min read
March 10, 2023

How to Make the Most of Your Menstrual Cycle for Training and Exercise

Your menstrual cycle can be a powerful tool for tracking your fitness progress and goals. Understanding how your hormones fluctuate throughout each phase of your menstrual cycle can help you make better decisions when it comes to training and exercise. Let’s take a look at why understanding your cycle is key, as well as some tips on how to make the most of it.

The Hormone Connection
Your hormones play a large role in determining how you feel physically and emotionally throughout each phase of your menstrual cycle. Estrogen and progesterone are two important hormones that affect mood, energy levels, appetite, sleep, physical performance, and libido. During the follicular phase (the first half of your cycle), estrogen levels rise, which may lead to increased energy levels and motivation for exercise. During the luteal phase (the second half of your cycle), progesterone levels increase which can lead to feelings of fatigue and irritability. Knowing this information is key to deciding when you should push yourself harder or take it easier during certain phases.  

Tips for Making the Most Out Of Your Cycle
1) Keep Track – Tracking your menstrual cycle is an important step in understanding what works best for you during each phase. Tracking can be done with an app or by keeping a calendar with notes on how you felt throughout each day so that you can look back on patterns over time.
2) Hydration & Nutrition – Staying hydrated and eating healthy are essential year-round but even more so during certain phases of your cycle when hormone fluctuations can lead to changes in hunger/cravings or energy levels. Eating nutrient-dense foods will give you the fuel needed to workout hard while also providing beneficial vitamins and minerals that support overall health.
3) Prioritize Rest – It’s important to give yourself permission to take breaks when needed especially during times where hormones may be affecting things like sleep patterns or energy levels. If possible, plan rest days into your routine in order to avoid burnout or fatigue from overtraining .  
4) Listen To Your Body – Even if it goes against what was planned for that day, listen carefully to signals from your body; if something doesn’t feel right then don’t push through just because that's what was scheduled on paper. Instead try something else like stretching/foam rolling or taking a few extra minutes in savasana (corpse pose).  

Your menstrual cycle provides valuable insight into both physical performance and overall health—utilizing this information may help you make better decisions when it comes to training and exercise while also giving you peace of mind that you are listening closely to what your body needs during each phase of the month! By tracking hormonal fluctuations over time, prioritizing rest days, staying hydrated & nourished, listening closely to signals from our bodies - we can learn how our cycles impact us physically & mentally so we can make better choices about our workouts & overall well-being! That way we can reach our goals without sacrificing our mental & physical well-being!