The Power of Change
International Women's Day is the ideal occasion to celebrate female empowerment. This year's theme is #BreakTheBias. <span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">At Guud Woman we celebrate the power of change every day by paying attention to the different phases of your menstrual cycle.
<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">Living according to your cycle is a wonderful opportunity to gain the best out of your body and your life every day of the month.
Do you want to know how to gain power out of your cycle? Keep reading…
<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">We are still living in a masculine society!
<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">Our 9 to 5 work rhythm is based on the male cycle. Their cycle, based on testosterone, lasts 24 hours, while the woman's cycle lasts 28 days on average. This varies from woman to woman. Female hormones (estrogen & progesterone) fluctuate throughout the month, making us feel different each week. (Read more about the male cycle in our blog “Men have a cycle too?”).
Some weeks we feel super energetic, other days we want to retreat and relax. Those feelings are hardly considered, especially in the corporate world. At Guud Woman we want to change this, we do this by supporting and informing women about how they can use their cycle as a strength. By living according to your cycle you can become a stronger woman and you are prepared to make the right choices every day, for yourself and your body.
<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">To this day, the menstrual cycle remains a big question mark for many women. One week you feel great and the next you prefer to stay in bed all day. But what causes this?
<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">Your body has different needs at each stage of your menstrual cycle because different hormones are active during every stage. These hormones affect how you feel, your energy, your libido, your metabolism, your skin, your work performance and much more.
<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">A cyclical lifestyle makes the most of each of your phases, creates variety and has a positive impact on your life.<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">
🩸 Menstrual phase<spancalibri",sans-serif; color:#0e101a'="">
<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">Around your period, the hormones estrogen and progesterone suddenly decrease. So don't feel guilty if you don't feel like being active and prefer to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket, it's really not your fault.<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">
Comfort food, hot meals and soups are definitely the way to go during this phase. During your period, your body needs enough nutrients and vitamins. Zinc, magnesium and iron are extremely important when you are losing blood. These minerals can be found in fish, meat, nuts and seeds, avocados, bananas and dark leafy vegetables such as spinach. You can also opt for quality supplements such as Guud Flow or Guud Vibes.
How much you exercise during your period differs from person to person. Make sure to take plenty of time to rest and recover during your period.
<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">Exercise can reduce PMS symptoms such as cramps and fatigue. A relaxing yoga class or a nice walk are good options if you don't have enough energy. <span="" lang="EN-US">Strongly ramping up your heart rate is not a good idea during your period, so avoid HIIT workouts and heavy weight training.<span="" lang="EN-US">
Several factors affect your libido, including stress and fatigue. If you don't feel like having sex during your period, you can choose to seek intimacy in other ways, such as a massage.
<span="" data-preserver-spaces="true">Guud to know: orgasms during your menstruation can reduce the symptoms of cramps because it releases the substances oxytocin and vasopressin. Worth a try, if you feel like it of course!
This phase is perfect for resting, recovering and reflecting. Look back on the past few weeks and see how you can prepare for the coming weeks. <span="" lang="EN-US">It is better to evaluate during this phase than to focus on creative outbursts. Try to slow down and leave plenty of time to relax, you deserve it!
✨ Follicular phase
Due to the rise in estrogen, also known as the "feel-good" hormone, you will feel that your energy will increase. Thanks to this new energy, you are open to discover new things.
You might not be very hungry, this is because your metabolism is going to slow down. Opt for light and fresh meals with lots of fruits and vegetables.
In the follicular phase, you have extra energy. Your muscles build up faster and your body recovers quicker after a tiring workout. So, it's a good idea to do activities that require more strength and speed. Sports such as jogging, running, cycling, swimming and other forms of cardio are good options. If you're looking for more of a challenge, strength training or wall climbing may be the perfect activity for you.
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An extra feminine feeling is very normal during this phase. You feel more attractive and confident, which makes this the perfect time to plan a date or meet new people. You don’t just feel it, but you radiate it.
The days before your ovulation, your libido will increase and your cervical mucus will become thinner and more flexible, which makes sex a bit more pleasant. These changes are due to the rising estrogen levels.
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Because you have more energy in this phase, you may feel that you can continue working for a longer time without any problem. Take advantage of this, but don't forget to take a break every once in a while! During this phase, you are also more assertive, social and creative. Take your chance to start that new project or present a big presentation.
🔥 Ovulation phase
During your ovulation, estrogen levels peak and you feel happier, more attractive, more alert and energetic. During this phase, you are ready for everything that life has to offer you. Time to rock!
It is very normal if you can feel your ovulation, it has to do with the fluid from the follicle that bursts when the egg is released. This can irritate your peritoneum and cause some cramps.
<spancalibri",sans-serif; color:#0e101a'="">🥦 Nutrition
Your body temperature rises around 0.2 to 0.4 degrees Celsius during the days around your ovulation. Therefore, it’s a good idea to choose fresh and cooling foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Zinc is also very important because it aids in the production of progesterone, which you will need after ovulation.
<spancalibri",sans-serif; color:#0e101a'="">🤸♀️ Exercise
Just like in your follicular phase, you have a lot of energy during the ovulation phase. This is perfect for bigger challenges like high-intensity workouts, cardio, power yoga and weight lifting. It's a good idea to push your limits a little more now that you have all this energy and motivation.
Estrogen peaks which means you feel extra attractive and have a high libido. So definitely plan that date with your partner because you radiate from within. Estrogen increases arousal and pleasure in sex. Your cervical mucus is more elastic and moist, which makes sex more pleasant. The thin cervical mucus ensures that sperm can move more easily and therefore makes you more fertile.
You feel confident, social, happier and you completely show it! Go to networking events, build new connections and don't hesitate to close that new deal at work or talk to your boss about that promotion you've been wanting for so long. During this phase, you think better and your communication skills are at their best. You are completely persuasive.
🙏 Premenstrual phase
After ovulation, the hormone estrogen decreases again and progesterone plays an active role, this causes your energy to turn inward. At this stage, many women experience PMS symptoms (such as headache, acne, bloating, mood swings) due to the presence of a hormonal imbalance. During this phase, you can slightly adjust your lifestyle to reduce these annoying complaints.
During this phase, your body needs more calories. To avoid food cravings and energy dips, it is important to add enough complex carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta) and proteins (chickpeas, lentils, poultry, fish). Keep your gut healthy with fiber-rich foods and fermented foods or probiotics. Avoid alcohol, coffee and refined sugars, these will only increase PMS complaints.
During this phase, you have less energy (certainly the week before your period) and you might prefer to stay on the couch and watch Netflix instead of going to the gym. You are probably feeling tired, both emotionally and physically, and in need of rest and relaxation.
It is important to listen to your body. If you don't have enough energy to run 10 km, choose a soft form of yoga, Pilates or take a relaxing walk! This is ideal to increase your happiness hormone (serotonin). Rest and relaxation are crucial during this phase, but self-care is also extremely important. Reading a good book or booking a massage can do a lot if you are not feeling great.
After ovulation, progesterone rises again, this hormone causes the sex drive to decrease. So you feel less aroused than usual. PMS complaints are also very common here, they can also affect your sex life. But know that orgasms can relieve PMS symptoms, this is definitely worth a try.
During this stage in the month, you are more critical and more focused on details. This is ideal for finishing projects or doing administrative work that has been put to the side.
By managing your time more efficiently, you can prepare for your menstrual phase. You will be able to complete many things in this phase because you will feel more task-oriented and focused.
At Guud Woman, we celebrate Women's Day every day by providing the correct information, support and products to women who want to improve their menstrual cycle.
Do you have questions about how to support and improve your cycle? Chat with us!
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