Whatever your health goals for 2022, make entering this the first step to achieving them. We believe understanding your cycle and vagina is the most empowering thing you can do for your health and wellbeing. We've partnered with Annamo Studio founder Hannah Moloney, to find out how to work out around your menstrual cycle, so you can start to work with you cycle, not against it.
Knowing how your cycle works is the ultimate superpower you can have. It is so important we educate ourselves to understand how our hormones change throughout our cycle and adapt our movements to not only support our body but also our mind.
It all starts with listening to your body and having an understanding of what your body is asking for. We’ve all been there... one day you’ll be going 110% in a spin class and feeling amazing, and the following day you’ll hit snooze on your alarm five times and couldn’t think of anything worse than getting your heart rate up. Or one week you’re the social light, and the next all you want to do is stay in your trackies and eat chocolate.
This is your hormones at work! They change drastically throughout your 26-34 day cycle and during this time you go through 4 different phases – menstruation (your period), follicular, ovulation and luteal.
Below are some tips I’ve developed over the years on different movements to support your hormones throughout each phase of your cycle.
Day one of your cycle (first day of your bleed) your hormones are at their lowest so check in with how your body is feeling. Light movement is great during this time to clear your head, walking and yoga are best but if you’re feeling up to it nearing the end of your bleed, light Pilates is great.
The first day you no longer bleed you enter this phase, your hormones are increasing and you’ll feel a burst of energy. This is a great time to check in with your body as you may feel like doing more movement now. At the start of this phase, your body may crave more movement such as Pilates, short runs or light strength work. As you get further into this phase with your hormones increasing your body will be craving more high-intensity work and this is a great time to try those harder gym classes.
Your hormones are still increasing, so you may start to pick up the cardio, like longer runs, boxing classes or high-intensity Pilates. Your body will recover better during this phase too, so you might feel a little more motivated during this time. It’s also a great time to try a new class out!
This phase is broken down into two: pre luteal and post luteal. During pre luteal your hormones peak and it’s a great time for strength workouts, running, boxing or swimming. As your hormones are peaking your muscles are going to recover quicker now too. Then heading into your late luteal/early mensuration phase, your hormones will dip and you will slowly back off on movement and look toward Pilates, yoga and walking.
Products to try: The Boyshort for a worry-free transition before your period
It may sound a bit daunting at first, but once you educate yourself a little more it’s much easier to navigate training with your cycle. First things first, I highly recommend tracking your cycle.
Whether you use an app to support or even a little journal in your notes on your phone, recording your movements and what phases you are in is the best way to understand your body and how exercise impacts your life. This then supports you mentally knowing that when your hormones are low not to get down that you don’t feel motivated, or understanding why the sudden boost in energy.
Our cycle is a superpower and we should all learn how to harness it!
Hannah Moloney, ANNAMO Founder
ANNAMO is an online fitness community that I founded that educates menstruators on how to train with their cycle – with curated classes to suit every mood of your cycle, from PMS to powerhouse. Check it out here.
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