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Cycle your exercise to your menstrual cycle
Every menstruator has a menstrual cycle between 22-35 days every month. Hormonal changes happen throughout your menstrual cycle, which causes a lot of changes in your emotions and energy levels. Each menstrual cycle has different phases, which include menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase. Here’s an explanation by Dr Kiran of each of these phases.
1. Menstruation phase
In this phase, the levels of the hormones called progesterone and oestrogen, lead to bleeding. In other words, the days of the periods where the lining is shed, which normally last 3-5 days. You can do low-intensity, stretches or breathing exercises during this phase.
2. Follicular phase
As the bleeding stops, the hormone levels will gradually increase, and the follicular phase will start, where the ovaries start producing follicles, and you start feeling better. That is when you can resume your intense exercise. During this phase, your estrogen levels also increase, making you feel good.
3. Ovulation phase
As the follicles mature and the egg release happens, usually mid-way between the periods, you can continue to do the exercises. In case you have gone through a fertility treatment, it may be best to keep the exercise less intense.
4. Luteal phase
During this phase, there is an increase in progesterone and a small amount of estrogen. You can continue to do your routine exercises. If fertilization happens, progesterone increases again. You will not get your period. Here’s when you need to consult the doctor for further advice. If fertilization/implantation doesn’t happen, periods will resume.
No need to stop exercising during your periods
In short, there is no excuse good enough to get out of exercising regularly. As per the expert, exercise is helpful at any time. People who exercise regularly feel physically better and have lesser mood swings. It may even soothe premenstrual symptoms such as period cramps and back pain. Exercise if you want and if you are comfortable doing so during periods!