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Achieving Balance Through Exercise And Menstrual Cycle Awareness

By: Natalia Galindo G

Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor

At times, women may feel hesitant to exercise due to feelings of weakness and insecurity, stemming from a lack of understanding about their bodies. However, maintaining a consistent exercise routine during menstruation is safe and beneficial for health. Each woman's menstrual cycle is unique, with variations influenced by factors like period length and ovulation timing. Cycle syncing aligns workouts with menstrual cycle stages, addressing hormonal needs and easing discomfort. By adjusting movement patterns accordingly, women can embrace their bodies with confidence and achieve better results. Let's review this approach phase by phase. 

During the initial phase of your menstrual cycle, known as menstruation or the early follicular phase (Day 1-5), hormone levels are low, often resulting in symptoms such as low energy, bloating, cramping, and occasional back pain. It's crucial to listen to your body during this time and prioritize gentle movements and rest. At La Barre, we offer specialized classes like Restorative Pilates and Reformer Control, designed to support your body's need for gentle, slow movement, promoting relaxation, mobility, and mindfulness. These classes provide an ideal opportunity to continue moving your body while respecting its need for care and restoration during this phase of the menstrual cycle. 

The late follicular phase (Day 6-12), your energy levels surge due to rising estrogen and progesterone. You'll feel more energized and confident, ready to tackle workouts that emphasize strength-building, stamina, sculpting, and toning. It's a great time to try our Dynamic and Barre classes, which offer challenging exercises to push your body to the next level. 

In the ovulation phase (Day 13-17), your body experiences a spike in estrogen and luteinising hormone levels, resulting in heightened energy levels, improved mood, and increased libido. This is an ideal time to incorporate high-intensity exercises into your workout routine. Classes like Flow, Shred and Burn, and Barre Reformer are perfect for pushing yourself with more challenging and intense workouts, providing an energy boost to help you challenge yourself during this phase. 

Finally, during the luteal phase (Day 18-28), progesterone levels increase, often resulting in feelings of fatigue and decreased energy. It's important to listen to your body during this time and take rest days as needed. Being kind to yourself in the week leading up to your period can help alleviate symptoms such as mood swings, bloating, and period pain. Prioritizing workouts that promote balance, relaxation, and gentle movement is key to supporting your body during this phase. Personally, I find focusing on technique beneficial during this phase, which is why I recommend Reformer Control classes, these classes help you move and stretch your body while improving technique and relaxing your mind in a gentle manner. 

Incorporating Pilates exercises tailored to each phase of your menstrual cycle offers a holistic approach to optimizing your exercise routine, alleviating menstrual-related symptoms, and fostering a deeper connection with your body. At La Barre, we prioritize your well-being throughout all stages of your menstrual cycle by offering specialized classes designed to support your unique needs. So, why not embark on this journey with us and experience firsthand how Pilates can empower you to take control of your menstrual health and overall well-being?

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