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Tailoring Exercise to Your Menstrual Cycle Phase

By Osteopath Georgia Hutchinson


Tailoring Exercise to Your Menstrual Cycle Phase

Are you a woman finding it hard to stay consistent with your exercise regime? It could be because of your menstrual cycle, and here’s why! 


A woman’s menstrual cycle brings various hormonal fluctuations that can influence energy levels, strength and mood. Due to these different energy levels, aligning exercise to your menstrual cycle phases can assist in optimising your workouts and maximise your results. Recognising your body’s natural rhythms and adapting your exercise routine accordingly can enhance your overall fitness and well-being journey.

 

What types of exercise should you be doing?

Phase in Cycle

Energy Levels

Recommend Exercise

Common Mood

Menstrual phase (Day 1-5)

Your period is here, you may be experiencing fatigue and discomfort due to hormonal changes and uterine contractions. Engaging in walking, pilates and low impact exercise can promote relaxation helping to alleviate cramps. Types of low impact activities are ideal during this phase.

  • Walking

  • Pilates

  • Low Impact Exercise


Menstrual phase mood

Follicular Phase (Day 6-14)

Oestrogen levels rise during this phase, you may experience an increase in energy and stamina. Focus on high intensity interval training, strength training and endurance exercises. Use this energy surge as an advantage to push yourself with challenging workouts to build strength and endurance.

  • Interval Training

  • Strength Training

  • Endurance Exercises


Follicular Phase mood

Ovulation Phase (Day 15-17)

A window that marks the peak of oestrogen production and again we see an increase in energy levels. You may feel motivated and energetic; weightlifting and circuit training can be the most beneficial during this phase.

  • Weightlifting

  • Circuit Training


Ovulation Phase mood

Luteal phase (Day 18-28)

The days leading back around to your period we see oestrogen levels begin to decrease whilst progesterone levels rise. You may crave some treats, experience mood swings and some bloating.

This phase is a great time to focus on stress reduction. Yoga and low-intensity cardio alongside meditation or sound bowls can also help to manage stress and mood fluctuations.

  • Yoga

  • Low-intensity Cardio

  • Meditation

  • Sound Healing


Luteal phase mood


My tips for exercising during your menstrual cycle

  1. Listen to Your Body: Adjust your exercise intensity accordingly.

  2. Stay Hydrated: Optimise your workout performance.

  3. Prioritise Recovery: Strategies such as foam rolling and stretching can prevent injury and promote muscle recovery.

  4. Maintain an Adequate Diet: Food can support your energy levels and overall health.

 

By aligning exercise with different menstrual cycle phases women can optimise their workouts and achieve better fitness results while also caring for their overall wellbeing. 


It is important to note that these phases will look different for each individual so use this as a guidance for your exercise regime.


Remember to maintain consistency for long-term success by doing activities that you love and enjoy. Any movement is good movement.

 

For more information visit:


If you need help with your menstrual cycle or tailoring an exercise regime, you can book an appointment with Georgia via the below link.





Gold Coast Osteopath

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