We often talk to our experts about the different ways in which we can manage our periods. In our Instagram Live session last week, fitness expert Sumaya Dalmia introduced us to an interesting concept called Cycle Syncing.
What is Cycle Syncing?
How often does it feel like our hormones are dictating our life? It’s actually very true. They do determine a large part of how we function on a daily basis – our moods, appetite, the way we feel or think and much more. “Cycle Syncing” is a term coined and trademarked by Alisa Vitti, Functional Nutritionist, HHC, AADP. It refers to tracking your period cycle in such a way that you can plan your workouts, social life, relationship activities, and other events according to your hormonal levels.
To figure out your period cycle syncs, it’s important to recognise the 4 phases – Menstrual, Follicular, Ovulatory and Luteal.
- Menstrual Phase: This phase lasts for 2 to 8 days and is also called the ‘period phase’ or the phase in which you bleed. Oestrogen and progesterone are usually the lowest during this phase which means our energy levels are exceptionally low too.
Recommended Exercises: Light movements are the most appropriate. During the first 2 days of your period, you may not feel like working out at all, but if you have some energy, a short walk will help make you feel better. After Day 2, you can start increasing the length of your walk or even do a light mat session.
- Follicular Phase: This phase lasts from around Day 8 to Day 14 of your period cycle i.e. it begins right after your period ends, Oestrogen and progesterone levels go up which indicate a rise in your energy levels. However since our hormone levels are still low in the beginning of the phase, especially testosterone, our stamina also remains low for some time.
Recommended Exercises: Start picking up the pace. Functional workouts are most advisable. Your body starts recovering better during this time. There is a link between our hormone levels and injuries – when our hormone levels peak, we are less prone to injury.
- Ovulation Phase: Day 15 to Day 17 or 18. Your progesterone and oestrogen levels are the highest during this time. Most women refer to this time as the ‘best’ phase as our sex drive is at its peak, our breakouts are minimal and we feel energetic as ever. There’s nothing stopping us!
Recommended Exercises: This is your time to try new, high intensity workouts. It is also said to be the perfect time for circuit training and Tabata.
- Luteal Phase: Day 18 to Day 28. During the first half of this phase, our hormone levels continue to be high. However, if the egg is not fertilised, our hormone levels drop, affecting energy levels. We then enter the latter half of this phase or the ‘PMS phase’ where we begin to feel low.
Recommended Exercises: Since our body is preparing for another period cycle, our stamina becomes low. At this time, a light or moderate workout is recommended depending on how we feel. Strength training is highly recommended.
That being said, one must remember that oestrogen and progesterone levels affect different women in different ways. It is important to track your cycle and modify your workouts accordingly. Your workouts can also be eased out with some relief from a heat patch. Cramp Comfort keeps you just perfectly warm so that your body can relax and unwind while transitioning from one cycle to the other. You can find your own pack of Cramp Comfort right here.
Although we seem to only take the time we are on our period or are actually bleeding into consideration, we must not forget that our body is undergoing hormonal changes throughout the month. If scheduling our lives to fit these changes helps us feel more in sync with ourselves, it’s definitely worth a try!