An Intro to Cycle Syncing

An Intro to Cycle Syncing

Florence Bowen is an Osteopathic care provider and movement enthusiast based out of Toronto. With an eclectic background that includes competitive athletics and dance, yoga and pilates instruction, and a deep knowledge of human kinetics, she brings a holistic approach to care. 



What is Cycle Syncing?

Cycle syncing is a functional medicine concept which involves aligning one’s life with the distinct phases of the menstrual cycle. This can include adapting what one eats, how one exercises, how much they socialize and what type of work projects they take on. 



Understanding Cycle Syncing

Throughout one’s menstrual cycle, the main hormones, estrogen and progesterone fluctuate quite dramatically. Embracing the natural ebb and flow of these hormones and then tailoring one's lifestyle accordingly can be incredibly empowering and can support the natural processes of the body. 


The menstrual cycle consists of four distinct phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. Each phase brings about unique hormonal variations which have a big influence on energy levels, mood, motivation, creativity and physical well-being.



The Menstrual Phase

The menstrual phase starts on the first day of full flow bleeding (CD1) and ends when bleeding stops. This phase is an inflammatory process and is characterized by the shedding of the uterine lining. Progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest during this phase,  it is common to experience fatigue, low energy and a heightened need for rest. 


Movement: Slow, gentle movement can help reduce inflammation and relieve aches and pain. Focus on gentle walks, light stretching and mobility. 

Eat: Replenish your iron stores with iron rich foods like grass fed beef, spinach and lentils. Pair these foods with vitamin c rich foods like citrus fruits or peppers to optimize the absorption of the iron. 



The Follicular Phase

Technically, the follicular phase begins on CD1, but it is widely recognized as the phase that comes after bleeding stops or after the menstruation phase. During the follicular phase, estrogen levels rise, the uterine lining begins to thicken and the body prepares to release an egg for fertilization. Higher estrogen levels bring a surge of energy, motivation, increased libido and creativity. This phase is ideal for embarking on new projects and socializing. 


Movement: You are ready to work, hit some moderate to high-intensity endurance and strength based workouts with an adequate warm up.   

Eat:  Support the rising estrogen with flax and pumpkin seeds and focus on fresh veggies, salads and dark leafy greens. Make sure to stay hydrated along the way, this supports the development of healthy cervical mucus. 



The Ovulatory Phase

The ovulatory phase marks the midpoint of the menstrual cycle, accompanied by a peak in estrogen and a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) which triggers the release of an egg from the ovary. It is the peak of your cycle and hormonal surge, energy is at its all time high, you may feel extra social, and sexy! 


Movement: Continue to prioritize those harder and longer workouts, high-intensity endurance and strength based training will feel really good during this phase.

Eat: Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha can help with mid-cycle bloating, and continue to prioritize vibrant fresh fruits and veggies. 



The Luteal Phase

On average the luteal phase is about two weeks long, beginning after you ovulate and ending on the first day of full flow bleeding. The luteal phase is marked by a decrease in estrogen and an increase in progesterone, leading to potential mood fluctuations and increased sensitivity. In general progesterone slows things down in the body. 


Movement: Decrease the intensity of your workouts, focus on the technical aspects of strength training and explore drills or skills based endurance activities. 

Eat: Support rising progesterone with sesame and sunflower seeds. Aid in the digestion and breaking down of excess estrogen with cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage. Focus on healthy fats, fatty fish, olive oil, olives, avocados, nuts and foods rich in B6, chicken, turkey, roasted root vegetables like sweet potatoes. 




Harness the power of your cycle with small but impactful lifestyle changes to enhance your overall wellbeing and productivity. The intuitive approach of cycle syncing, can help regulate hormones, boost your fertility, stabilize your cycle and can lead to more pleasant periods with less premenstrual symptoms.

You can learn more about Florence's work at or @dearosteopathy on Instagram. 

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