How (And Why) To Cycle Your Exercise with Your Menstrual Cycle

How (And Why) To Cycle Your Exercise with Your Menstrual Cycle

How (And Why) to Cycle Your Exercise With Your Menstrual Cycle

Since many women surpass and achieve success in the world of sports and fitness, they would feel that there is still something to prove. Here it is about training, growing, and recovering with the rest of other people. Well, keep in mind that our female physiology is not that weak, and it won’t have to impede the training goals.

Like anything present in the natural world, our hormones and bodies go through cycles. These can be monitored as well as adjusted accordingly. Of course, every woman is different when it concerns her periods. One can use science to get a better guide in terms of training choices.

Definition of Menstrual Cycle

Well, the menstrual cycle is the hormonal cycle that a woman’s body goes through for preparing for the pregnancy aspect of life. The menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and it can last till the day of the next period.

Most girls get their first period at the age of 12, however, for some, it can be between 8 and 15, which is considered normal. The first period commonly starts for girls after two years of developing public hair and breasts. Also, an average menstrual cycle would last for 28 days, but it can happen within 21 to 45 days.

On average, women lose around two to three tablespoons of blood during their period. Until they reach the stage of menopause, women would continue to have a menstrual cycle. Menopause is the lack of the menstrual cycle for around 12 months in a row. The menopause condition happens to women who are in the age bracket of 45 to 55 years.

What Do You Know About Irregular Period?

The most common type of period that comes from exercise is amenorrhea. Amenorrhea occurs when you have missed your first period by 15 years old. Missing at least 3 months of menstruation in a row is a sign of an irregular cycle. Among women in general, a large chunk of them can have their periods suspended for many years without knowing it. Amenorrhea occurs more commonly among dancers and distance runners than among athletes.

Health Effects Due to Irregular Periods

Exercise can help promote healthy bones. Irregular periods make it difficult for women to grow along spine and tall stature. A period must be accompanied by a break for more than six months, and it must have three or four periods in a 34-day cycle, or it will cause bone loss. The bone loss depends on the amount of time you have irregular periods over your lifetime.

Bone breaks are more common in active, athletic women who also have irregular periods. If you are on birth control pills, be aware that they may make the period stop, so you don’t know when you are pregnant. If you’re trying to become pregnant and you’re on hormonal contraceptives, talk to your doctor about your diet and exercise.

Cycle Basics You Need to Know

Keep in mind that the menstrual cycle of a woman contains many phases. They are follicular, menstrual, ovulation, and luteal phases. They are quite broken down more into luteal and follicular phases.

The first is the menstrual phase where a woman gets her period and even her levels of progesterone and hormone estrogenic drop. Well, this would last for around three to seven days however, it can vary among individuals. This starts the follicular phase, which lasts for 16 days, before ovulation. During this phase, the pituitary gland releases a follicle-stimulating hormone.

During the luteal phase, the follicular phase’s elevated estrogenic level causes the luteinizing hormone to be released. Wondering if you’re ovulating? One sign is that your body temperature has slightly risen. Finally, we began to enter the appropriate phase. This is where you really see the rise of progesterone and the subsequent slight rise in estrogenic levels before the hormones drop again and the cycle restarts if you are not pregnant. The luteal phase is when you start to experience the *lovely* PMS symptoms like bloating and flood anxiety and food cravings, and you also have trouble sleeping. This phase takes 11-17 days.

Menstrual Cycle Period Symptoms

If you are involved in regular exercise, then planning and using the time around your period can be useful. During different parts of a woman’s cycle, her body can have different levels of hormones, which can impact how she feels. More and more, athletes are using menstrual cycle trackers to shape their training programs around their hormones to achieve peak performance. There are many different symptoms women might have during their menstrual cycle, and some of the most common include cramping, joint, and muscle pain, headaches, weight gain, low energy levels, insomnia, poor concentration, and irritability.

What Happens During Exercising While Having Periods?

It’s the time of the month, the period of your life that you’re going through. This is when you’re menstruating and you’re not in menopause. But what do you need to know if you have your period, and how can you take care of your body as best you can during that time?

During the reproductive cycle, your uterus is purging itself of the lining it has built up over the month. This will typically happen around day 1 of your cycle. At the beginning of your first menstrual cycle, your progesterone and oestrogen levels will be at their lowest, which along with the loss of blood may feel as though you’re exhausted. At the time of ovulation, your hormones are at their peak, and you will have a more fertile period.

If you’re feeling tired early in your period, you may not feel like doing much intense exercise. However, for those who are physically able to exercise during that time, there is no medical reason not to.

How Can You Exercise During Your Period?

You have likely heard conflicting instructions about exercising during your menstrual cycle, from doctors, news stories, and friends. Studies show that exercising vigorously during your period could lead to an inflammatory reaction. The study had a small sample size, so further research is needed to investigate the link between exercise, the menstrual cycle, and inflammation.

You’ve also heard that exercise is helpful for periods, or menstrual discomfort. There is some evidence that exercise could decrease period pain on an ongoing basis, not just during the menstrual phase. Another study showed that just an hour or two of weekly yoga at the very most helped reduce menstrual cramps and distress in a group of undergraduate nursing students. This research was a small-scale study, so more should be done to evaluate the benefits of exercise for people who experience dysmenorrhea.

If you want to start an exercise program during your menstrual phase you’re ultimately going to have to start when you’re in your most energetic, and then you’ll have to determine how often you can exercise during your period. If you exercise during your period, you might consider reducing the intensity of your workouts to prevent dehydration.

Try Relaxing Yoga Poses and Stretching

Sometimes rigorous and full workouts won’t sound right for you, especially when you are in your periods. In that case, try doing some restorative yoga poses. That can remove a great amount of stress and tension. Plus, it would calm your body and mind.

A Good Walking and Light Cardio Can Be Great for Your Body

A great exercise that benefits your body is walking. When you are suffering from the menstrual phase, it can be better if you reduce the intensity of your cardio. The best way is by going for long walks, and even slow-paced jogging. Walking is the best means and recovery workout that can make you fit while you are on your period.

Go For Light Strength Training

Doing strength training in your menstrual phase would be good, but it is wise to reduce the weights used in your workout. Due to the increasing fatigue, you need to avoid pushing yourself too hard. Make sure to try sticking to where you are currently at and even taking it a little easier than before.

Do You Need to Exercise During Follicular Phase?

You’re in the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle. Let’s look at how you can best exercise during this phase of the month. Your period begins on the first day of your menstrual cycle, and it lasts until ovulation. This is typically days 1 to 11 of your menstrual cycle. At the time, you create a hormone known as Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH). It tells the ovaries to make lots of eggs, only to get them out when they have matured. After you no longer have your period, your oestrogen levels go through the roof, which triggers the release of an egg, which usually means you get more energy.

How One Should Exercise During Follicular Phase?

In these times, it’s safe to push yourself to try new activities that you’ve never tried before.

Try High-Intensity Interval Training

Whether you currently exercise in high-intensity intervals (HIIT), or it’s totally new to you, HIIT workouts are a great way to increase energy levels. HIIT workouts are quick, fun, and often have an immediate effect on your physical fitness in the short term.


One more way that you can use your energy is to work with boxing to burn energy out of your muscles, increase your endurance and overall strength.

Strength Training

During your high-energy phase for this follicular cycle, you may want to push yourself a little more in strength training. To challenge yourself and work on your new muscle and strength, you could try doing push-ups from the palm of your hands instead of from your knees. When you’re new to strength training, you should start your training with bodyweight exercises to build your confidence.

Basic Need of Exercising During Ovulation Phase

The first few days of your cycle, before AF arrives, are days 12 to 19 (or about 3 to 5 days) in length. For example, this is when you eventually enter the menstrual phase, and ovulation will begin. LH is what triggers the body to start ovulating.

The follicular phase has a high proportion of rapid changes, and so is likely to be highly energized. To benefit from this, exercise at high intensity.

How Should You Exercise During Ovulation Phase?

For the most part, you still have the same types of workouts that you would be doing during the follicular phase, although you may find you’re stronger at lower intensities. You might also consider running or doing another form of cardio.

Exercise to Do in Luteal Phase

The last phase of your period is the luteal phase. This typically gets worse for about fourteen days and then starts to get better. During the first part of the luteal phase, you’ll still have energy from ovulation, which will likely be decreasing as you approach menstruation. The luteal phase is characterized by a peak in progesterone levels — making it difficult to concentrate. A study found that women’s endurance seems to be improved by training during the mid-luteal phase in the menstrual cycle. For women planning on bounding over long distances in hot, humid regions, this is an important tip.

How Should One Exercise in The Luteal Phase?

You can continue doing most of your workouts during the luteal phase, but you may find it a little harder to do them at the same intensity.

Yoga and Pilates

Research was conducted in 2019 in which 72 participants were studied throughout the month. Here the benefits of yoga and aerobic exercises were compared for relieving the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. Yoga is found to be especially effective in reducing PMS symptoms, and it is still effective even after aerobic exercise.

People who do yoga have lower PMS symptoms than people who exercise routinely. When you get your period, your energy levels may be low, so it’s great to practice yoga or Pilates because both increase overall strength, while also releasing muscle tension. If you’re new to yoga, you can check out this guide to yoga for beginners.


Of course, it is great to do exercise when you are going through your periods.
However, a reduced exercise routine would be good and consulting with your doctor might be a better idea too.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.