Periods shouldn't stop us from keeping fit, but there's not much information out there to help. So we've developed the Red.fit programme to help you keep fit right through your body’s monthly cycle.
During our menstrual cycle, our hormone levels (in particular, oestrogen and progesterone) are constantly changing. So we feel different, mentally and physically, at different times.
Working with our sports scientist Georgie Bruinvels, we’ve split your cycle into four key phases – BLEED (pretty obvious, that one), PEAK, BURN and FIGHT.
We’ve teamed up with Frame gyms, natural fast food restaurant Leon and performance coach Faye Downey to provide the best exercise training, nutrition advice and motivational inspiration you need at each phase.
Our aim is to provide you with easy-to-use, expert guidance at each stage of your cycle to keep you feeling at your best.
This is when you’re actually having your period – your uterus is shedding its lining. This phase normally lasts around five days. Strangely enough, at this phase in your cycle you’re most like a man, because your ovarian hormone levels are really low. You might not be feeling your best, but there are things you can do to help.
Gentle stretches to tackle cramps and backache and core strength routines give you an endorphin boost.
Here’s some delicious iron-rich, antioxidant-fuelled comfort food to replenish your body right now.
Whether you want to exercise or just be kind to yourself, Faye Downey is here to help you.
Right now, you’ve got lots of oestrogen in your system, which increases blood flow to the brain and boosts serotonin, the happiness hormone. You should be feeling on top form – so make the most of it! Rising oestrogen levels cause your new uterus lining to reform in preparation for an egg, so you’re at your most fertile.
You’re at your strongest so we’ve prepared a total body workout involving cardio, lunges, squats, press-ups. The full works!
These recipes combine carbs (to power all this exercise) and protein to help with strength training.
Own it! Whatever training you’re doing, it’s time to use your peak strength for great things.
Your body is high in hormones like progesterone and oestrogen – which can mean you’re feeling a little emotional. Your metabolic rate may be increased due to this change in levels. This can mean that your base body temperature increases slightly, so don’t be surprised if you’re feeling a little warmer… is it hot in here?
Your body’s burning fat most effectively now, but to do this it needs a lot of oxygen. These endurance reps will get you breathing hard!
Here’s a recipe selection that features the ‘good’ fats you need to help you stay healthy and strong.
Breathing exercises and visualisation to help you boost your endurance and harness your emotions.
We’ve called this phase ‘fight’ because it can be really hard to battle through those pre-menstrual symptoms. Fasten your seatbelts – most of us find this phase the toughest! Your hormone levels are dropping sharply, and that includes serotonin, the happiness hormone. You’re going to need a bit of help here, and we’re with you all the way.
Heavy legs? Aching? Peel yourself off the sofa and fight back with some graceful, low-impact ballet-inspired stretches.
Ward off snack cravings with this superfood selection – to help you feel better, and better about yourself.
Faye Downey teaches us to take a little time out for ourselves. It’s not being weak, it’s being smart.
Hi I'm Georgie Bruinvels. I have a degree in Physiological Science and now I’m a couple of years into my PhD at University College London, in collaboration with St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK. My research predominantly focuses on female athletes. I am especially keen to gain a better understanding of women’s physiology – knowledge in this area is significantly lagging behind that of men, largely because of the complexities of the menstrual cycle. But I’m not just interested in elite sportspeople – I’m an athlete myself, and I want to use my research to help you feel at your best… whatever day of the month it is.
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