Yoga and Cycle Synching has become my latest solution- and current ‘challenge’- to combatting my migraines and improving my health. This post is my experience with cycle synching, and how hot yoga has helped my health and exercising for the right times of my Cycle.**
What is Cycle Synching?
Cycle Synching is matching your exercise, social, self-care and diet to the time of the month. Our bodies go through this never ending cycle of highs and lows, but one of the ways you can prevent your lows from becoming too low, is by taking care of yourself throughout the entire cycle. This blog post is going to focus on diet and exercise- specifically hot yoga- as it pertains to your Cycle and using the low carb diet. Your body goes through 4 stages and each stage has different needs: Stage 1- Period, Stage 2- Follicular, Stage 3- Ovulation, Stage 4- Luteal.
Eating for Cycle Synching
What do you do when your plant is looking sad? You water it or replant it. What do you do when your iPhone is a little slow? You recharge it or reboot it. You can’t- or shouldn’t- expect your body to consume or do the exact same thing every day. Your body is going through highs and lows and you need to feed yourself to help yourself. One of the things I have learned most about my Health Journey in 2021, is how important food is and how important what kind of food is for the ultimate function of your body.
Here is what to eat for each stage-
- Stage 1- Period
- Warm and easy foods
- Lots of protein and fat- so continue sticking to your keto-diet or low carb diet
- Stage 2- Follicular
- Try a lighter diet
- Lots of vegetables, steamed or sautéed
- Stage 3- Ovulation
- Lots of fruits and veggies like smoothies, steamed or sautéed
- Make sure they are also organic or the skin is thoroughly cleaned
- Stage 4- Luteal (the week before your period)
- Complex Carbs and root veggies
My Recipes/Meal Planning
- Nutty Oatmeal Power Balls– a perfect snack
- Grain-Free hot cereal with chopped bananas and almond milk
- Whole Grain English Muffins with Keto Mixed Nut Butter and Strawberry Jam
- Healthy Trail Mix Recipe
- Almond Flour Banana Muffins
- Chicken Stir – made with quinoa
- Chicken Quinoa Soup
As I create more recipe for Cycle Synching, I will be sure to update this list. 😊😊😊
Eat Some of these Foods to Ease Cramping
- Whole grains like toast with some butter
- Dark chocolate (with high cocoa %)
- Raspberries or raspberry tea
- 800 mg of Advil + 800 mg of Vitamin E + 1 Ginger capsule
- Canada Dry Ginger Ale- my neurologist informed me that it is the only ginger ale with real ginger
- Ginger Tea
Workouts for Cycle Synching
- Stage 1- Period: low energy
- Yin Flows
- Stage 2- Follicular: normal energy
- Cardio: Bikram Flow
- Cardio: Running
- Cardio: Zumba
- Stage 3- Ovulation: high energy. Really push yourself!
- Bikram Flow
- HIIT Workouts
- Full body workout
- Stage 4- Luteal: slightly lower energy. Be gentle on yourself.
- Vinyasa flow
Why Hot Yoga?
I chose yoga because it is a combination of building lean muscle, treating exercise as medicine, sweating toxins, stretching and having slow exercises that help various aspects of my health. I sit a lot for work, so the yin flow is really helpful for sitting all day.
I learned in one of my first Yin Yoga classes that the yin flow is a derivative of a vinyasa flow- so I decided to Vinyasa as the level more challenging than yin but gentler than Hot 26 (or Bikram yoga). I also discovered that if I do a Hot 26 class, then I really do need to go to a Yin class to stretch my muscles out in a gentle flow the next day or couple days later.
I attend the Hot 26 class so that I can work on my cardio and gain 90-100 Zone minutes from a 90 minute work out (I tend to get my heart rate up before the class formally starts and then it slowly comes down after the class).
My Yoga Routine
I need to try to keep my budget in mind when I worked out my yoga routine. So I matched my Cycle to the Week of the Month, took notes I found on a chart on Pinterest that you should be gentle to yourself the week before your period, gentle during your period, and use the other 2 weeks to work hard. That meant 5-6 yoga classes each month.
- Stage 4- Luteal/Week 1 of the Month
- “Be gentle before period”
- Stage 1- Period/Week 2 of the Month
- Yin yoga
- Low Energy
- Stage 2- Follicular/Week 3 of the Month
- Vinyasa or Hot 26
- Normal Energy
- Stage 3- Ovulation/Week 4 of the Month
- High energy
- Hot 26 & Yin yoga
Final Thoughts on Yoga and Cycle Synching
I get what I have read is called “period flu” right before Stage 1. For those of you haven’t ever heard of it, (I just learned about it) you get nauseous, exhausted (practically extreme fatigue), and more migraines. During that week I make a point to eat my grain-free hot cereal, or whole grain English muffins with Mixed Nut Butter and jam, while also drinking my Premier Protein shakes right after. I am matching my style of exercise (hot yoga flows) because exercise can increase your energy levels.
**This blog post is written as a culmination of what I have learned through research about Cycle Synching, and how I have applied it in my personal life with diet and exercise, and my own recipes to create balance.