Ideal workout to keep up with your menstrual cycle 

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Express News Service

Menses bring about hormonal changes in the body that fluctuate throughout the cycle, causing several physical and emotional changes with mood swings, back pain and fatigue being the most common. The menstrual cycle consists of four stages and each one requires a different type of physical activity or workout to stabilise emotions and boost energy. Gurugram-based gynaecologist Dr Deepti Gupta takes us through it.  

Menstruation: Days 1-7
Energy levels are at their lowest. Stomach cramps, back pain and loss of appetite are common. Any form of low-intensity exercises such as a light walk or yoga will help.

Late Follicular: Days 7-13
Energy levels are much better as the hormone oestrogen, responsible for boosting mood and sex drive, has increased in the body. This is the best time for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts such as sprinting or Tabata. 

Ovulation: Day 14
Strength training is the top recommendation during this phase as ovulation increases testosterone, the hormone for the growth and maintenance of muscles and bone mass.

Mid-luteal: Days 20-23
You may feel dog-tired during this phase as large levels of progesterone hormone put your body in a state of a slump. Moderate intensity workouts such as swimming, pilates or jogging are most effective. 

Late-luteal: Days 24-28
This is the premenstrual stage and brings in its wake disturbed mood, bloating, breast swelling or tenderness. Low-intensity workouts are best. Take a walk or do yoga, especially pranayama.

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