Exercising to Your Menstrual Cycle

Period is a taboo topic. Yet, it is such an important function of the female body. In fact, the survival of humanity depends on it! So take a deep breath, get comfortable and keep reading, as we are about to discuss the four stages of your period, what happens to the body and how we should adjust our movement and exercise accordingly.

 

STAGE 1: MENSTRUATION

During menstruation days our body is eliminating the thickened lining of the uterus (endometrium) from the body through the vagina.  Think of it as our bodytrying to get rid of the old, and it’s a great time to detoxify our mind and spirit from negative energy and thoughts.

Before we get into what exercise to do during this time, let’s firstly expel the myth that we shouldn’t exercise while menstruating. In fact, exercise is exactly what you should be doing!  Exercise during menstruation help to reduce many menstrual symptoms including cramps, bloating, moodiness etc.  You may feel more tired than usual, and therefore needing additional motivation to exercise, ok we get that.  Best motivation during this time may come from the type of exercise that you choose to do.

 

Exercises for this stage:

  • Gentler cardio and resistance exercises.  Maybe a high-intensity Functional Training or Barre class during this time isn’t a good idea.  A lighter Reformer Pilates and a Yoga class can help to relax your muscles and decrease cramping and other pains.
  • Moving into twisting exercises will assist with the process of the endometrium shedding as they promote the twisty like contraction that is taking place in the uterus.  Yoga has fantastic twisting poses that will aid this process.
  • Avoid, moves that block the natural flow of the blood such as inversions (any exercise or activity done upside down where your pelvis ends up being higher than your heart).  Our instructors can always modify these for you so please feel free to let them know.

 

STAGE 2: FOLICULAR STAGE

Value and enjoy the creativity and sensuality that comes with the follicular phase, there is a burst of energy, you feel new and open for new opportunities. 

During this stage your body releases follicle stimulating hormone (which stimulates the ovary to produce follicles where each houses an immature egg.  Unusually, only one follicle will mature into an egg, while the others die. The growth of the follicles stimulates the lining of the uterus to thicken in preparation for possible pregnancy. So think of this as a creative stage which usually comes with a bust of energy, feel new and open to fresh opportunities.

 

Exercises for this stage:

  • With all this burst of energy this is a great time for a higher-intensity class at the studio (think Functional Training, Reformer Circuit or Progression, Barre), or simply go for a long run
  • Also a great time to try new types of exercise and expand your horizon – if you’ve always done Reformer Pilates, try a Small Props Pilates class on our timetable

 

 

STAGE 3: OVULATION STAGE

Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the surface of the ovary. Other hormones, such as LH and FSH, also get involved triggering the ovulation stage. The egg is funnelled into the fallopian tube and toward the uterus by waves of small, hair-like projections (our body is truly amazing!). The life span of the typical egg is only around 24 hours. Unless it meets a sperm during this time, it will die.

During the ovulation state is when your body is the most fertile and if you are trying to conceive, they need exercise!

 

Exercises for this stage:

  • Engage in activities that send blood to the uterus such as pelvic floor breaths and massaging around the ovaries.
  • Avoid activities and situation that restrict blood flow to reproductive organs e.g. higher-intensity exercises, and being stressed as the blood gets diverted away from the reproductive system.

 

STAGE 4: LUTEAL STAGE

During ovulation, the egg bursts from its follicle, but the ruptured follicle stays on the surface of the ovary. For the next two weeks or so, the follicle transforms into a structure known as the corpus luteum. This structure starts releasing hormones that maintain the thickened lining of the uterus, waiting for a fertilised egg to implant.

If a fertilised egg implants in the lining of the uterus, it produces the hormones that are necessary to maintain the corpus luteum marking the beginning of a pregnancy.

If pregnancy does not occur, the corpus luteum withers and dies. The drop in hormone levels causes the lining of the uterus to fall, which is known as menstruation. 

 

Exercises for this stage:

  • If you have been trying to fall pregnant you need to nurture yourself during this time.  Stay calm and rest as the fertilised egg moves to the uterus to attach and start growing. 
  • Avoid vigorous exercises that push your body to be in the flight or fight mode, as you want the blood to flow to the uterus and nourish the fertilised egg.
  • Also, avoid high-impact exercises such as jumping where gravity is working against the egg trying to attach
  • Instead opt for gentler and calming exercises such as Yoga, Pilates, short walks and meditation.

Want to know more?  Come to our event!

Our studio is hosting a women’s health event –  The Four Seasons of Your Period.

This event aims to inform women on our cycle in a fun and safe environment for queries, while tapping into our femininity and honouring our flow.

It is a FREE event but only limited spots are available.

Secure your spot by registering here.

Get Your Tickets

Bring your friends!

By | 2019-04-14T16:47:18+11:00 April 14th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Exercising to Your Menstrual Cycle