What is Period Cycle Syncing?
A woman’s regular monthly bleeding is called menstruation, also known as a period. Menstruation is part of the body’s natural monthly cycle of preparing for pregnancy.
A woman’s period occurs roughly every 28 days, though this range can be shorter or longer. A menstrual cycle is considered the first day of your period to the first day of your next period, usually 25 to 30 days on average. Most periods last around 2 to 7 days, but this varies from woman to woman.
Did you know that there are certain times of the month when it is better to do some activities? There are times of the month that is better to do certain types of workouts, have certain social activities planned, or do certain types of planning or creative work. Syncing your lifestyle, with your cycle has many benefits. Let’s dive and learn more:
What is Cycle Syncing?
Cycle syncing is paying attention to your menstrual cycles and then altering your diet, exercise routine, and even lifestyle to optimize how you physically and mentally feel. It can help your body and your routine find a balance, so they are not working against one another as you move through the phases of menstruation. Additionally, paying attention to these things may improve the health of your menstrual cycle itself!
During your menstrual cycle, your hormone levels drastically fluctuate. At the beginning of your cycle, called the follicular phase, estrogen and progesterone are low but steadily rising. Many women report feeling happy, confident, and good overall during this period. When ovulating, estrogen peaks and progesterone continues its slow increase. To support possible pregnancy, progesterone surges during the final luteal phase. Without conception, both hormones will dip, and your period will arrive. During this phase, around the time of your period, you may experience feelings of anxiety and depression.
Cycle syncing can help you better understand your hormone fluctuations and use this knowledge to your advantage by planning your schedule and diet around mood and energy changes.
Each phase typically lasts a set number of days. For the average 28 day cycle, the phases appear as follows:
Menstruation: days 1-5
Follicular: days 6-14
Ovulation: days 15-17
Luteal: days 18-28
Tracking your cycle and learning your unique phases will give you insight into hormonal shifts and the emotions and physical changes that can accompany them. You can tailor your nutrition, workouts, and social schedule to best suit your natural rhythm.
The Benefits of Cycle Syncing
We often become habitual in our eating. However, the hormonal changes in your body can create different nutritional requirements during each phase of your cycle. To properly support these needs, you may want to consider tailoring your meal plan to your menstrual cycle.
Hormone imbalances can be triggered or worsened by unhealthy foods like sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. It may be best to avoid these foods when menstruating, and your hormones are already drastically fluctuating. Focusing on adding whole foods to your diet, and eating at regular intervals, might help you avoid sugar and cortisol spikes which can contribute to mood swings.
It’s no secret that a woman’s energy levels vary with her cycle. Use this to your advantage when exercising and making the most of your workouts.
Physical activity can help with cramps, but you will want to take it easy during menstruation; only engage in light movement. Even during the next phase, follicular motivation may be low as your testosterone levels are still depressed. Therefore, cardio or moderate movement is recommended. Energy levels peak during ovulation, making it a prime time for high-intensity workouts. As your body prepares for menstruation, you may notice a dip in your stamina, alerting you not to push so hard in the gym.
Though there is less research-based evidence, it has been suggested that you can use cycle syncing to create your optimal social calendar. Mood swings go hand in hand with hormonal changes. You may feel less motivated, depressed, or cranky during your period. Not planning important social events during this time might help decrease your anxiety.
Understanding how your hormones play a role in your sex life can benefit your romantic relationships. For example, estrogen and testosterone are high when you ovulate, increasing your libido. However, your libido is likely low in the follicular and luteal phases. As a result, you may be more into cuddling or touching rather than intercourse.
Getting Started with Cycle Syncing
If you’re interested in cycle syncing, it starts with learning your menstrual cycle specifics. Tracking your period and ovulation can be helpful. Once you know how long each cycle phase lasts, you can begin tailoring your calendar to your hormonal shifts. A good way to begin tracking your cycle is by using an app, such as Clue or Flo.
On average, it can take around three months to accurately track your cycle and see the benefits of cycle syncing. During this time, be sure to listen to your body to understand how it responds and how you feel.
If you think you have health concerns related to your period cycle, be sure to visit a medical practitioner such as your doctor or a naturopath.