The more we know about our period and the more we get comfortable chatting openly about what goes on for us while we have it, the more we will be able to recognise how best to tailor our lives to suit our monthly cycle. It’s time that we all recognise that there are different days of the month where some things are more suitable than others. We dream of a day, in the not too distant future, when we can reply to the family WhatsApp group about a Sunday dinner with your sister’s in-laws with the (very valid) excuse of, sorry Mum and Dad that’s day one of my period and I’ll be on the couch watching Netflix.
One of the very real things that should be tailored to suit your period is your exercise regime. You may find that you absolutely smash your workout in the first half of the month but then have your motivation and strength dip in the second half. You find yourself getting down and think your willpower has hit rock bottom – but that’s not it. Workouts aren’t universally applicable and – particularly if they have been set for you by men - may not be taking into account the different needs a woman’s body has at different times of the month.
In the first half of a woman’s 28-day cycle short, intense workouts are amazing. Your body responds really well to being under pressure and you feel strong and fit. But the same workout just a week or two later can feel you leaving depleted, exhausted and like you’re starting from scratch all over again. This is because your hormones are reacting differently to the release of cortisol (the stress hormone). But instead of freaking out and giving up or getting down on yourself you should consider cycle syncing. It’s a relatively new way of thinking that says we should focus on reacting to what your body needs at different times of the month. So, while the first half may all be TRX and boxing the second half may be something gentler on both body and mind. And if you do find that things get on top of you each month, you could consider taking a supplement like Cleanmarine For Women.
Five exercises to swap to match your cycle
Circuit training for Pilates. You’ll still get your full body workout – anyone who has tried Pilates will tell you it’s no walk in the park - but depending on the level you choose and whether it’s mat or reformer it will be far less stressful on both body and mind.
TRX for Yoga. TRX uses your body’s own weight against itself and so does yoga. Choose a flow to suit you and your flow best and go for hot yoga if you want to be kind on your joints but still work up a sweat.
Weights for Swimming. You’ll get your heartrate going and work every muscle in your body but you’ll be supported by water with is kind on your muscles. Alternate strokes for a good workout.
Running for Walking. Give your knees, hips and competitive nature a break and go for a nice walk instead of the 10k sprint you were planning. You can keep to a good pace but download a podcast or go somewhere scenic to rest your mind as well as your body. Remember you’re still moving and getting fresh air which is good enough.
Spinning for a Bike Ride. Same same but different right? Get out in the open and go up and down real hills instead of programmed inclines. Bring your friends and you’re guaranteed a laugh too which is good for body and mind.