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October 28, 2023

Cycle syncing is the best way to manage menstrual symptoms, all month long

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 10:10 pm

Everyone out there who menstruates knows that your body goes through a lot of changes depending on where you are in your cycle.

It’s why you’re crying and moody the week before your period, and full of energy a week later.

But instead of letting these changes dictate your life, a lot of people who menstruate are flipping the script. Enter: cycle syncing.

It’s about changing your dietary choices and exercise routines each week, based on the natural rhythms of your menstrual cycle.

Research shows that 60 per cent of Australians with a period admitted to having limited or no knowledge about the hormonal fluctuations that occur during each menstrual cycle phase, and how these fluctuations can directly affect their metabolism, energy levels, and mood.

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Young woman lying down on sofa in living room covered by blanket.

We caught up with Rebecca Bell, Senior Executive of Medibank Health Ventures, which founded Find Your Rhythm – the first app in Australia to use hormonal phases to build personalised health and wellbeing programs – to grab their top tips for living life in sync with your cycle.

Phase 1: Menstruation – nourishment and renewal

This is the phase when your body sheds its uterine lining, often accompanied by fatigue and cramps. All you want to do is lie on the couch with a hot water bottle and hibernate.

But even in this phase, you can make progress towards your wellness goals.

Food: This week, focus on getting as much iron back into your body as possible. Build your plate with with iron-rich leafy greens, beans, and lean meats to replenish lost iron. For your sweet tooth, go for magnesium-laden dark chocolate to soothe cramps.

Exercise: This is probably the last thing you want to do, so skip the heavy weights and extreme cardio sessions. Embrace gentle activities like yoga or serene walks, acknowledging your body’s need for rest and restoration.

Phase 2: Follicular – energising your ascent

As you move into the follicular phase, your energy surges, signalling your body’s preparation for ovulation. It’s the perfect time to fuel your progress towards wellness.

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Rear view of woman cycling in the park.

Food: Embrace a balanced diet teeming with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Amplify your protein intake with eggs and lean poultry to support muscle growth.

Exercise: Make the most of your natural boost of energy. Dive into aerobic activities like running or cycling, and toss in some strength training to elevate your fitness journey.

Phase 3: Ovulation – The zenith of performance

Ovulation marks your peak physical period, as your body releases an egg. Here’s where you can shine with food and fitness choices that complement this phase.

Food: Bolster your diet with protein-rich marvels like fish, tofu, and legumes. Embrace a rainbow of fruits and vegetables for antioxidants.

Exercise: Step up your fitness regimen with high-intensity workouts like HIIT, or step out of your comfort zone with daring activities like hiking or dancing.

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Phase 4: Luteal – The art of self-care and equilibrium

In the luteal phase, hormonal fluctuations may lead to mood swings and cravings the week before you begin menstruating. This is where the art of balance and self-care comes into play.

Food: Navigate your cravings with complex carbohydrates like whole grains and fibre-rich foods for blood sugar stability. Indulge in nuts and seeds for healthy fats. Don’t deprive yourself, just follow cravings in moderation.

Exercise: Find your equilibrium through moderate-intensity exercises such as swimming or Pilates. Immerse yourself in mindfulness practices like yoga to navigate mood swings.

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police yoga class

Your menstrual cycle is not a roadblock; it’s a roadmap towards your wellness goals. By synchronising your dietary choices and exercise routines with your body’s innate rhythms, you can harness your cycle’s power to make seamless progress towards a healthier, more vibrant life.

Need a hand figuring out what part of your cycle you’re in? Using advanced hormonal science and a clever algorithm, the Find Your Rhythm app introduces users to the concept of cycle syncing.

This approach empowers you to understand your menstrual cycle better, providing guidance on what to eat and how to exercise for your overall well-being.

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