Sport during the cycle phases: How to adapt your training to your cycle

There are days when you pull off a HIIT workout with ease, and then there are days when you don't want to get out of your robe. If you learn to understand your cycle, you can positively influence your hormone balance with your training in the four cycle phases. Thus, PMS symptoms can be alleviated and you will feel energetic and relaxed throughout your cycle.

 

Menstruationsphase  

What is happening in your body?

Your cycle begins on the first day of your period. The lining of the uterus is shed through the vagina, releasing blood, mucus, and tissue. Symptoms like cramps, bloating, headaches and mood swings can pose an additional challenge to your fitness motivation. 

Perhaps you are feeling tired or lethargic and need more rest than usual. This is a good opportunity to cancel plans, stay home, and start writing in your mindfulness journal. Set some goals that you can achieve during the follicular phase. Remember, this is not the time to stress yourself out about setting a new PR (personal record). The goal of exercising during your period should be to stay active and listen to your body.

Sport during the menstrual phase

Take it easy. Go for a few walks or light runs. Do you suffer from cramps? Yoga & Pilates are ideal for blood circulation and can relieve menstrual cramps.

Focus on movement and breathing exercises. Because this is the time of recovery and regeneration.  


follicular phase

What is happening in your body?

Your period is over and now the pituitary gland releases follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs. Your estrogen and testosterone levels will start to rise, giving you more energy and improving your mood. 

You feel more communicative and assertive as testosterone stimulates your libido. Now is the time to take initiative and focus on achieving goals. 

Around day 14, at the end of the follicular phase, an egg is released from a follicle in your ovary. This is when estrogen and testosterone are at their peak, making you feel more confident. Enjoy it!

Sport during the follicular phase

Since your energy is steadily increasing, now is the time to increase the intensity of your workout. Try cardio workouts such as swimming or jogging, HIIT workouts, or power yoga.


Ovulationsphase

What is happening in your body?

In this phase of the cycle, ovulation occurs. Your testosterone and estrogen levels rise rapidly. Your performance is at its peak. And thus also your energy level and your performance.

Sport during the ovulation phase 

At this point, you feel like you could uproot trees. The perfect basis for strength training, interval training or intensive HIIT or cardio workouts. Since you particularly enjoy social contacts during this phase, why not try a workout in a group – for example spinning.


Lutealphase 

What is happening in your body?

This phase lasts 2 weeks. After the peak of the follicular and ovulation phase, your body begins to calm down. After the first few days, estrogen and testosterone production decrease and the body increases progesterone levels. 

Pay particular attention to a healthy, balanced diet during this time and increase your serotonin levels by staying active. In the second week of the luteal phase, you may notice your skin becoming oily, your breasts becoming more sensitive, and your mood changing. These are all symptoms of PMS, or premenstrual syndrome. 

These symptoms can be alleviated if you reduce your coffee and sugar consumption and make sure you drink enough fluids. Also avoid fatty or processed foods, as well as salt, as these can increase water retention. 

Exercise during the luteal phase

For the first week of this phase, focus on strength training and challenging yoga sessions. Studies show that strength training pays off particularly well during this time.

If your energy dips in week two, light exercise sessions such as low-intensity cardio workouts can help. So how about a lap on the stepper or bike?

Summary

The key to staying active during menstrual phases is understanding what's going on inside your body. Every cycle is different; keep an eye on yours so you can get the most out of the strong follicular and ovulatory phases, and utilize the luteal and menstrual phases for healthy eating, recovery, regeneration, and mindfulness. And always remember: If you want to continue training during your period, there is nothing wrong with that. Just pay attention to how it makes you feel and give yourself some extra time to rest.

Sport und Training im Zyklus

1https://www.fitforfun.de/gesundheit/trainieren-nach-zyklusphasen-wie-du-dein-training-an-deinen-zyklus-anpasst-358259.html  
2https://www.sweat.com/blogs/life/exercise-during-period
3https://www.runtastic.com/blog/en/menstrual-cycle-phases/
4 https://www.instagram.com/p/CQtc0xwqdE9/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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