Cycle syncing is a method used to adjust a woman's lifestyle habits such as nutrition and exercise routine to support each four phases of the menstrual cycle in order to support a woman's hormonal needs and to work in alignment their cycle.
Disclaimer: the following example is based on a generalization of a 28-day average cycle, however this will fluctuate and differ slightly between each person so the ‘typical days’ for each phase may be slightly longer or shorter for you.
Menstruation (Typically Day 1-6 on an average 28-day cycle)
During menstruation it is an important time for rest and rejuvenation. Allowing yourself to slow down, tune inwards and rest is key whilst your endometrium (the lining of your uterus) is shedding. Resort to all your comforts: watching your favourite show, reading a book, grabbing your hot water bottle, eating some delicious dark chocolate or taking some time off.
If you feel up for it, you can engage in some low impact, restorative practices such as:
Stretching (eg. cat cow, child's pose, spinal rotation)
Follicular (Typically Day 7-13 on an average 28-day cycle)
As oestrogen and progesterone are on the rise, there’s an increased desire to exercise and you may feel more inclined to partake in moderate intensity practices such as:
Mat pilates with resistance
Light strength training
Resistance bands, ankle weights, light hand weights
Ovulation (Typically Day 14-21 on an average 28-day cycle)
During your ovulatory phase, oestrogen is at its peak! Testosterone and progesterone are also on the rise so you will be able to maintain higher intensity practices here. It's also a more desirable time to explore your sexual needs/desires as your libido peaks. In terms of movement, engage in moderate to higher intensity workouts such as:
Sports (eg. tennis, netball, basketball, volleyball)
Body weight or strength circuits
Strength training (increasing weights)
Power yoga flow
Cardio (eg. running, power walks, stairmaster, cycling)
Luteal (Typically Day 22-28 on an average 28-day cycle)
Oestrogen and progesterone are high, although if an egg isn't fertilised hormone levels slowly begin to decline and the menstrual cycle restarts.
As your energy reserves begin to slowly decline, you’ll notice the intensity of your physical activity slowly reduce to a light-moderate intensity and may opt for practices such as:
Body weight exercises
Slow and controlled sculpting/toning exercises
Understanding each phase of your menstrual cycle is just the beginning. Tuning into your body and becoming aware of your cycle length will allow you to schedule your lifestyle (especially your exercise regime) around your hormonal needs. Cycle syncing your workouts enables you to work with your body, not against it.
If you’re looking for further support with cycle syncing or experiencing any menstrual complaints please contact Tayla via email firstname.lastname@example.org, Instagram @curawellness.co or book in for a naturopathic consultation.