Health & Fitness

Unlocking the Power of Hormonal Changes for Optimal Workouts

Engy Elghannam
7/21/23, 12:00 PM

Understanding how hormonal changes throughout your menstrual cycle can impact your energy levels, strength, endurance, and recovery is key to optimizing your fitness routine and supporting your overall well-being as a woman. By adapting your workouts to align with the different hormonal phases, you can make the most of each stage and tailor your exercise regimen accordingly. In this article, we will provide you with tips and suggestions for workouts tailored to each hormonal phase. So, let's get started on this exciting journey of harnessing the power of your body's natural rhythms for optimal results. 

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What is menstrual cycle?

The menstrual cycle is a natural process that happens in a woman's body. It typically takes about 28 days, but it can vary for each person. The cycle involves various changes that prepare the body for a possible pregnancy and some other hormonal changes. During the menstrual cycle, the uterus lining thickens to create a suitable environment for a fertilized egg. If pregnancy doesn't occur, the lining is shed through the vagina, which is what we commonly refer to as "having a period".

Here are some tips for workouts based on the different hormonal phases

1. Menstrual Phase (Days 1-5)

The menstrual phase is the time when a woman gets her period. It usually lasts around 3 to 7 days. During this phase, the hormone levels in the body are low, which can make some women feel tired or have cramps. Follow these workout tips that are perfect for this:

1. You've got to focus on lighter-intensity workouts such as yoga, Pilates, or walking to support gentle movement and alleviate cramps.

2. Prioritize recovery and allow yourself to rest and recharge during this phase.

3. Incorporate exercises that target the core and pelvic floor muscles, as they may benefit from some extra attention during menstruation.

2. Follicular Phase (Days 6-14)

The follicular phase occurs right after the menstrual phase and typically lasts from around day 6 to day 14 of a woman's cycle. During this phase, hormone levels, especially estrogen, start to rise, which can boost your energy and mood.

1. As estrogen levels rise, energy and endurance tend to increase. Take advantage of this phase by incorporating high-intensity workouts, such as interval training or cardio sessions.

2. Strength training can also be beneficial during this phase, as your body may be more responsive to building muscle.

3. Include compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and lunges to engage multiple muscle groups.

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3. Ovulatory Phase (Day 14)

The ovulatory phase, around day 14 of your cycle, marks the release of an egg from your ovary. It can have a positive impact on your body, with increased energy, stamina, and endurance during workouts. You might feel more motivated to take on physical activities during this time.

1. This phase is characterized by increased estrogen levels, which can enhance strength, endurance, and coordination.

2. Engage in activities that require agility and coordination, such as dance classes or sports like tennis or basketball.

3. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be particularly effective during this phase.

4. Luteal Phase (Days 15-28)

The luteal phase comes after ovulation and lasts from around day 15 to day 28 of your cycle. During this phase, hormone levels change, and you might notice lower energy levels and increased fatigue. It's also possible to experience changes in mood and bloating. So, When it comes to workouts during the luteal phase, it's important to: 

1. Focus on more moderate-intensity exercises like brisk walking, cycling, or strength training with lighter weights.

2. Incorporate exercises that target the lower body, as progesterone can affect ligament and muscle laxity.

3. Practice stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or stretching to support your mental well-being.

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5. Menopause and Postmenopause

- Menopause: It is a natural phase that signals the end of a woman's reproductive years, usually occurring between 45 and 55 years of age. During menopause, your body gradually stops producing estrogen and progesterone, resulting in the cessation of menstruation and the end of menstruation.
- Postmenopause: After menopause, postmenopause begins. This phase is reached when you have gone 12 consecutive months without a period. Hormone levels stabilize at a new, lower baseline during this time.

So there are crucial things to consider while working out at these phases for maintaining overall health:

1. Prioritize exercises that support bone health, such as weight-bearing activities like walking, jogging, or dancing.

2. Include resistance training exercises to maintain muscle mass and strength.

3. Focus on exercises that promote flexibility, such as yoga or Pilates, to support joint mobility and reduce the risk of injury.

4. Practice stress management techniques like meditation or tai chi (flowing movements with deep breathing) to support your overall well-being.

Main image credit: Tracy Harmoush



Engy Elghannam

Hii. This is me Engy Elghannam. Fashion has always been my passion; it always makes me happy to create my own unique style combination. Reading fills up my heart, I love reading all kind of books; I s...

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