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How to exercise and eat for the different stages of your menstrual cycle

periods Jun 07, 2022
Exercise with your cycle

Your periods have been dubbed your 5th vital sign. So just like your pulse, what do you do when it’s telling you something is out of whack? Instead of masking what it’s try to tell you, we can use specific ways of exercising and eating throughout the cycle to help feed into the strengths of our period. 

Remember if you get any signs like theses; irregular, painful, dark clotting blood, acne, very very light, spotting, absence… then your period needs some TLC.

Exercise & Food

Unlike Men who have a 24 hours clock, women have both a 24 hour clock and also a 28 day clock. Our hormones vary considerably over a month, ebbing and flowing giving our body exactly the right amount of hormones at the right time to literally grow and egg ready to be fertilised, it’s f*ck’ing insane! 

Because of our the world is set up, we think we have to be the same day in and day out, be productive and get shit done, but that’s not how our body works. Every cell in our body has hormone receptors, so when our hormones change throughout our cycle, it means so do we. We need different things and we get different superpowers throughout, it can be annoying when we don’t know how to read it, but it can be oh so AH-MAZING when we learn how to harness our hormones and they become our superpower!

Stage of cycle

Dominant Hormone

Main Purpose

Exercise

Food

Menstrual

(Day 1-7)

Testosterone

Reset

Any form of high intensity exercise here will backfire and result in fat storage. We're lacking enough of our 'building' hormones to make any positive physical change, and therefore can have a negative stress on the body.

 

Walking, breath work and gentle yoga are great here.

Increase intake of protein and healthy fats

Ie. Red meats, kidney beans, buckwheat etc..

 

Fruits with low GI

Eg. Blueberries and blackberries.

 

Seafood and also seaweed are great too.

Follicular

(Day 8-14)

Oestrogen

Growth

Harder workouts are great here. Think about cardio boosting

Phyto oestrogens are the focus here, they will help build and regulate your bodies production of oestrogen. (The girl powder is great here)

 

Oats are great,

Sprouts and things like beans and sauerkraut too.

 

Probiotic foods are also great (opt for a non-dairy based yoghurt)

Ovulation

(Day 15- 21)

Oestrogen & Testosterone

Release and Fertilise

HIIT, intervals, hard training will respond well with your body because oestrogen and testosterone are high. Make sure it’s not over 30 mins if you have signs of hormonal imbalance like; dark red and clotting menstrual blood, jawline acne, painful periods, irregular, light or spotting)

Heaps of veggies and green leafy’s in this stage will help to detoxify your added levels of oestrogen

 

Fill up on Veggies and fiber.

Eg. Spinach, capsicum, strawberries, raspberries.

 

Generally don’t need as many carbs so can feel satisfied with light grains like quinoa.

Luteal

(Day 22-28)

Progesterone

Foster

In the beginning your hormones are still relatively high so things like strength pilates or intense yoga are good.

 

In the later stage (last 3-4 days before new cycle) try calm yoga and pilates, or walking

Generally need more calories in this stage of your cycle (hence cravings).

Having complex carbs like sweet potato, beams help to give you carbs and also balance blood sugars.

 

Body needs more calories:

Think brown rice, sweet potato, chickpeas, pears, apples, walnuts etc…

 

These will help to fill you up, detoxify your oestrogen levels and also regulate blood sugar levels.

**Remember if you have hormonal imbalances no more than 30 mins exercise**

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