Have you ever wondered what the best way to train is when you have your period?
Or why some weeks you feel better than others?
Here’s some interesting info on your cycle and how you can manage your training to suit…
The menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and ends when your next period begins.
This is typically a 28 day cycle, although varies among women.
There are 4 phases of our cycle, which may determine what sort of exercise we do during that time!
Phase 1 & 2 – the follicular & ovulation phase
Weeks 1 & 2 of our cycle where the body gets ready to release the egg around day 14 of ovulation.
Phase 3 & 4 – The luteal phase & menstrual phase
This is weeks 3 & 4 of our cycle where the body prepares for pregnancy where our uterus becomes thicker and richer in blood vessels. When pregnancy doesn’t happen, the thickened lining of the uterus is shed – which is our menstruation.
During the follicular phase, a hormone called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is released from the brain, and it stimulates the ovary to produce a follicle with an egg inside. While this follicle is developing, estrogen is also formed to help with the development of the uterus.
When the egg is big enough and there is enough estrogen, the brain releases luteinizing hormone which stimulates ovulation where the egg is released. The follicle then builds progesterone which helps build the lining of the uterus throughout the luteal phase.
How the hormones affect us!
These hormones influence our mind, mood, training, energy levels and nutrition needs.
Common side effects are cramps, back ache, inflammation, increased risk of energy and mood shifts.
Not a lot of research has been done around our cycles and training, and it’s also different for every women, so it’s up to you to learn how your body reacts throughout these cycles and adjust your training accordingly.
How to manage our phases
This is when we have our period and experience the pain, lethargy, bloating etc. This is the best time to include more iron in our diet (as we lose a lot through bleeding), increase anti-inflammatory foods such as oily foods – fish, nuts seeds, oils, and increase antioxidant rich food, such as dark leafy greens and dark berries.
Try lower intensity exercise here as yoga, yogalates, or walking.
Our estrogen levels rise as well as our energy levels. You may also experience and increase in pain tolerance, and libido!
This may be the time where you feel you can train harder, and increase strength and high intensity workouts, such as our Lift, Shred, and Boxfitt30 workouts.
You may also experience a decrease in your appetite in weeks 1 and 2 – but it’s important to keep fuelling your body ready for weeks 3 & 4.
Week 3 & 4
After weeks 1 & 2 you may notice that your energy and power levels start to decrease. You may also feel heavier/bloated due to higher fluid retention. This is where you can be more prone to injury as well.
Our hormones are all over the show here, and we may also experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome), which affect our training.
This may be the best time to go for recovery, less strength and lower intensity workouts such as our yoga, yogalates, sculpt, tone and beginner workouts.
There are heaps of apps out there to help you track your cycle – take note of how your feeling and what’s happening with your body, then you’ll be able to plan workouts and food around how your body is feeling!
If you’re looking for a range of quick effective workouts that will fit around your cycle, The Fitt Mum Club has you covered! Join us for 2 weeks free today.