What is cycle syncing? Is it just another TikTok trend or is there more to it...

Cycle syncing means adjusting your health and lifestyle habits to match the four phases of your menstrual cycle. Picture: Pixabay/ Grimnona

Cycle syncing means adjusting your health and lifestyle habits to match the four phases of your menstrual cycle. Picture: Pixabay/ Grimnona

Published Sep 11, 2023


The pain that comes with menstruation can be crippling for many women but we have to take it like a man and not complain because surely it cannot be that bad.

The fact of the matter is that women only have one week of feeling normal before hormonal changes that occur during each phase of your menstrual cycle affect nearly every part of your life, from the quality of your sleep to your sex drive, energy levels and overall mood.

While period pain is experienced worldwide, it is often minimised or ignored, despite its debilitating impact.

A Canadian company, Somedays, tested men's pain tolerance with a simulator to gain a better understanding of how painful period pain can be.

The simulator contracts the muscles to imitate abdominal cramps, similar to what many experience during menstruation while still going about their daily activities, according to its website.

Needless to say, those who tried the period pain stimulator wouldn't want to go to work with that much pain.

@getsomedays When the wife runs in 😭😭😭 #calgarycrampede #periodpainsimulator #calgarystampede2023 ♬ original sound - Somedays | Period Pain Relief

And to be honest that’s just cramps besides experiencing nausea, back pain and the constant roller-coaster of emotions.

As a result, some people believe that “cycle syncing” offers an effective way to optimise and respond to these natural monthly shifts.

Cycle syncing means adjusting your health and lifestyle habits to match the four phases of your menstrual cycle.

For example, you might change your workout routine, diet, and even your sex life to align with the hormonal changes your body goes through each month.

The four stages of the menstrual cycle include:


This is when your period starts, and it marks the beginning of your menstrual cycle. During this time, your progesterone and oestrogen levels are low as your uterus sheds its lining.

Follicular phase:

This phase overlaps with menstruation and is the first half of your menstrual cycle (usually around days 1-14). Your oestrogen levels rise, your uterine lining thickens, and your follicles grow to prepare an egg for ovulation.


Around the middle of your cycle, a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers the release of a mature egg from your ovary. This is when your oestrogen and testosterone levels peak.

Luteal phase:

After ovulation, progesterone levels increase to prepare for a potential pregnancy. If you don't conceive, your progesterone and oestrogen levels drop, leading to menstruation and the start of a new cycle.

How can you sync your fitness routine with your menstrual cycle?

It's all about listening to your body and giving it what it needs during each phase.

During your period, you may experience symptoms like cramping, breast tenderness, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.

Rest and recovery are crucial during this phase. Consider doing some gentle yoga or going for a mindful walk to incorporate movement into your day.

Follicular phase training

In the follicular phase, research suggests that exercise performance may be slightly reduced at the beginning but improves as you approach ovulation. You can get back into the groove of your workouts with longer hikes, resistance training, or moderate cardio.

Ovulation exercises

During ovulation, your exercise performance and muscle strength reach their peak due to a testosterone spike. Challenge yourself with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or intense strength training. You can even dance your heart out!

Luteal phase and working out

As your progesterone increases during the luteal phase, you may feel a dip in energy levels, making high-intensity workouts more challenging. However, you can still maintain your routine with ongoing strength training and low-impact exercises like Pilates.

Cycle syncing your diet

Eating certain foods during certain times of your cycle can help you manage unwanted symptoms, boost energy levels, and increase your intake of key vitamins and nutrients.

Menstrual phase

We all know the struggle of menstrual cramps, bloating, and disrupted sleep during this phase. By incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet, like green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, and whole grains, you can find some much-needed relief. Plus, these foods are packed with fibre to keep you feeling satisfied.

Follicular phase

Fertile days tend to be marred by stress. By indulging in dark chocolate, avocados, citrus fruits, and berries helps lower stress levels naturally. And cutting back on sugar, alcohol, and caffeine is highly recommended regardless of what your cravings may suggest.

Ovulatory phase

Ovulatory phase: When your oestrogen levels are at their highest, it's crucial to consume enough anti-inflammatory foods and foods high in vitamins B and D. Good options include almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, healthy grains, legumes, cruciferous veggies, and lean proteins.

Luteal phase

Feeling a bit down during the second half of your cycle? It's all about boosting your serotonin levels. Load up on chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and seeds to give your mood a lift.

And omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon work wonders for keeping serotonin levels up.

Nourishing your body with the right foods at the right time can help with unwanted symptoms.