Everything in nature works in cycles and the female body is no different.
There are seasons of fertility and creation, excretion and renewal. There is a time to come out and engage with the world, and a time to look to yourself.
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is getting to know your own body's patterns and cycles. Not only can this give you valuable information for your health, it can help you streamline your life in a way that works for your cycle - instead of feeling like you're swimming upstream and going to the bottom. against your own nature.
Cycling journaling is a totally practical and accessible tool for understanding your body.
A cycle diary allows you to not only track your period and ovulation, but also your mood at different times of the month, or when you may want to schedule some time alone.
Cyclical journaling can provide valuable information to help heal reproductive health issues, help you conceive, or prevent getting pregnant.
To start a cycle journal you first need a journal of course. Many companies and artists create awesome cycle calendars, but you can totally use any journal or calendar to make one at home.
Creating your own means knowing what to follow, luckily we're here to help.
First of all
First, collect your pages. We suggest you create a document on your computer, or do it by hand if you're feeling smart. Leave a blank space in the corner for the date. You can bind your journal with staples or thread.
If you are using a pre-made journal, you will need to keep a template at the start to remind you of what to track each day.
Remember, it doesn't have to be too formal or insightful. Just jotting down a few words when you have time will help you get a clearer picture of your habits and needs.
This one is obvious. Get to know the physical changes that come with different times in your cycle. Wondering what to look for?
Period: The first day of your period marks the start of your cycle. Not only do you want to track the days when your period starts and when it ends, but you also want to pay attention to the consistency of your blood. What color is it? Are there any clots? Is it heavier or lighter than normal? Are you spotting, if so when? Is there an average length of your cycle?
Dump: Getting to know your vaginal discharge, may seem intimidating at first but becomes natural after a while. Does it smell "normal"? When is it the thickest? Do you know what your discharge looks like just before and during ovulation?
Cervix: Your cervix is the portal from your vagina to your uterus. It changes and fluctuates depending on where you are in your cycle, pregnancy and labor, and how aroused you are. Get to know your lady donut, as a key indicator of ovulation.
Breasts: Fluctuations in hormones, such as an increase in estrogen and progesterone, can cause your breasts to enlarge or become painful during your period. For some people, they also notice breast differences during ovulation. Talk to your breasts and check how they feel throughout the month. They have valuable information!
Temperature: If you are actively trying to conceive (or avoid conception), you may want to invest in a basal thermometer. These sensitive thermometers can detect the subtle increase in temperature that occurs after ovulation.
Cravings: Any cravings you have, especially during your period, can be a sign of a deficiency. Some of the biggest deficiencies that affect your period are iron, magnesium, and calcium. A simple supplement or a change in diet can drastically reduce any period problems you experience.
What else? You can also track changes in your skin or acne, bloating, and severe pain or sensations such as cramps, headaches, and back pain.
Mental and emotional
No, it's not all in your head. It is completely normal to have mood and emotional fluctuations throughout your cycle. Knowing about these changes can even help you prevent or treat them.
Energy: What time of the month do you have the most energy? How does your attention span change? Are there dramatic drops on certain days? What helps you restore your energy?
Sociability: Yes, your cycle can absolutely influence how social you feel. For the most part, people are more outgoing before and during ovulation. While they tend to want to isolate themselves more during their luteal phase (premenstrual) and during their periods. It's just the norm, what's normal for you?
Sexual drive: Sometimes hormones = excitement. You might be most aroused during ovulation, as that is nature's intention, but many people find themselves aroused during their period, at the end of it, or at any other time of the month. Do you have a specific model?
Moods: One of the most typical “symptoms” of PMS is bad mood and irritability. When tracking your moods, also pay attention to when you are feeling happiest, most sensitive, most tender, and whether that changes on any days of your cycle.
Congratulations! You now know how to navigate an incredibly useful tool in the world of reproductive health.
It doesn't matter where you are on your reproductive journey. Whether you are postmenopausal, on birth control, pregnant or bleeding regularly, you can record your cycle. Just make the appropriate adjustments for the phase you are in.
While you want to write there as consistently as possible, you don't have to be hard on yourself if you miss a day here and there. A balance of flexibility and consistency is all you need to decode your cycle and get to know your body on a deeper level.
Natasha's passion for reproductive health began at the age of fourteen, when she was present for the birth of her younger sister. Her incredible experiences as a birth doula have given her a glimpse into the magical realm of birth, pregnancy, and everything in between. Her role of birth attendant is her way of acting as an activist. She uses writing as a key educational tool to create a shift in our view of reproductive health as a whole.
Plyometric exercises, like box jumps and burpees, are a one-way ticket to feeling like an all-around badass because not only will they help you build strength, but explosiveness ( or power ), speed, and agility, too. Those last three perks don’t come from strength training alone, so it’s key to round out your fitness routine with jump training ( another name for plyo ).
All plyo movements require your muscles to stretch and contract at a rapid pace, which helps them become more explosive. So, unsurprisingly, they’re considered a intensity workout. The benefit of firing up your groupes de muscles this way, though : It spikes your heart rate ( oh hey, cardio ) and burns *all* the kcal.
Before you jump into plyo training, you want to feel solid when it comes to stability, balance, and core strength. But aside from that, the beauty of it is that you can scale plyo to your fitness level and that it is totally beginner-friendly. Can’t jump up onto a three-foot-tall box ? Start small ! The most important thing is that your movements are quick; they don’t have to be BIG. As you feel more ne change pas and powerful, amp it up !
I like to incorporate two or three plyometric exercises into the beginning of my workouts after my warm-up. Since they demand so much of your bod, you don’t want to go into them already fatigued from a bunch of other moves. Want your entire workout to have plyometric vibes ? You can do that, too. Just be ready to feel the burn in ways you’ve never felt it before.
Start standing facing a plyo box ( about two-feet away from it ). Rise up onto balls of feet and swing straight arms over head, then bend knees and push hips back into a hinge position and swing arms back behind body to gain momentum to explode up off floor and jump up onto the box. Land in a squat place, with knees bent, feet flat, and hands in front of chest. Then stand up straight and step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank position, then jump feet forward outside of hands. Drop butt below knees, lift torso up, and raise hands to chest level. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips next to a plyo box, bent forward to place both hands flat on the top of it. Press through hands, brace core, and kick feet up and back towards glutes to hop body over to opposite side of box. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with hands at sides. Hop up into the air. Upon landing, squat down, press hands into floor, and kick feet up into air higher than shoulder height. Let feet land directly under body, then hop back up. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips to the right of a plyo box. Rise up onto balls of feet and lift arms overhead, then with momentum, push hips back into a hinge position and swing arms back. Use this oomph to press through feet while swinging arms forward to explode up off floor. In mid-air, rotate entire body 90 degrees to the left and land in a slight squat place with hands in front of chest on top of the box, knees bent and feet flat. Stand up straight, then step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank place with shoulders stacked over wrists and core engaged. Drive right knee toward chest, then return to plank and quickly repeat with the left. Keep alternating sides as quickly as possible. That’s one rep.
Start standing on right foot at far right end of mat or workout space with left leg bent, left foot lifted and crossed behind right leg, left arm bent and crossed in front of body, right arm behind back, and torso tilted slightly forward. Take a big hop to left switching arms and legs to mirror move on opposite side. Jump back to start. That’s one rep.
tera start, stand with feet together and hands at sides. Then, lift arms out and overhead while jumping feet out past shoulders. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet just outside of shoulders holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of body, arms extended straight toward floor. Lift right foot up off mat and behind body while bending at elbows to swing weight over left shoulder. Quickly hop from left foot to right while straightening arms and drawing dumbbell diagonally across chest toward right hip, torso and gaze follow weight. That’s one rep. ( Make sure to switch your starting foot for the deuxième round. )
Get into a plank position, with shoulders stacked on top of wrists. Keeping core engaged, tap right shoulder with left hand while jumping both feet out wide to sides. Return to start, then repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.