How to tailor your workouts to the weeks of your monthly cycle
Monthly cycles can be exhausting.
The constant fluctuation of hormones means every week we have new symptoms to battle and different moods to conquer.
But one way to get on top of these changes is through ‘cycle syncing’ – which refers to the process of switching up your diet and exercise routine to match your body’s needs.
This means eating foods to accommodate every week of your monthly cycle – and the changes your body goes through – but also ensuring your workout routine is aligning with this, too.
Perhaps you’ve already heard of mood-based workouts? These cycle workouts are similar and are designed to help respond to the physical demands of your body, at a certain moment in time.
Personal trainer Kate Mornard is passionate about this area and creates training plans and advice, based around the menstrual cycle.
Kate tells Metro.co.uk: ‘During a woman’s cycle, hormones are constantly fluctuating, leading the body to feel differently throughout the month.
‘Not only do we feel different mentally, but our bodies respond differently. This physical change causes our strength, mood, coordination and balance to be affected, meaning certain workouts would not be the best option.
‘Knowing this, it is important to plan your workouts accordingly. By tracking our cycle, we can sync our training to our hormones, to create the most effective workouts for our bodies.’
Kate breaks this down in a little more detail.
She says: ‘During menstruation, women’s hormones are at their lowest, sleep is key to aid with recovery and hardcore workouts are not recomended.
‘Days 8-12 (average) – the follicular phase – hormones start to increase. Our strength improves and we respond better to new styles of exercise.
‘Throughout ovulation we are at our strongest, as hormone levels have peaked. We feel most sociable here too, meaning group classes are essential. As a caveat, some research shows women lose coordination and balance around this time, so be careful which classes you choose.
‘Moving into the end of the month, we can split this into two halves. Straight after ovulation, your hormones are still at a peak, aiming for personal bests (PBs) is a great idea here. In the second half our hormones plummet, leading to “PMS” week where most women feel weak, hungry and lethargic.’
For those looking to give this a go, Kate’s created a training plan for every week of your cycle.
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