Embrace your energy
First things first, we want to drop the idea that anyone must live up to any expectation. When it comes to exercise, it’s all about how you feel and doing things on your terms.
Everyone is on a different path for different reasons and no health and fitness journey looks the same.
Whatever your reasons for showing up, we have rounded up some useful information that you might be able to use to elevate your workouts when it comes to training as a woman... Let's Do This Together!
Synchronising your routine
Most women go through a monthly menstrual cycle that has four phases. These can last for varying amounts of time but can be used as a rough guide to build a routine that is kind to your body and can positively impact performance.
Menstrual phase: many women associate this stage with bleeding, cramping, and bloating. Sticking to low-impact exercises such as yoga, Pilates, stretching, and walking is encouraged here. Alternatively, think about gently increase your output with NEAT.
Follicular phase: shortly after a woman’s bleed, oestrogen levels start to increase. This is a good time to introduce endurance exercises such as running, swimming, cycling, or one of our upbeat classes.
Ovulation phase: oestrogen and testosterone levels peak during this stage meaning the body is full of energy. This is the ideal time to perform strength training exercises. If this isn’t your jam – keep on with the high-intensity endurance exercises such as HIIT.
Luteal phase: the body’s progesterone levels start to increase now which can initiate fatigue and muscle soreness. A return to low-impact and recovery exercises are the best option here.
Nutrition is important to be aware of at this stage as it plays a big part in triggering cramps and discomfort associated with the menstrual stage. We advise trying to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and high-salt foods during this time.
Read our Gut Health or Hydration Pointers for more tips on overall nutritional health.
Our top tips:
1. Pay attention to your menstrual cycle. As mentioned before, different phases of the menstrual cycle can affect energy levels and muscle soreness. Listen to your body and plan your exercise routine accordingly.
2. Prioritise comfort. Make sure to wear comfortable exercise gear and only perform exercises you are comfortable with, especially when you might be feeling more sensitive. Choose clothing that supports you and allows for full range of motion.
3. Minimise injury risk. Hormonal changes can make joints more susceptible to injury and women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis than men. Whilst resistance exercises are great at strengthening joints, muscles, and bones, make sure to warm up and cool down properly as well as keeping an eye on correct form.
4. Never compare yourself. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and what works for one person may not work for another. Always keep this in mind when setting and achieving your goals as well as remembering to lift yourself and others up and rewarding yourself for small wins frequently.
5. Consistency is key. Be someone who works out rather than someone who does a workout. Frequent exercise is essential for overall health and wellbeing. Try to make it a consistent part of your routine in whatever way best suits you.
There are health issues that women should be particularly aware of when it comes to exercising. We have added links below to some fitness advice surrounding each one:
It is important to note that regular physical activity has many health benefits when performed in a safe environment. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or have any other health concerns, be sure to consult a doctor before engaging in exercise or changing your routine.