06 Jul Ladies! Are you training in sync with your menstrual cycle?
Your hormones control your body. So it should come as little surprise that your menstrual cycle can influence your metabolic state and results from training. Hormones estrogen and progesterone impact fat gain and loss due to their direct impact as well as effect on other hormones.
Your menstrual cycle
For premenopausal women and those who are not using oral contraceptives, your cycle will look something like this:
Day 0 – 14: The start of your cycle begins immediately after you finish the follicular phase from day 0 to 14. During this phase there is an increased estrogen and normal progesterone and an average body temperature.
Ovulation: This generally happens around day 14. This is where your estrogen levels and progesterone levels start to peak.
Day 15 – 28: This is the luteal phase where estrogen declines, progesterone increases and our body temperature remains higher than baseline.
It’s important to note that cycle length can vary between women. Track your cycle to find our what’s normal for you.
How to Exercise Right for each phase of your menstrual cycle:
Our menstrual cycle has a huge influence on a females metabolic state and exercise results. Here are the types of exercises you should consider during each phase:
The follicular phase
Focus on progress – this phase is characterized by a higher tolerance for pain and increased levels of endurance. Insulin sensitivity also increases hence allowing us to use more carbohydrates to fuel the session. This is the best time for HIIT training and sprinting.
The ovulation phase
You may be more prone to injury but you will also notice that strength levels will still be high. Try doing some light resistance training.
The luteal phase
Your body will rely on more fat as a fuel source and your body temperatures will be higher. In addition, you may be retaining excess water due to PMS making. During this phase, doing workouts that utilize fat as fuel is a better choice; this is also a good time for active recovery or deloading in strength training.
If you are wanting to start a new exercise program, or have any concerns about exercising, contact your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist.