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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SJSU chapter.

As women, we undergo many different bodily changes throughout our lives. From when we transition from elementary school to middle school, high school to college, and even when we are entering our twenties, our bodies will not stop changing. It is a major sign of growth and healthiness, and we should be able to continue living without these bodily functions. 

Our menstrual periods are one of those very things! However, it is not only our menstrual cycle that we have to keep in mind when participating in normal activities like going to the gym. In fact, when working out, it is important and beneficial for you to pay attention to which cycle you are undergoing, as it can heavily impact the efficiency of your workout.

Our periods are divided into four phases:

Menstruation (Days 1–5)

Menstruation is the time of the month when you might be curled up with a hot water bottle as your body gently sheds its uterine lining. Hormone levels are low, but it’s a time for reflection and renewal.

Follicular Phase (Days 1–14) 

As your period fades away, your body gears up for ovulation. Hormones like estrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH) start their graceful rise, bringing newfound energy and creativity.

Ovulation (around Day 14) 

Ovulation is arguably the most disliked phase. It’s when an egg says its temporary goodbye, released from the ovaries. However, when hormones peak, some people feel alive and vibrant; for others, it is less enjoyable.

Luteal Phase (Days 15–28) 

The luteal phase brings us a rollercoaster of hormone shifts. With estrogen taking a back seat and progesterone stepping into the spotlight, it’s  time for introspection and preparing for the next cycle.

Now that we’ve covered the different menstrual phases, let’s dive a little deeper on why it is crucial to become more in sync with your cycle for your personal growth within your physical and mental health. Such as: 

Befriending Your Energy 

Cycle syncing lets you tap into these natural energy fluctuations. During your follicular and ovulatory phases, embrace your newfound vigor for creative work, goal-setting, and physical activities.

Facing the emotional wave 

Emotions can be quite the rollercoaster during your cycle. With cycle syncing, you can acknowledge and manage these mood shifts with grace. Self-compassion and self-care become your trusted companions during the luteal phase.

Nourishing Your Body 

Synchronizing your diet and exercise routines with your menstrual cycle can do wonders for your physical health. For instance, indulge in iron-rich foods during menstruation to replenish what’s lost and opt for gentle workouts to ease discomfort.

Now you may be wondering, how do I start within this unfamiliar process? Luckily, there are several resources available to get started as well as flexibility within approaching this new lifestyle. First: 

Start with Tracking 

Begin your cycle-syncing adventure by tracking your menstrual cycle for a few months. There are fantastic apps out there to make this process a breeze, such as Clue and Flo. Knowing the length of your cycle and the duration of each phase is your compass.

Plan Mindfully 

Once you’ve gotten the hang of your cycle, start planning your activities accordingly. Schedule important meetings, creative projects, and adventures during your high-energy phases—the follicular and ovulatory phases. I recommend using Google Calendar or the Stickies app that comes with Macbooks!

Eat with Purpose 

Tune into your nutritional needs as your cycle progresses. Give your body iron-rich foods during menstruation, and opt for fiber-rich choices during the luteal phase to support your digestion.

Move in Sync 

Tailor your exercise routine to your energy levels. Hitting the gym and trying out the high-intensity workouts you love are perfect during your active phases, while gentle practices like yoga or nature walks can soothe you during your period.

Love Yourself Through It 

Shower yourself with self-care. Embrace meditation, journaling, and relaxation techniques, especially during the luteal phase, to sail through emotional waves. YouTube has some great videos on meditation and self-healing, which I have found to be very helpful.

Overall, it is important to realize our weaknesses do not define us. We should do everything we can to prove our strengths and succeed triumphantly, as there is no room for menstrual cycling to get in the way of pursuing a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

What was your favorite self-care practice for your physical health? Let us know @HerCampusSJSU!

hi! my name is virali and im currently studying computer science at SJSU as a sophomore. i love being outdoors so beach trips/hikes are my favorite activity!! ever since I was a little girl, I have loved writing and reading, so I am thrilled to be a writer for HerCampus!