Eat, Exercise, And Work In Sync Your Periods

Menstrual cycles can affect the way women look, feel and perform on a daily basis. Discover how cycle syncing can harmonise exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle with your menstrual cycle can reduce PMS symptoms, optimise performance, and enhance well-being.

By URLife Team
22 Sep 2023

Women have long been conditioned to adapt gracefully to a male-centric workplace, its environment, scheduling, and productivity approach. As more women than ever ascend the career ladder, it's time to explore how we can break through the elusive glass ceiling.


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Examining workplace productivity from a female perspective may hold the key to unlocking the additional potential that women have sought. What if the secret to effective project planning and execution were intertwined with the female hormonal cycle? Women go through the discomfort and symptoms that accompany it such as ups and downs of their energy levels throughout the menstrual cycle. Learning to synchronise your female hormonal cycle with work and life schedule enables women to harness their energy and productivity to the fullest.


Throughout your menstrual cycle, fluctuations in hormones can lead to variations in your mood, energy levels, appetite, creativity, and social interaction. These symptoms, ranging from cramps and bloating to fatigue and mood swings, can often disrupt your daily activities, making it challenging to stay on track with a regular exercise regimen.


Related Post: Troubled by Irregular Periods? Eat These Foods For Better Menstrual Health


4 Phases of Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle is frequently confused with menstruation (the period). However, your period marks just the initial stage of your cycle, commencing on the day you begin bleeding and concluding when your subsequent period begins. Understanding the menstrual cycle's impact on your body and mind can provide insight into changes in various aspects such as hair, skin, bowel movements, mental well-being, physical strength, and libido. According to a 2022 report by The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology the typical cycle spans an average of 27-29 days and can be categorised into four distinct phases:

1. Menstrual Phase(Days 1-5)

The onset of your period marks the beginning of your menstrual cycle. During this phase, your progesterone and oestrogen levels will remain low as your body sheds the uterine lining. During this phase, both progesterone and oestrogen levels are low, and this can potentially impact you. 


2. Follicular Phase (Days 6-14)

In this phase, which usually spans from day six to day 14 of your menstrual cycle, the egg starts to mature in the ovary. During this period, progesterone levels gradually rise, and oestrogen surges to its highest point of the month just before the onset of ovulation. It's during this phase that energy levels are often at their peak.


3. Ovulatory Phase (Days 15-17)

Ovulation is typically considered a one-day event, during which the ovaries release the egg, and it embarks on a journey down the fallopian tubes, where it holds the potential to be fertilised by sperm. During this phase, progesterone levels continue to rise, while oestrogen experiences a dip right after ovulation. This hormonal shift may translate to a decrease in energy levels.


4. Luteal Phase (Days 18-28)

During this phase, the body essentially assesses whether you are pregnant or not. If pregnancy has not occurred, both oestrogen and progesterone levels will sharply decline, initiating the start of a new menstrual cycle. This gradual decrease in both hormones during the final week corresponds with the one-week premenstrual period just before menstruation begins.


Imagine if there were a method to relieve these symptoms and keep you feeling great throughout your entire menstrual cycle. Cycle syncing entails harmonising various aspects of your lifestyle, including diet, exercise, sleep patterns, social engagements, and more, to correspond with the distinct phases of your menstrual cycle. This approach aims to enhance hormone balance and alleviate the symptoms associated with hormonal fluctuations.


Related Post: The Perks of Syncing Your Workout Plan to Your Menstrual Cycle


Importance of cycle syncing for the menstrual cycle

Aligning our professional lives with our menstrual cycles enables us to achieve greater efficiency, productivity, and maintain peak creative flow. It's crucial for women of all age groups to develop a deeper understanding of their bodies. Recognising how various hormones can influence energy levels, mood, creativity, and more empowers us to take control rather than feeling subject to our bodily changes.


Cycle syncing is a concept that primarily applies to individuals who are not using hormonal birth control methods. This is because hormonal birth control, such as those containing synthetic progesterone (progestin), effectively suppresses the natural menstrual cycle by preventing ovulation. Therefore, those using hormonal birth control do not experience the same menstrual cycle-related hormonal fluctuations.


How to Reorient Your Eating, Exercise, and Productivity With Your Menstrual Cycle?

Sync exercise with menstrual cycle

A 2021 study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, investigated whether changes in hormones, particularly oestrogen, during the menstrual cycle significantly affect energy levels during exercise. During the phase where progesterone levels are low, which typically occurs when you are not menstruating, light movements, yoga, and walks are often considered the most suitable forms of exercise. As a general guideline, your body tends to handle stress, including the stress associated with exercise, more effectively and recovers more rapidly when progesterone levels are low. 


Sync diet with menstrual cycle

In a 2023 study published in Nutrition Reviews, it was discovered that oestrogen has an appetite-inhibiting effect, while progesterone stimulates appetite. This implies that individuals may tend to consume more calories during the ovulatory and luteal phases of the cycle when progesterone levels are higher.


It's advisable to incorporate iron-rich foods into your diet, such as dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and red meats. This helps replenish the iron lost through menstrual blood. The daily recommended intake of 18 milligrams (mg) of iron is typically sufficient for most women.


Sync productivity with menstrual cycle

Being productive during your period can be a challenge due to the physical and emotional changes many people experience during this time. However, with some strategies and adjustments, you can still maintain productivity.


Knowing when your period is coming can help you plan your work schedule accordingly. If possible, try to schedule more demanding tasks and meetings during your non-menstrual weeks when you might have more energy and focus. Recognise that your body may need more breaks during your period. Allow yourself short breaks to rest, stretch, or simply breathe. This can help prevent burnout and maintain your productivity.


If your period tends to affect your productivity significantly, consider communicating this with your supervisor or team. They may be understanding and willing to offer support or adjust your workload as needed. Productivity can vary from person to person, and it's important to listen to your body. Some people may find that they are still highly productive during their period, while others may need to adjust their expectations and self-care routines. It's essential to find what works best for you and prioritise your well-being during this time.


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