Somedays, you’re on fire and can crank out your workout like nobody’s business. But on other days, just the thought of pulling on your gym clothes makes you feel tired. Is it random? Are you just lazy? The answer is absolutely not. There’s a scientific reason why your energy levels fluctuate, and it all comes down to your cycle. And by learning to sync your workout with your cycle, you can optimize your fitness routine and avoid stress and hormonal imbalance.

The problem with today’s workouts

For years, workouts have been geared for men. But men and women are different and their workout routines don’t always reflect that. But even fitness expert, Jillian Michaels – notorious for her tough fitness approach – has softened, telling women to slow down and listen to their bodies. 

Workout with your cycle

There are actually four distinct stages in a woman’s cycle, and your period is only one of these stages.

And the problem is we try to do the same type of workout throughout all four stages. This is a big No. 

Pushing ourselves through challenging, strenuous and intense workouts at the wrong time of the cycle can actually increase the stress hormone, cortisol. This in turn, interferes with the delicate hormonal balance, and can make a woman’s body feel worse, rather than better.

We’re told to hustle, push ourselves and to “Go big or go home.” But this isn’t wise advice for self-respecting women. 

There’s a time to push hard, but there’s also a time to be gentle. Knowing when to do each is empowering.

How to sync your workouts with your cycle

Menstruation

Now’s the time to respect your body and what it’s experiencing. A refreshing walk, a gentle yoga sequence, or just allowing your body to rest can be perfect.

Follicular phase

Now, energy levels can be low, but start to gradually increase. It’s a good time to try mid to intense workouts. But always listen to your body.

Ovulation

You’re feeling sexy and strong. HIIT training? Intense cardio? Have at it. You can even try a new workout. 

Luteal phase

You’re feeling more tired, more inward and less energetic. Look for restorative routines. And be compassionate when you can’t crank out the workouts you did during the follicular phase and ovulation.

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