How To Exercise In Sync With Your Menstrual Cycle

Nobody knows your body better than you do, but do you know how to align your training with your menstrual cycle?

It may not be something you’ve considered before, but if you’ve ever noticed that your energy levels fluctuate throughout the month, it could well be because of your hormones.

Hormones can impact everything from your mood to hunger levels, to how well you feel a workout went. Seriously, you might have been absolutely killing it for ages - reaching new personal bests - and then all of a sudden your motivation is zapped and all you want to do is eat your bodyweight in pizza.

If this sounds familiar, don’t despair - because a) this is super common and normal, and b) those very same hormones can work to your advantage. With a bit of forward planning, you can actually optimise your results by syncing your cycle with your training regime.

Here’s everything you need to know…


The term ‘cycle syncing’ was introduced by functional nutritionist and founder of FLO Living, Alisa Vitti.

It refers to the practice of changing your diet, exercise and lifestyle habits to align with the stages of your menstrual cycle. The idea is that by changing these factors during each stage of your cycle, you’re able to meet the hormonal needs of your body and fundamentally improve your quality of life.


When you’re living in sync with your cycle, you’re working with your body, not against it. Living more in tune with your body’s natural rhythms can help you to feel more productive, happier, energised and experience fewer period symptoms, such as cramps and nausea. 

Your body will also likely feel less stressed, bloated, cramped and fatigued - especially if you’re not pushing your body when you don’t have to. Cycle syncing can also contribute to weight loss or maintenance and even boost confidence. Simply by knowing you’re making healthy decisions can be incredibly empowering. 

On top of that, knowing exactly when your energy will soar - when you can push yourself to the max - could help you smash personal records more easily. 


To begin cycle syncing, we recommend tracking your cycle. This will help to familiarise you with each phase of your menstrual cycle, and to know which phase your body is currently moving through. You can do this by using a calendar or an app, like Flo.

While not everyone has a perfect 28-day cycle, you can expect the following general time frames and hormone fluctuations:


Days (approx.)

What happens

Menstrual (part of follicular phase)


Oestrogen and progesterone are low. The lining of the uterus is shed, causing bleeding. 



Oestrogen and progesterone are on the rise.



Oestrogen peaks. Testosterone and progesterone rise.



Oestrogen and progesterone levels are high. If the egg isn’t fertilised, hormone levels decrease and the menstrual cycle starts again.

 So, once you know your cycle, what do you actually do?


During menstruation, as well as bleeding, you may be experiencing a whole host of other symptoms, from cramps and bloating to breast or lower back pain. At this time, you’ll want to match your low hormone and energy levels by taking a mindful pause, moving gently and eating food that will help to replenish your body. 

Focus on recovery movements, such as stretching, mobility and yoga - and factor in plenty of time to rest.

While exercise can alleviate period pain for some, for others, it can aggravate it. It’s really individual, so listen to your body. 

READ MORE: 6 Mobility Exercises To Improve Your Posture


During the follicular phase, your hormones rise along with your energy levels, and your metabolism is slightly slower. In other words, your period ends and the increase in oestrogen and progesterone starts to make you feel more like your best self. 

Channel your increased energy into some more high-intensity, anaerobic exercise, like HIIT. Because of your increasing energy levels, there aren’t really any limits on exercise. However, if you’re hoping to set a new PB, you may find it easier later in your cycle. 



During ovulation, your oestrogen and luteinising hormone peak, giving additional energy, boosting mood, and having a steroid effect. Because of this, you may feel stronger or find you’re able to build muscle more effectively during this phase. 

Testosterone levels are at their highest during the latter part of this stage, which can make you more daring and competitive, while progesterone levels remain stable and low, meaning your temperature, heart rate and breathing rate remain even.

This is the time to aim for personal records and leverage your high energy in the weight room or with an intense HIIT workout. But make sure you warm up. High oestrogen might make you more prone to injury. 


The luteal phase - the phase right before your period - is when women tend to experience PMS symptoms, such as low energy, cramps, headaches and acne. Oestrogen levels remain high, while progesterone levels continue to rise. Depending on the balance between these two hormones, this may trigger physical responses that can affect exercise performance.

It can be hard not to want to beat yourself up during this phase, when you find yourself wondering why you can’t do that same 60-minute class that you did so easily last week. But the reality is your body is preparing to bleed for a week and, as a result, your body temperature is on the rise and your energy levels have dropped.

That’s why we recommend low- to moderate-intensity exercise. Yoga in particular can help you feel balanced, grounded and centred, all of which help your body to respond to hormonal shifts. It nourishes the body and mind and is an effective tool for managing stress and pain. 

READ MORE: Yoga 101 With @kwcyoga

The cycle syncing method can be an effective - and natural - tool to optimise our health, but beyond that, it’s giving women the validation to listen to their bodies and follow their own needs instead of trying to force their body to do things that it isn’t designed to. 

There’s time for strength and power, but there’s also time for softness and flow. By listening to your body and being mindful of the adaptations you can make, you can sustain your energy mentally and physically without prematurely burning out.

For more tips on exercising during your menstrual cycle, take a look at our article on Should You Work Out On Your Period?