by Karyn Toffolo @happybellystrong
See below some of the exercises I recommend to move our bodies with intent through each of our phases:
Phase 1 Follicular phase (7-10 days in duration)
- This is a high energy phase that leaves us feeling restless and creative due to the release of FSH hormone and luteinizing hormone. This is a time to try something new as it's easiest to get out of your comfort zone.
- Use this time to do workouts such as strength training, swimming, boxing, bootcamp classes, sprints, high intensity hiking, rock climbing, or surfing.
Phase 2 Ovulatory (3-4 days in duration)
- Our estrogen levels are really high during this phase which can make us crave community. We feel highly motivated and energized to connect with others.
- This is the time to hit the weight room and lift heavy at the gym or HIIT a PR in endurance exercises, like running.
- Other options could be to take a high energy group fitness class like dance, bootcamp, boxing or spin to feel connected to your community and raise your heart rate.
Phase 3 Luteal Phase (10-14 days in duration)
- Progesterone and estrogen are high during this time and FSH and luteinizing hormones are low during this phase. Testosterone tends to rise at the end of this phase causing our physical energy to dip as our body. prepares for the fertilization of an egg. This is the phase where you may feel irritable and experience common PMS symptoms.
- In the first half of this phase you may have some excess energy to burn from the ovulatory phase. Continue with strenuous activity until you notice a lull in energy, then scale back on the intensity.
- This is a time to tune inward and work on more mind-body connection exercises such as biking, yoga, pilates, elliptical, tai-chi, etc. This is a good time to get out in nature and ground yourself with the healing powers of mother earth. Go on a low intensity hike in the woods, ride your beach cruiser, or garden!
Phase 4 Menstrual Phase (3-7 days in duration)
- Progesterone and estrogen productions drop triggering the shedding of your uterine lining causing your period. During this time you may experience discomfort in the abdomen with cramps, aches, and pains. Honor your body for the hard work it's doing by recovering. This is essential so your body can heal and repair itself.
- Schedule rest days, massages, stretch, recovery walks, and yin yoga. As you move towards the end of this phase, begin to elevate your fitness levels and repeat back to phase 1 training. And the cycle continues.
- Make sure to follow up your movement routine with a quality nutrition plan. Eat a diet high in protein, rich in leafy greens, lots of vegetables and fruits, good quality fats, fiber and lots of probiotic rich foods. Remember, when your body is speaking, listen. We have a beautiful ecosystem inside of us, nourish it right to reap what you sow.