There’s a new wellness trend taking the internet by storm, and it’s not just a fad. It’s called cycle-syncing, and it’s the key to unlocking the healthiest version of yourself.
What Does it Mean to “Cycle-Sync?”
Cycle-syncing refers to catering your lifestyle to your menstrual cycle. That doesn’t just mean eating extra chocolate during your period (which is actually recommended!). The fact is your body has four phases that it goes through cyclically. Your energy levels and hormones drastically shift through the cycle, so your body needs certain nutrients and exercise to thrive through each phase. So, based on what you eat and the exercises you do during each phase, you can optimize your energy and mood.
The Four Phases of Your Cycle Explained
Let’s start with the fun phase: ovulation. As you know, this is your fertile window. The main function of this part of the cycle is to prepare your body for a potential baby. That said, whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant, this is when your body’s at its peak. Everything’s on high: your energy, confidence, and charisma. Think of this as your “summer” phase, where you could take on the world. In this phase, you’ll want challenging workouts and load up on good carbs and vitamin B. Soak this part in because it’s one of the shortest phases of your cycle.
Next up is the luteal phase. This one can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. Starting into this phase, you still feel pretty good since you’ve just come off ovulation. You may not notice you’re going downhill yet because you’re fresh off the peak. But then comes the drop, when your body realizes you’re not pregnant. Your hormones and energy levels are in a freefall, so expect to feel sad or grumpy for no reason. You should start slowing down your workouts and stock up on healthy fats and naturally sweeter foods to help with cravings. This is your “fall” phase as your body gears up for winter—known as your period.
Then your period arrives. While it’s easy to meet this phase with frustration, it’s a natural part of the body. Your energy levels are at their lowest, so take this time to rest and catch up on sleep. It’s your “winter” phase, so don’t feel guilty about hibernating and focusing on taking care of yourself. Believe it or not, heavy cramping is not normal, so it matters what you do. Rest up and indulge in warm meals, like a heating pad inside your body. Some other things to eat: broccoli to help with cramps, lentils to satisfy cravings, and spinach and dark chocolate to replenish iron and provide magnesium.
Following winter is your “spring” time, when your body starts to wake up in your follicular phase. Your energy and hormone levels are rising, so you feel like a butterfly coming out of your cocoon. You’re feeling great again as your body prepares for ovulation. This is a great time for fresh fruits and veggies, and you’ll start feeling energized for more intense workouts.
Why It Matters
Simply put, it’s your health! Getting in touch with your cycle will help you with your fertility. It’ll also allow you to feel your best, achieve the body of your dreams, and enjoy what every phase has to offer.
Women’s health is linked to cycle-syncing because it’s simply how a woman’s body works. This is especially important even if you don’t have a normal cycle. In fact, getting into a monthly cycle can help bring back your period (which is a good thing!). Many women struggle with irregular periods, and that likely has to do with most women being unaware of cycle-syncing. Exercising too much, not getting enough sleep, or being constantly stressed can throw off our cycle, which is detrimental to our health.
Especially as more women are sounding the alarm on birth control pills, it’s crucial that we are in touch with our cycle.
How to Get Started
Here’s how the cycle is roughly broken down: A woman’s cycle is typically 28 days. Your cycle begins when your period starts. The first half of your cycle, days 1-14, are your menstrual and follicular phases. Menstruation is about five days, the rest are your follicular phase. The second half, days 15-28, are your ovulation and luteal phases. Ovulation can be about three to five days, and the rest is your luteal phase.
There’s good news if you don’t know how to keep up with that, or if you don’t have a regular cycle. First of all, there are a number of cycle-syncing apps that track it for you. My favorite is 28 by Evie! This app’s especially great since it provides recommended foods and workouts to help you feel your best. Secondly, if you don’t have a regular cycle, it’s recommended that you still stick to a monthly cycle. Your body will benefit from the routine, which will help regulate you over time. If you don’t know where to start, your first day can be on the next new moon. And thankfully, the app tracks that too!
Women’s bodies are so unique that almost every day of the cycle, our energy levels shift. That’s why we deserve to give our body what it needs so we can enjoy every phase. So, what are you waiting for? I encourage you to try cycle-syncing to unleash your ultimate femininity.