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Exercise to match your cycle

We are learning from sports research about the importance of adapting our exercise according to the phase of our menstrual cycle

Adapting your exercise routine to your menstrual cycle can help optimise your workouts and support your overall well-being. It's important to note that every individual is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Additionally, individual menstrual cycles can vary, so it's essential to pay attention to your body and adjust accordingly. Here are some general guidelines that you might find helpful:

Menstrual Phase (Days 1-5):

  • Exercise Intensity: You might prefer lighter-intensity workouts during the first few days of your period, as energy levels and comfort can vary.

  • Hydration: Stay hydrated to compensate for fluid loss during menstruation.

  • Focus: Focus on exercises that make you feel good, such as gentle yoga or walking.

Follicular Phase (Days 6-14):

  • Energy Levels: Energy tends to increase during this phase, so you can engage in moderate to high-intensity workouts.

  • Strength Training: This is an excellent time for strength training, as your body is likely to respond well to muscle-building exercises.

Ovulatory Phase (Days 15-17):

  • Peak Energy: Energy levels may peak during this phase, so take advantage of it with more intense workouts.

  • Variety: Include a variety of exercises to keep things interesting and challenging.

Luteal Phase (Days 18-28):

  • Adapt Intensity: As you approach menstruation, you may experience a decline in energy. Adjust the intensity of your workouts accordingly.

  • Focus on Recovery: Incorporate more rest days and focus on activities like yoga, stretching, and light cardio.

  • Mind-Body Exercises: Consider incorporating mind-body exercises like meditation or gentle yoga to help manage stress.

General Tips:

  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how you feel each day and adjust your workout accordingly. If you're fatigued or experiencing discomfort, it's okay to modify or skip a workout.

  • Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration is crucial throughout your cycle, but especially during menstruation.

  • Nutrition: Ensure you're getting proper nutrition to support your energy levels and recovery.

  • Modify Intensity: It's okay to modify the intensity, duration, or type of exercise based on how you feel. Don't feel pressured to maintain a consistent level throughout your cycle.

  • Stress: if we are chronically stressed it is important to not exacerbate higher cortisol levels through high intensity training. Low intensity training is optimal.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and individual variations exist. It may be helpful to keep a journal to track your energy levels, mood, and exercise performance throughout your menstrual cycle.

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