By Darlene Regueiro
Did you know that your mood is influenced by your hormones and the phase of your menstrual cycle? Your body goes through a beautiful ebb and flow during a ~28 day hormonal cycle, consisting of four unique phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. By getting in sync with your cycle, you can unlock numerous benefits, including finding workouts that best serve you and help you achieve the results you desire. It’s perfect that The Pilates Class has moves for every mood!
Let's dive into each phase, explore the impact of hormones on your energy, mood, exercise routine, and discover the perfect TPC class for each phase.
What is Cycle Syncing?
Cycle syncing is the practice of aligning your lifestyle, including exercise and nutrition, with the different phases of your menstrual cycle. By doing so, you can optimize your hormonal balance, support your overall well-being, and enhance the effectiveness of your workouts.
It's important to note that every woman's menstrual cycle is unique, and the duration of each phase can vary depending on factors such as the length of your period and the timing of ovulation. The days mentioned serve as a general guide, it's essential to pay attention to your body's individual cues and adjust accordingly.
Menstrual Phase (Day 1 to 7)
During this phase, your hormone levels are at their lowest, and you may experience lower energy levels and feelings of fatigue. It's a time when your body needs rest and gentle movements. TPC classes that promote relaxation, flexibility, and mindfulness are ideal during this phase. Consider trying "Yoga", "Stretch", or "Calm" type classes to honor your body's need for restoration. A personal fav for me is “Period Pain Stretch”.
Follicular Phase (Day 5 to 16)
As your energy levels rise during the follicular phase, thanks to rising estrogen, it's time to embrace workouts that focus on building strength, stamina, sculpting and toning. In this phase opt for classes, such as "Pilates", "Barre", or "Strength". These classes will help you tap into your newfound energy and build a strong foundation for the rest of your cycle. My go-to is a “Booty Burn” + a 10 min Abs session.
Ovulatory Phase (Day 12-16)
Ovulation occurs during this short phase, typically lasting only one day. However, the positive hormonal effects can extend into the early days of the luteal phase. Estrogen levels reach their peak, as does testosterone, which can contribute to heightened energy levels and improved mood. Engage in more intense workouts labeled “HIIT” and “Energy Boost” to challenge yourself during this phase. This is a social phase, you might want to invite a friend for a partner workout. Anyone up for a round of “Boxing Pilates”?!
Luteal Phase (Day 14-32)
During the luteal phase, progesterone rises, which can result in decreased energy levels and potential mood fluctuations. It's essential to prioritize workouts that promote balance, relaxation, and gentle movement to support your body during this phase. The luteal phase lasts about two weeks, during which (about a week before your period) you’ll experience the effect of progesterone - when you’re in sync you’ll have a sense of calm and introspection.
Embrace workouts that nourish your mind, body, and soul. TPC classes labeled "Yoga”, "Technique", and "Reformer", can help you maintain strength and focus while still respecting your body's need for lower intensity. Personally I love to focus on technique during this phase.
Cycle Syncing Workout Summary
If you feel overwhelmed with syncing your workouts to your cycle phase, start off by just adjusting the intensity of what you’re already doing. It's essential to choose workouts that support your body while providing a satisfying workout experience, and that’s just not the same workout everyday.
The classes labeled "Chill" are perfect for the late luteal phase and menstrual phase when relaxation and gentle movement are beneficial. These classes promote a sense of calmness and allow you to connect with your body on a deeper level.
The classes labeled "Satisfying" are versatile and suitable for any phase of your cycle. These classes offer a balanced workout so you can feel energized.
The classes labeled "Intense" are great for your ovulatory phase. These classes will help you take advantage of the increased energy and focus during this time.
Remember, cycle syncing should be a source of empowerment and not stress. Take your time to get in sync with your body, and over time, you'll discover what feels best for you!
Darlene Regueiro, RDN is a functional registered dietitian and hormone specialist based in New York City. Darlene is the founder of Life Edit Nutrition (@LifeEditNutrition), a dedicated Women's Health practice that provides guidance and support to women around the world. Her expertise lies in helping women overcome hormone imbalances, PCOS, acne, gut issues, improve fertility, and nourishing pregnancies. She believes in the power of cycle syncing to help women understand and harness their natural rhythms.
Darlene's approach is rooted in the power of cycle syncing, allowing women to embrace the innate wisdom of their bodies. Her food philosophy revolves around real, whole foods, prioritizing essential minerals and maintaining balanced blood sugar levels. By combining her expertise with a holistic approach, Darlene guides women towards optimal wellness.
Stay connected with Darlene on Instagram @LifeEditNutrition to access hormone friendly recipes, cycle syncing tips and more!