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Food and exercise during your period

I get lots of questions about strength training or cardio during your period and what is recommended or what is the best to do.

Firstly, as you all know I’m not a certified trainer so any advice is just that and before taking ANY advise, particularly if you are new to exercise, have any underlying illness or are planning on are are pregnant, you must speak to you GP before embarking on any new program.

Now, all the boring stuff is out of the way, what does our cycle actually mean and how we can plan more effective programs around our period.


Day 1-7

Progesterone is low and estrogen is low. Try strength training but don’t over-exert. Most people feel quite weak on day 1 and day 2, in particular. During this time in our cycles, we have a higher pain tolerance and a quicker recovery time BUT we are also more injury-prone.  Yikes.

Day 8-13

Our levels of both progesterone and estrogen is higher. We can increase our cardio and HIIT or interval training like sprints and jump squats. Throw in some free weights or a kettlebell too to keep up your strength levels. Your body looks and feels good now so it’s time to push and challenge yourself!

Day 14 &15

This is the time of ovulation for most people. Estrogen is at its highest- time to build some lean muscle and stay in tune with your body- think Pilates or Yoga! Levels of both progesterone and estrogen are even higher.

Day 16-24 (ish!)

Progesterone is now at its highest and your estrogen levels will have dropped. Think lighter aerobic activities, like a simple hike or swim or body weight exercises with slower movements. Your body prefers fat as opposed to glycogen so try working out at lower intensities.


Always an unwelcome or unwanted visitor each month BUT a sign of a good healthy body! Keep those hormones in check with some of the following foods and lay off the caffeine, too much sugar or processed foods as they will make you feel like death;

Kale, oranges, salmon, brocolli, dark chocolate, chai tea, bananas, watermelon- all super foods to help you feel a little more human on those days you feel a lot less than.


  • Increase your water intake and avoid salty foods!
  • Try supplementing with chromium the week of your period to help stabilise blood sugar.
  • Add magnesium to your night-time routine to ensure you have more rested sleep and to help keep you asleep at night.
  • Try to opt for homemade treats like these to beat any nasty cravings!
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