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The benefits of synching with your period

I sometimes feel that it's difficult to perform at the same level each day. Yet, my husband has no issue moving through the daily routine, performing at the same or similar levels as the day before. His energy levels are consistent from one day to the next. How come I can't function in that space?




We're built differently. That's why.


Men have cycles too - but they're daily. Men move through a testosterone cycle that kicks off when they wake, and resets the next day. As a woman, my cycle runs on average on 28 days. Sometimes it's 27 days...and other times it's almost 32 days. Not only that, the hormonal fluctuation is different EVERY DAY.


No wonder I can't function at the same level daily.


Now, this all sounds pretty dark and depressing, but what I've come to discover through my own research is that there are benefits to moving with the natural ups and downs of my cycle instead of trying to work against it (i.e. expecting the same each day).


For instance, during the peak of my cycle, ovulation, I have increased energy and mental clarity. However, the days leading up to my period tend to be more difficult with a myriad of menstrual cramps, brain fog and fatigue. By synching to my cycle, I now know to optimize my ovulation phase with HIIT workouts, big projects, presentations, etc. As I get closer to PMS, I also know that it's my time to give my body a little R&R with healthy whole foods and anti-inflammatory ingredients.


By working with the hormonal fluctuations, I'm less irritable, my menstrual cramps have dissipated and my brain fog isn't as dense as before.


So, here are some key notes and tips to get through each phase of your cycle:


Menstruation

  • On the day your period starts marks Day 1 of your cycle

  • Periods typically last between 5 to 7 days

  • Nutrition: Opt for anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric or fatty fish

  • Exercise: Keep your exercises low-impact to keep the stress levels down and conserve your energy

  • Stress: Practicing meditation for as little as 5 mins a day can help minimize the irritability


Follicular

  • The time between when your period ends and you start ovulating

  • Your body is preparing you for ovulation, all your hormones are steadily rising each day

  • Nutrition: Choose foods that are optimal for hormone balancing that are high in fiber like cruciferous veggies or legumes which combines both protein and fiber.

  • Exercise: Start to increase your exercise intensity and frequency

  • Stress: You're likely in a better mood at this phase, so work on keep the stress levels low and address any stressors that might've been hard to deal with before.


Ovulation

  • Lasts between 3 to 5 days when your body temperature is about 0.5 degree higher than usual

  • At the PEAK of ovulation you may experience mild symptoms similar to PMS

  • Nutrition: Focus on detox and maximizing the function of your liver.

  • Exercise: Maintain a normal level of work out, rotating between higher intensities and cardio

  • Stress: Keep your meditation or breathing practice so it comes to you more naturally when you need it most during PMS.


Luteal

  • The phase after your ovulation and your period begins.

  • Estrogen levels start to reduce and progesterone begins to rise to prepare your body for pregnancy. In the event you do not get pregnant, your body purges the hormones which creates what we experience as PMS.

  • Nutrition: Maintain a balanced diet of whole foods that are high in fiber and protein. As you get closer to your menstruation consider increasing your iron level intakes.

  • Exercise: Slowly start to decrease the intensity of your workouts focusing on relaxing and low-impact exercises like yoga or walks.

  • Stress: Impatience and irritability will start to creep up as you get closer to your period, practice meditation and breathing exercises to help you move through this time. This is the optimal phase for some R&R, take care of yourself, be patient with your mood and be kind with your expectations toward yourself.



I hope this was helpful to some of you. I know when I finally understood what was happening to me from one phase to another, it became so much easier to work with my cycle instead of against it. Like I said, I'm not as irritable during THAT time of the month anymore. Plus, by changing my exercise routine and diet accordingly, I haven't felt a single menstrual cramp in months.


Happy Period!

Yaya

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