As women, it's crucial to prioritize our health and well-being. In the world we live in, we face many challenges and barriers. Modern exercise science recognizes that our menstrual cycles affect our exercise routines.
By syncing our workouts with our cycles, we can work smarter and avoid frustration. To get the best results from your fitness routine, it's essential to listen to our bodies and understand our unique monthly rhythm.
◆Your menstrual cycle is written in your "body," not just textbooks
◆Fitness from the second half of your period to ovulation
◆Fitness during and after ovulation
◆What to do when your mind and body feel heavy
Your Menstrual Cycle is Unique: Tracking Your Body's Monthly Rhythm
While the average menstrual cycle for women is often said to be 28 days, the reality is that every woman's cycle is unique, and ovulation can occur at different times each month. To better understand your body's "monthly rhythm," you can use various tools such as mobile apps or social media platforms to track your vaginal discharge, physical condition (such as breast tenderness), and basal body temperature. This can help you identify patterns in your cycle and adjust your fitness routine accordingly.
Fitness from the end of your period to ovulation
As the menstrual cycle progresses towards ovulation, female hormone levels decrease while metabolism increases. These changes prepare the body for potential pregnancy, but they also create a unique opportunity for physical activity.
During this phase, your body may feel more energised, allowing you to tackle more challenging workouts. It's like a "power-up" moment in a video game, where you can tackle more challenging quests or boss battles with ease. You can try increasing your workout intensity, extending your workout time, or challenging yourself with heavier weights to achieve new personal bests.
In addition to physical benefits, you may also experience improvements in mental focus and sleep quality during this phase. This makes it an excellent time to try new activities or tackle tasks that require concentration.
It's also worth noting that the water retention in your body is better during this phase, which can reduce bloating and improve the appearance of your skin. This can be a fun time to experiment with fashion like the "Sex and the City" ladies.
Fitness during and after ovulation
During the second half of your cycle, your body uses more fat as an energy source than sugar You might not be able to push yourself as hard during this time because your body isn't as efficient at using glucose. Your body temperature drops, and you may have difficulty sweating, while your core body temperature rises. But that's okay! Just take it a little easier and focus on exercises that will help you build strength and flexibility.
Also, beware of the "relaxin" hormone, which can make your joints more flexible and increase your risk of injury during high-impact activities. Stick to low-impact exercises and be careful when lifting heavy objects. And don't forget to watch your protein intake during this time, since your body might not be as effective at building muscle.
So, during this phase, it would be more beneficial to focus on strength training, yoga, and Pilates, rather than pushing your limits with cardio exercises.So go ahead and get your sweat on. And remember, everybody is different, so listen to yours and adjust your workout routine as needed.
What to do when your mind and body feel heavy
There are times when your mind and body feel heavy, and taking a self-care day is essential. Lizzo and Ariana Grande have shown us the importance of prioritising our mental and physical health, and it's okay to take a break from intense exercise on those days. It's like hitting the reset button and allowing your body to recharge.
Instead of following short-term fad diets like 4-week challenges, focus on building a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet, and listening to your body so you can make changes that will last for the rest of your life. Working out based on your menstrual cycle can be a helpful way to adjust your exercise routine for maximum benefit.