Physical activity and the menstrual cycle

Have you ever felt frustrated because your menstrual cycle interferes with your exercise routine? We know how hard it can be to keep up your motivation and physical performance when your body is going through so many changes. The fatigue, soreness and discomfort during those days of the month can make even the simplest workouts feel like an insurmountable challenge.

However, there is good news: understanding and adapting your workout to the different phases of your menstrual cycle can not only optimize your performance, but also help you feel stronger and more comfortable.

In this article, we’ll explore how to adjust your physical activity to each phase of the menstrual cycle to maximize the benefits and reduce the risk of injury.

Menstruation and Physical Exercise

Recommended Types of Exercise

During menstruation, it is beneficial to opt for light physical activities that do not exhaust the body. Recommendations include:

  • Long walks
  • Yoga
  • Gentle stretching
  • Running at low intensity

Benefits of Exercise During Menstruation

Despite the decrease in energy, exercising during menstruation can provide several benefits:

  • Improved blood circulation
  • Reduced menstrual pain
  • Increased production of endorphins to improve mood
  • Relief from fatigue and tiredness

Training during the Follicular Phase

High Intensity Activities

In the follicular phase, estrogen levels begin to increase, which promotes higher energy levels and faster recoveries. Recommended activities include:

  • Weight lifting
  • High intensity short interval workouts
  • Speed workouts

Recovery and Performance

As estrogen levels continue to rise, it is possible to increase both the intensity and duration of workouts without negatively affecting muscle recovery. This period is optimal for:

  • Gradually increasing training load.
  • Trying new, more challenging exercise routines
  • Optimize physical performance

Maximize Ovulation Performance

Strength and Endurance Exercises

Around day 14 of the cycle, ovulation presents a peak in estrogen levels, providing an ideal environment to achieve peak physical performance. During these days, it is beneficial to practice:

  • Strength training
  • Endurance exercises
  • High intensity activities

Precautions to Avoid Injury

However, the high laxity of the ligaments may increase the risk of injury. To avoid problems, it is advisable to

  • Perform adequate warm-ups
  • Incorporate core strengthening exercises
  • Pay attention to correct technique
  • Listen to the body’s warning signals

Exercise in the Luteal Phase

Early Luteal Phase Activities

From day 16 to 24, there is a combination of estrogen and progesterone that promotes endurance and speed. Recommended exercises:

  • Moderate endurance workouts
  • Cycling
  • Swimming

Adaptation to fatigue in the Late Luteal Phase

Beginning on day 24, increased progesterone levels can cause fatigue and mood changes. To adapt to these conditions, it is recommended to:

  • Prioritize low-intensity cardiovascular exercise.
  • Performing activities such as long, gentle walks
  • Avoid excessively intense workouts
  • Incorporate adequate rest breaks

Benefits and recommendations

Adjusting training according to the menstrual cycle not only enhances athletic performance, but also contributes to women’s physical and emotional health, and prevents injuries.

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