Workout Tips in the Menstrual Phase
New to learning how to workout with your cycle? Women have 4 phases of the menstrual cycle; Menstruation, Follicular, Luteal, & Ovulation. Typically the menstrual phase is also referred to as the Winter season. The Winter season is the time where we start to slow down, rest and start to make ourselves feel comfy and at home. When planning your workouts around your cycle preparation is key.
The menstrual phase is usually around days 1-5 of your cycle. The start of your menstrual phase is day 1 of your cycle. Everyone has a different length of the time they bleed but typically anywhere between 3-5 days is common.
One final note if you are on hormonal birth control pills you can follow the plan but your hormones are not syncing in quite the same manner. But this plan won't hurt you! Let's dive into what to do during our menstrual phase in regards to our workouts.
Training During the Menstrual Phase
- Rest is best- The first 2-3 days of your cycle you feel tired. Often naps sound like a wonderful idea and workouts sound extremely hard. Instead of pushing through this tired feeling, rest. Trust me you won't lose any gains you've made with your routine. This is often the time in our workouts where we leave a workout more depleted and lose our energy to continue once we are done bleeding. We then feel "guilty" for not working out in a few weeks and try to start again during the luteal phase (which you can read more about above). You can see why we are on that hamster wheel of starting and stopping workouts if we don't rest.
- Write your workout plan- Now that you have free time in your day from not working out for 30-60 minutes use that time to write your plan for the next month according to your cycle. Go through each phase and map it out in your Google calendar.
- Nap- Yep, taking a quick 20 minute nap when you just can't stay awake anymore can leave you feeling more refreshed than a workout when you already have no energy.
- Go for a walk- If you must do something go for a light evening walk with your family. Take the dog for an afternoon stroll. Just take a slower paced and notice nature around you blooming or dying pending the season you're on your walk. Nature can teach us so much about life so pay attention to what she's trying to teach you on your walk during this time. In our menstrual phase we are often the most intuitive so listen to those subtle nudges you get.
- Yoga for cramps- Cramps are common but don't need to be the norm. Often changing up your diet, workout routine, and other subtle factors during the month can help relieve cramping. But if you are prone to cramps a few yoga poses will go a long ways during this time. See a few ideas below.
As you can see during your menstrual phase the best workout is to take it slow, rest and recover. Tune into your body. Do you feel like you need to do something intense because that's the way you were programed? Women are not men, our bodies function on 28 day cycles while a mans hormones are on a 24 hour cycle. We need to start adjusting the norms to actually work for us, not women trying to shove their bodies into a man's workout routine. This may be tough to incorporate at first, I know it took me some time but now that I've done it I've personally seen the following results from myself and clients.
- Pregnancy happening within the first 2 months of working out & eating with their cycle
- Gained lasting energy throughout the month
- Lost weight
- Toned up
- An understanding of how her body actually works and what foods and workouts felt good to her
Yoga Poses for Menstrual Phases
What are your big takeaways?
What can you start to plan today to help you start to workout with your cycle? I like to map out my workouts on a weekly basis so I have a good idea of where I'm at in my cycle and energy level each week.
Let me know on Instagram what your biggest takeaways were in a DM or any questions you might have
Wanting more ideas on how to workout with your cycle?
Check out my free guide on how to workout through each phase of your cycle below!