We Are Moody believe knowledge is power when it comes to every woman’s individual health, so we’ve teamed up with them to bring you a series of insights on how and why listening to our bodies and hormones will help you to harness your energy better, stay motivated and feel great. Our Mood filter along with Moody’s expertise, are here to guide you and your body to choose what’s best for you at specific times in the month.
For many women, a monthly period can feel like a burden because of the uncomfortable symptoms that typically accompany its arrival, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If we get to know our hormones intimately, what we’ll learn is that the fluctuating moods and energy levels triggered by our hormones, are actually designed to support us, not annoy us. We’re turning the ‘dreaded period’ stigma on its head and encouraging you to plan your exercise according to your cycle. Want in? Lets go…
THE LUTEAL PHASE AND MENSTRATION
PMS: The two weeks that span across pre menstruation are often referred to as the luteal phase of a woman’s cycle. At the start of your luteal phase, depending on your individual cycle length, and right after ovulation, energy starts to dip as one of our primary sex hormones, progesterone, begins to increase.
Hero Hormone: Progesterone: This hormone generally has a sedative or calming effect so this can impact energy levels. If we’re not aware of this, we might be forcing ourselves to exercise or perform at a certain level, at a time when our bodies are asking us to slow down, especially as we move closer towards the end of this cycle and begin to menstruate.
Mood and symptoms: The luteal phase is typically when woman who suffer with PMS will start to experience symptoms like mood changes, bloating, cravings and fatigue. Menstruation, can also be uncomfortable if you experience headaches, heavy bleeding, emotional instability and painful cramps.
Top tips from We Are Moody on how you can better plan for this phase:
The first step is to just notice what’s happening for you when any of these symptoms arise and then check where you are in your cycle.
Exercise some self compassion, (as these symptoms are only messengers from our hormones, and you know what they saying about shooting messengers). If you know you struggle with irritability and anxiety before your period, Dance Cardio or our Frame Rave classes, are great ways to shake it all out! Yin yoga is also a good choice for the early part of this phase while moods are erratic as it helps to facilitate release of emotional energy in the body. The passive postures are held for longer periods of time to work into our fascia and bring about that release.
Progesterone continues to peak throughout the phase and then drops around halfway through at around day 28, which triggers the release of the uterus lining. If we are sensitive to progesterone levels, the drop in progesterone at the time of our period arriving, could feel like a huge relief on day 1 of our cycles. First day flow for some women can be quite light and then only picks up in density and intensity around day 2 or 3. Energy reserves may be lower at the start of your period, so listen to your body and exercise in a more gentle way, if that’s where you’re at. Your period week is a good time for self-compassion, self-reflection, meditation and rest. Restorative yoga is great for complete body-mind awareness and restoration of our muscles and adrenals. A Meditation class is also a good option for menstruation week as it helps to soothe anxiety that may accompany low moods and energy. As menstruation eventually winds down between days 5-7, estrogen starts to rise and with it, so will your energy levels – this is when you might be ready for some toning and stretching in a Reformer Pilates class.
When we optimise our energy levels every month by planning according to our cycle and capacity, we’re working with our bodies, instead of against them. The aim is to flow with our cycles and not push ourselves to go against what the body is asking for. When we listen and give our bodies what they need, in alignment with our fluctuating energy levels and mood, we’ll feel motivated and be productive, without it feeling like a drag! It’s a win-win for everyone. Every small step in just acknowledging how you’re feeling, counts. Happy Framing.