The info you need to know to optimize your menstrual cycle
As an almost 27 year old woman I can honestly say I had ZERO clue about the phases of a menstrual cycle until this year. Knowing the physiologic processes that are happening during your menstrual cycle is life-changing! The understanding you'll have after reading this article and/or listening to the podcast episode will allow you to level up your life experiences and optimize your cycle to best support your mind and body each month.
Let's break down the entire menstrual cycle starting with the Uterine Cycle
-The period - shedding of the uterine lining
-The proliferative phase - this is where the lining of the uterus begins to form again
-Ovulation - an egg is released from an ovary (your fertile window for reproduction)
-The secretory phase - the uterine lining begins to prepare for a pregnancy if the egg was fertilized OR it begins to prepare for breakdown AKA another period
If you're a menstruating individual or the partner/friend of a menstruating individual there is A LOT going on every. single. month. to regulate your hormones and prepare for a period and/or pregnancy.
and strategic exercise
Next: The Ovarian Cycle
Menstruation/Period: estrogen is low and will gradually begin to rise as the period ends (coordinate your activity level to how energized you feel-increase activity towards the end of your period and after)
The Follicular Phase - this is during your period and the time leading up to ovulation, estrogen steadily increases and is at its peak right before ovulation. Estrogen has been associated with increased energy levels This is a great time to get in your higher intensity classes-ex. Studio Bounce, HIIT, Barre w/challenges
Ovulation-Energy is at it's peak, coordinate activity accordingly! Go for that long run, hold that plank for longer, try those pushups, do your thing!!!
The Luteal Phase - this is after ovulation and the time leading up to your next period. The hormone progesterone peaks during this time then falls which might leave you feeling tired. This is a GREAT time for lower intensity exercises/classes-ex. Studio Barre, Studio Blast, Gentle Yoga with Kate
Nutrients: Here we've listed some options/things you could potentially use to support each phase of your cycle through food.
DISCLAIMER: above all else one of the best things to do for nourishment during each phase is listening to your body and leave guilt related to food at the door.
We hope this gives you a better understanding of the menstrual cycle and how it can change how you feel day to day!