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Optimizing Exercise Based On Your Cycle

A Basic Guide to Working Out with Your Menstrual Cycle


As a health coach and woman, I know it is important to embrace the natural rhythms of your menstrual cycle to optimize your workouts and overall wellness. Here’s how to align your fitness routine with the four phases of your cycle:


1. Menstruation (Days 1-5):

What’s Happening: Your body starts the cycle with bleeding, and hormone levels (estrogen and progesterone) are at their lowest.

My Advice: During menstruation, focus on gentle exercises. Yoga, light stretching, and walking are ideal. These activities can help ease cramps and maintain your energy without straining your body. Remember, rest is also important if you’re feeling fatigued.



2. Follicular Phase (Days 6-14):

What’s Happening: As menstruation ends, estrogen levels rise, boosting your energy and mood.

My Advice: This is the best time for high-energy activities. Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT), cardio, and strength training. Your body is primed for muscle growth and recovery, so challenge yourself with new goals and workouts.


3. Ovulation (Around Day 14):

What’s Happening: Estrogen peaks, and you experience a surge in luteinizing hormone, leading to ovulation. Energy and strength are at their highest.

My Advice: Capitalize on this peak by engaging in your most intense workouts. This is the time for heavy lifting, sprinting, or any competitive sport. You’ll find you can push harder and achieve new personal bests.



4. Luteal Phase (Days 15-28):

What’s Happening: Progesterone rises, which might make you feel more tired and less motivated.

My Advice: Switch to moderate exercises like steady-state cardio or lighter strength training. Focus on maintaining your fitness and allow for more rest and recovery. Your body might feel more inflamed or fatigued, so listen to it and avoid overexertion.


Overall Tips:

- Listen to Your Body: Your energy and strength will fluctuate throughout your cycle. Adjust your workouts based on how you feel each day.

- Hydrate and Fuel Properly: Your body’s needs will change, so ensure you’re hydrating well and eating to support your energy levels and recovery.

- Stay Flexible: Be ready to modify your exercise plan as needed, balancing between pushing yourself and allowing rest.



Aligning your workouts with your menstrual cycle can enhance your fitness results and improve your overall well-being. Embrace this approach for a more harmonious and effective fitness journey.

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