movements. During the ovulatory phase, your body’s increased energy and strength can help you perform these exercises more effectively, making them a great way to improve your power and athleticism.
- Power yoga: Power yoga is a more intense form of yoga that focuses on strength, flexibility, and cardio. It involves flowing through poses in a dynamic sequence, which can be beneficial during the ovulatory phase to promote energy and support the reproductive system.
- Overall, the ovulatory phase is a time to focus on exercises that challenge your body and help you build strength and power.
The luteal phase is the second half of the menstrual cycle and is characterized by an increase in progesterone levels to prepare the uterus for potential pregnancy. However, some women experience discomfort and symptoms such as bloating, cramps, and mood changes during the luteal phase. Low impact exercise can help alleviate these symptoms and improve overall well-being. Here are some exercises that are particularly beneficial during the luteal phase:
- Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can help improve circulation, which can reduce inflammation and promote healing. This can be beneficial for those experiencing bloating or cramping during the luteal phase. The water also provides a gentle massage effect that can help to alleviate tension in the muscles.
- Restorative yoga: Restorative yoga is a gentle, slow-paced type of yoga that focuses on relaxation and restoration. It can be beneficial during the luteal phase as it can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can in turn help to balance hormones and reduce physical symptoms such as cramps and bloating. Restorative yoga poses such as supported reclining bound angle pose, supported fish pose, and legs up the wall pose can be particularly helpful during this time.
- Pilates: Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that can help improve your core strength, flexibility, and balance. During the luteal phase, when your body is feeling more sluggish, Pilates can be a great way to gently get your body moving and alleviate some of the discomfort.
- Overall, exercising during the luteal phase can be beneficial for maintaining overall health and regulating hormone levels. However, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your routine accordingly.