Understanding and harnessing the power of the menstrual cycle is crucial to optimising fitness and well-being for menstruating women. Period tracking, or menstrual cycle tracking, involves monitoring and documenting various indicators.
This blog will explore what period tracking entails and its benefits for clients. It will also highlight why personal trainers should incorporate this practice into their approach.
What is Period Tracking?
Period tracking involves monitoring and recording essential aspects of the menstrual cycle, such as the cycle duration (the average might be 28 days – but many women do not fall nicely into that timeframe), ovulation and the bleed. From this, a woman (and their trainers) can work out if they are in the follicular or luteal phase of their menstrual cycle.
There are pluses and minuses to each of the period tracking options. Which can include dedicated apps, journals, or simple calendars. Whatever option - your clients can gain insights into their unique hormonal patterns and better understand the various phases of their menstrual cycle.
The Benefits of Tracking the Menstrual Cycle for Your Clients.
- Personalised Training: Period tracking enables clients to align their fitness routines with hormonal fluctuations. By tailoring exercise intensity and types of workouts to specific phases of the menstrual cycle, clients can maximise performance, optimise training adaptations, and minimise the risk of injuries.
- Enhanced Recovery and Well-being: Recognising the impact of hormonal changes on energy levels and mood, period tracking empowers clients to prioritise self-care and recovery during vulnerable phases. By incorporating the right exercises, stress management techniques, and adequate rest, clients can support their overall well-being and maintain a balanced approach to fitness.
- Improved Body Awareness: Period tracking cultivates a deeper understanding of one's body by highlighting patterns and symptoms throughout the menstrual cycle. Clients become more attuned to their energy levels, cravings, and emotional fluctuations, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding nutrition, hydration, and overall self-care.
- Empowerment and Agency: By understanding their unique menstrual cycle and its impact on performance, clients gain a sense of empowerment, agency, and autonomy over their bodies. They may also minimise the risk of injury.
Why Personal Trainers Should Incorporate Period Tracking.
There are 4 crucial reasons why you should encourage your clients to track their periods and share the appropriate data with you.
- Individualised Approach: By embracing period tracking, personal trainers can provide tailored training programs that align with the specific needs and fluctuations of each client's menstrual cycle. This personalised approach demonstrates attentiveness, care, and a deep understanding of women's physiology. In short – you care!
- Injury Prevention and Performance Optimisation: Incorporating period tracking allows trainers to adjust exercise intensity and volume based on hormonal changes, reducing the risk of overtraining and promoting optimal performance during peak phases of the menstrual cycle. In short – you know your programming shit!
- Holistic Support: Recognising the interconnectedness of the menstrual cycle and overall well-being, period tracking allows trainers to offer comprehensive support. By considering physical, emotional, and hormonal factors, trainers can guide clients toward a more balanced and sustainable fitness journey. In short – your clients are going to love you!
- Professional Distinction: Trainers who incorporate period tracking into their practice set themselves apart in the industry. This specialisation demonstrates a commitment to women's health and positions trainers as experts in the field. It attracts a niche clientele seeking knowledgeable and attentive professionals. In short – you are a rockstar!
Period tracking is a transformative tool for clients and personal trainers alike. Yet, there is still so much more to harness the power of the menstrual cycle than merely tracking it. However, ignoring this vital aspect of women's health can limit potential and hinder progress.
And I know that you might be reading this article and thinking, "I feel too weird asking clients to track their periods/share period data with me", or that you might not know what to do with the menstrual information shared with you.
If this is you, or you are simply interested in learning more for yourself, check out my latest course, "Periodisation for Periods." This course provides all the necessary details, insights, and strategies to effectively work with the menstrual cycle, empowering you to optimise performance, prevent injuries, and support clients holistically.
NEW COURSE: Menstrual Cycle Essentials: How to train women around their monthly cycle (6CECs)
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