How To Exercise For Hormone Health
It’s always been interesting to me that when women become pregnant they change the way they live their lives to better sync with their changing hormones, yet when we’re not pregnant we pretty much ignore the fact that our hormone levels change drastically over the course of a month. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.
One thing in particular that shifts greatly throughout the month as your hormones shifts is the type of physical movement that our bodies crave to feel good. Working out in alignment with your monthly cycle can be one of the best ways to practice self-care, yet many of us have no idea how to exercise for hormone health. Let’s take a look at how to get started…
On Your Period
Day one of your monthly cycle begins on the first day of your period. It’s during this week that we tend to feel a little sluggish, gaining more energy with each day. After two weeks of dwindling hormones leading up to your period, you now begin to experience the boost of energy that comes with rising hormone levels at the start of a new cycle. To honor your changing hormones while on your period, take it slow for the first few days when energy levels are likely lower. Trade cardio and strength training for slow yoga and gentle movement. As your period begins to dwindle and estrogen levels begin to rise, play with adding in more vigorous movement like light cardio and strength training or vinyasa yoga.
Week 2 Of Your Cycle - AKA That Glorious Phase Before Ovulation
This is the week where we tend to feel fierce, like a freaking goddess. Our hormones are pumping and getting ready for ovulation and some potential baby-making, which means we’re feeling worked up in all the fun kind of ways! Channel that vibrant energy by getting your sweat on in an upbeat dance class, vigorous yoga flow, HIIT class, or some empowering kickboxing. Honor this phase of your cycle by letting your fierce energy shine through with more vigorous workouts. This is also the time of the month when we feel our friskiest, so maybe treat yourself to some extra bedroom playtime as well!
Ovulation & The Week That Follows
During ovulation itself our hormones are pumping at a monthly high and we’re feeling on fire in all the best ways. However, just following ovulation our hormones drop off drastically which often leaves us feeling a little lackluster. Suddenly pimples start appearing, our moods get a bit wonky, and we just don’t feel as energized as we did the week before. That’s okay. Honor this shift in hormones by dialing your workouts back a bit. While you have more energy than during your period, it’s definitely less than that fierce goddess who was out in full-force last week. Use this week to break up your more vigorous workouts with softer, more gentle options.
The Week Before Your Period
Oof, it’s that week that many women dread. For those with a brutal pms week filled with acne, mood swings, bloating, cravings, breast tenderness, etc. it’s likely you’re suffering with estrogen dominance that can be solved with these simple food and lifestyle based tools. For the rest of us who just feel a little off and low energy leading up to our periods, it’s time to channel the drop in hormones we are experiencing with more soothing workouts. Your body is preparing to let go of tissues no longer needed inside the body. It’s really quite a miraculous process if you think about it. Honor your body during this phase of your cycle by backing off when you feel exhausted. There’s no need to work out every day, in fact, over exercising can be extremely taxing on your hormones. Take a few days off. Roll around on your yoga mat with long holds, and soft stretchy postures. If you love weekly cardio, try switching from the 60 minute class to the 30 minute class. Meet your body where it’s at. It will thank you.
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Disclaimer: Brandy Oswald is not a medical provider and cannot give medical advice or provide any information concerning the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. The information provided by Brandy Oswald is of a general nature and is intended only for educational purposes to help with your personal health improvement goals and should not be relied on as medical advice. Always consult a physician prior to changing your diet, lifestyle, supplement, or prescription medicine routine. Should you choose to use the information provided by Brandy Oswald it is of your own volition and you recognize that Brandy is not held liable for any intended or unintended outcomes.