Girls, listen up! Just because it's that time of the month doesn't mean you have to put your fitness journey on hold - in fact - it's actually the perfect time to be training. Exercise is proven to reduce negative symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle & it releases endorphins which is fking amazing (say bye to mood swings)!
Having said that, you shouldn't train as hard as you're capable of or usually would. Unfortunately the physical & chemical changes that occur throughout our period cause us to feel fatigued & make our muscles all loose & jelly like- this being the optimal state for injuries to occur! So believe me when I tell you how important it is to alter your training & prioritise your health!
Here are my top 5 strategies for you to incorporate so you can train throughout your cycle:
1. Take the time to warm up
Before getting into the nitty gritty of your training session take 5-10 mins to warm your body up & get your mind in the right headspace for a workout. Personally there are a few things I like to incorporate into my warm up routine;
- A 5 minute walk on the treadmill or stair master (this will get blood flowing & assist with your stretching & foam rolling)
- Stretching & foam rolling (particularly focusing on the hip flexors & lower back- I find these areas to be most at risk of injury)
- Activation exercises (this will be 2-3 exercises relevant to your workout to wake up the muscles you're about to use)
2. Reduce the intensity of your workouts
Do not- and I repeat- do not go & do multiple sessions in a day, high intensity cardio or lift those heavy weights trying to break new PB's if you aren't feeling up to it! If you're finding a certain exercises uncomfortable or your muscles are aching, opt for a low impact option. It's okay to switch things up or take them slow. At the end of the day you'll still be making progress!
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3. Prioritise rest & recovery
Allow time for your body to rest & recover. If you're training hard day to day on top of all the other tasks you've got on your plate, chances are you're probably going to burn yourself out or get sick. If your body is asking you to slow down, listen to it, take a day off, then get back to the full swing of things the next day. A little down time never hurt nobody!
4. Eat well & stay hydrated
During your period your body works overtime, in order to make up for this you need to fuelling your body with nutrients & keep up your water intake. I know how hard it can be to keep up a clean diet throughout this time with all those chocolate & carb cravings- that's why we take a flexible dieting approach. You can enjoy all the treats but in moderation with healthy balanced meals.
5. Be kind to yourself
Part of the menstrual cycle is that you'll experience low mood & energy fluctuations making it easy to fall into a negative mindset. It's perfectly normally to feel uncomfortable in your own skin at this time & not feel good about yourself (hello our enemies water retention & bloating). When feeling like that remind yourself that your period is the cause & those feelings will subside. But most importantly be kind to yourself!!
No excuses now!! Keep on smashing your goals. You've got this FitazFK babes!
- Summer (@_summerjane)