In today’s fast-paced world, more women are in the pursuit of healthier and more active lifestyles. Not only are we just striving for physical fitness; but we also seek balance in mind, body, and soul. Yet, what many may not realise is that their menstrual cycle can play a significant role in determining the outcome of those intense sweat sessions.
Your menstrual cycle is a natural, cyclical phenomenon that brings about changes in your body each month. It influences not only your reproductive system but also your overall well-being, including your energy levels, mood, and physical performance. On some days you feel like conquering the world at the gym while others, not so much.
What’s important to know is that you also have to understand how these hormonal fluctuations can impact your workouts. Whether you’re an avid athlete, a casual gym-goer, or someone just beginning their fitness journey, this knowledge can help you tailor your exercise routine to work in harmony with your body’s natural rhythms.
The different phases in your menstrual cycle
But first, it’s crucial to understand that the different phases of your menstrual cycle can affect the way your body reacts to your workouts.
In an exclusive interview with UFIT Trainer, Terri Forward, she explains that “the average menstrual cycle is 28 days long and is broken down into two 14-day phases. Days 1 to 14 are the ‘follicular phase’ and days 15 to 28 are known as the ‘luteal phase’. Ovulation occurs right in the middle.”
With 16 years of experience under her belt, Terri Forward, who is now a personal trainer at UFIT Singapore, also dabbles as an experienced behavioural change specialist and has a solid knowledge base of working with female physiology and understands how to navigate the different life stages including perimenopause, menopause and beyond.
And while our menstrual cycles are different for all of us – think: period cramps, heavy flows, and the list goes on – you can workout even when you’re not feeling your best.
In this article, we’ll delve into the science behind these menstrual cycle fluctuations and how they can influence your workouts. We’ll also provide practical tips and strategies to help you make the most of each phase of your cycle, ensuring that your fitness journey remains not only effective but enjoyable too.