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Working Out Around Your Menstrual Cycle

As women, our bodies go through incredible monthly cycles, and understanding how to sync our workouts with these fluctuations can empower our fitness journey.  

Here we explore the different phases of the menstrual cycle and tailor workouts to complement each stage. Let's embrace our bodies' natural rhythms and maximize our fitness potential. 

 

Phase 1 - Menstrual Phase: Days 1-7 

During your period, focus on gentle exercises to ease cramps and fatigue. Yoga and Pilates are excellent choices, helping to alleviate discomfort while promoting flexibility and core strength. Light cardio activities like walking or swimming can also be beneficial. 

Sample Workout: 

  • 10 minutes of gentle yoga stretches 
  • 20 minutes of walking or swimming 
  • 10 minutes of Pilates focusing on core engagement 

 

Phase 2 - Follicular Phase and Ovulation: Days 8-14 

As energy levels rise, your body is primed to exercise. Engage in heavy strength training, incorporating compound exercises like squats and deadlifts. Mix in intense Cardio exercises as running or cycling during this phase too as you should have more energy. 

Sample Workout: 

  • 30 minutes of strength training (squats, lunges, deadlifts) 
  • 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) 
  • 10 minutes of stretching 

 

Phase 3 – Early to Mid-Luteal Phase: Days 15-21 

During ovulation, energy and strength remain high. Take advantage of peak performance by challenging yourself with more intense workouts. High-intensity cardio, such as sprints, and strength training with an emphasis on power can be particularly effective. 

Sample Workout: 

  • 20 minutes of sprint intervals 
  • 20 minutes of power-focused strength training 
  • 10 minutes of cool-down and flexibility exercises 

 

Phase 4 Mid to Late Luteal Phase: Days 22-28 

As hormone levels fluctuate, consider workouts that provide stress relief and maintain energy. Opt for low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, or brisk walking. Include activities that promote relaxation and recovery, such as yoga and meditation. 

Sample Workout: 

  • 30 minutes of cycling or brisk walking 
  • 15 minutes of low-impact strength training 
  • 15 minutes of restorative yoga and meditation 

 

By aligning your workouts with your menstrual cycle, you can make the most of your fitness routine, enhance performance, and better support your body's needs.  

Listen to your body, make adjustments as necessary, and celebrate the strength and resilience that comes with embracing your natural rhythms.  

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