Exploring The Effects Of Your Cycle On Your Workout Routine
How our bodies operate is nothing short of miraculous. Your exercise routine can positively affect your monthly PMS symptoms, and your cycle can also affect your exercise.
The Period Fairy needs some tips from Santa. I can hardly believe the fairy comes bearing abdominal cramps, hormonal acne, and PMS. Every month! However, there are ways to make that time of the month a little easier on your body.
There's a profound connection between your monthlies and your exercise routine. Instead of working on or against your body, work with it. You may find yourself less frustrated for it.
Understanding Your Period
Knowing just how you could optimize your exercise routine to your menstrual period might help to understand what is going on inside. There are four stages to your menses.
The first day of bleeding marks day one of your menstrual cycle and the first of four stages.
“While it may be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and business, it will be more productive long-term to honor the signals your body sends you at this time and take the opportunity to replenish your energy and move a little bit slower until your period is over.”
Shares certified hormone specialist Jenn Cino.
With that, there are specific exercises that you want to avoid during the first days of your period that may exert unnecessary pressure on your uterus.
The Follicular phase begins with your cycle and ends when ovulation begins. In this phase, energy levels may increase, particularly around days three and five of your period.
It’s a great time to capitalize on this new burst of energy and confidence that this phase may bring leading up to ovulation. Hit the treadmill or do some head or shoulder stands - challenge yourself appropriately.
“A probable theory is that your body isn’t preoccupied with preparing for a possible pregnancy.”
says Dr. Stacy Sims, an exercise physiologist and leading researcher on the impact of menstruation on athletic performance.
Similarly to the follicular phase, ovulation comes with a spurt of energy. This is the ideal time to meet your edge or hit some personal records with your squats and deadlifts.
However, given that all bodies are unique, if your ovulation phase tends to bring you some discomfort, you may opt for low-impact exercises to avoid exacerbating the pains. Your body is telling you what it wants; listen, and respond to your individual needs.
The Luteal phase occurs after ovulation and before your next period. Increased progesterone can give your muscles a more relaxed feeling, and you may feel a little sleepy in this phase.
The luteal phase brings a higher risk of injury, so warming up and cooling down is particularly crucial at this time. You may want to try some exercises like swimming or pilates.