4 min|Rhiannon Lockhart
Empower Your Routine: How Cycle Syncing Can Transform ProductivityHormones
Embracing Cycle Syncing for Optimal PerformanceNew studies into the menstrual cycle have helped us to better understand how altering hormones govern our mood, energy and activity levels each day. This means that you may find it beneficial to change your social activities or exercises depending on which phase of your menstrual cycle you are in.
Need a refresher on how hormones change through the cycle? Click here.
Let’s break down how to use cycle syncing to plan your physical activity and work commitments
ExerciseHave you ever gotten on a mat for a high-intensity workout routine the day before an expected period and just wanted to lay on your back the whole time? Been there, done that. Using cycle syncing to plan your workouts means you actually have the energy to spend on those exercises versus struggling through and experiencing burnout.
The first day of your bleed is when your follicular phase begins. Although you may not have energy in the first few days, you’ll notice a steady rise after days two and three. Running, group fitness classes or HIIT workouts will align best with this phase.
Energy peaks during ovulation. This is the best time to take a spin class, hit that personal best run time, and head to a HIIT or bootcamp session.
You’ll notice your energy decline through this phase as you close in on your menstruation. It is also common to feel more withdrawn. Choosing solo time in the gym for strength training, incline walks on the treadmill, yoga or pilates classes may feel more your speed.
Many people feel their lowest energy during their bleeding phase. While some need to curl up on the couch and catch some extra shut-eye or cozy in a hot bath, others want to keep to a fitness routine. If you fall into the latter group, ideal workouts include walking, slower yoga classes or mat pilates.
Work and productivityYou may not realize it, but your productivity likely shifts with your hormones. We’re more communicative during ovulation, while we’d rather be work-from-home and cuddled on the couch during the first few days of menstruation. A lot of today’s productivity expectations are built in through gender-bias and the 24-hour hormone clock vs. the 28-day-ish female cycle. Try to pre-plan your workload (if possible) using cycle syncing to make you more productive and efficient at your job.
With increased energy comes better brainstorming, ideation, planning and managing projects, and trying out new plans or approaches. Use this time to flex your creative muscles.
Confidence and communication is at its highest during this time. If you can, schedule important meetings or networking events during this time, ask for that promotion or show up to those team events.
Administrative work, editing or finalizing projects will be your best place to focus during this time as our energy begins to wane. Many people will experience premenstrual syndrome during this phase, like cramps and bloating, which can leave us feeling less like ourselves and more inclined to crave solo time.
If you have control over your work schedule, you may want to take time to rest or work from your couch. Use this time to reflect on projects or plans and try to avoid major networking events, negotiations or sales pitches.
One piece to acknowledge about cycle syncing: this may not be the perfect route for each person. The moral of it all is to tune in to our body’s needs vs. do certain exercises or make social commitments that misalign with energy and focus.
Talk to your practitioner to learn more about how to support your hormones for better productivity and health.
Rhiannon is the Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Integrative. She has a passion for making healthy eating easy, accessible and fun, loves getting outside, and enjoys spending time with her dog, Chloe!