So you’ve drawn up an elaborate four-week exercise plan to get crop-top-worthy abs, and everything is going well for the first five days until BAM! You get your period on the sixth.
You try to go according to plan, mustering enough strength to finish that pilates class on your app, but there’s just something off about the workout. Well, you’re not thinking too much. Hormones are known to affect your energy levels, stamina, strength and even likelihood of injury!
Depending on the day of your cycle, your hormones can be more negative on your motivation to exercise (possibly more damaging than McSpicy!). Everyone responds differently to hormonal changes, but you can use the following as a guide to max out on the benefits of your workout. Most importantly, learn to listen to your body – never push yourself beyond discomfort!
During your period: Days 1-7
The best workouts for the start of your cycle are yoga and brisk walking. As your body begins the cycle by cramping and bleeding, this period can also be the most challenging time to train.
However, this doesn’t mean you should skip exercising altogether. Choose a low-key yoga or light cardio exercise that you like, like some easy stretches or a long walk. Yoga moves that require you to face down, like the cobra, can even help to alleviate cramping!
Make sure you hydrate well, as women often lose extra fluids while on heavy periods, which can cause light-headedness.
After your period (Days 7-14)
Now that your period is over, you can get back into business. Testosterone and estrogen levels begin to rise during this period, and the former will help you build lean muscle mass while the latter builds tissues that bind your muscles to your bones – which means this is the perfect time for you to tone up!
Make the most of this ideal period by hitting up some hardcore workouts, like HIIT, CrossFit and kickboxing. Trust us, you’ll really reap the benefit of these intense exercises during this period.