Wondering how you can support your hormones for optimal health and wellness? Enter: cycle syncing. Coined by Alisa Vitti, cycle syncing is the art of aligning your lifestyle with your body’s hormonal shifts. It’s a beautiful, life-changing practice. As our hormones fluctuate throughout the month, so do our emotions, appetite, thought processes, and more. Naturally, it makes sense to change how we eat, exercise, and structure our lifestyle to cater to our hormonal fluctuations. Good news: it’s simple! Once you begin living in the flow with your flo, you’ll notice fewer cramps, less PMS, and a world’s difference in how you feel. Today, we’re covering exercise. Specifically, how to exercise on your period.
4 MAIN PHASES OF THE MENSTRUAL CYCLe
Each month—during the years between puberty and menopause—a woman’s body goes through a number of changes. This series of hormone-driven events is called the menstrual cycle. During each menstrual cycle, an egg develops and is released from the ovaries. The lining of the uterus builds up. If a pregnancy doesn’t happen, the uterine lining sheds during a menstrual period. Thus, the cycle starts again. The length of each phase can differ from woman to woman, and it can change over time.
The first phase lasts 3-7 days. Estrogen and progesterone are low. The lining of the uterus sheds, causing bleeding.
Approximately 16 days, estrogen and progesterone are on the rise.
This phase is quick: 2-3 days—estrogen peaks; testosterone and progesterone rise.
The final phase is 12-14 days. Estrogen and progesterone levels are high. If the egg isn’t fertilized, hormone levels decrease and the menstrual cycle starts again.
what is the Infradrian rhythm?
Every woman has an infradian rhythm. And it plays a vital role in health and wellbeing. Simply put, it’s a bodily cycle. Unlike our circadian rhythm—known as the timekeeper—the infradian rhythm influences six different systems in the body: brain, metabolism, immune system, microbiome, stress response system, and reproductive system. It’s no surprise that the most common human infradian rhythm is the menstrual cycle. Thus, cycle syncing and infradian rhythm syncing are one in the same. When you eat, exercise, and live in accordance to your infradian rhythm, you’re simultaneously supporting your hormones. Once you learn how to exercise on your period, you’ll live in accordance to your infradian rhythm!
how to exercise on your period
When it comes to exercising during your period, your motivation is probably sparse. This is no surprise. Both progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest, which means we feel more tired and less energetic. However, avoiding exercise isn’t the answer. In fact, staying active while you’re on your period has a multitude of benefits: it can reduce pain, improve your mood, and help with body composition goals. Plus, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest you shouldn’t exercise while you’re on your period. Rather than suffer through high intensity exercise, focus on what feels most nourishing. Most women prefer yoga, swimming, walking, pilates, and low-volume strength training while on their cycle.
Exercise during the follicular phase
Speaking of strength training, one study found that women experience greater strength gains during the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle—mainly due to low levels of female hormones. At any rate, once your period ends, it’s a good time to switch up your exercise routine. Think: HIIT, boxing, strength training, etc. As mentioned, strength training is key during the first half of your menstrual cycle. Some research has found that women see an increase in their strength and power during the follicular phase (in comparison to the second half of the menstrual cycle—the luteal phase).
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.