Healthy Exercise patterns for fertility: flowing with hormones AND the mind-body connection

Happy Monday everyone!  We are at the end of the month, which means the last blog about Fertility (for now:))  Wrapping up this month, we will be talking about the last vitals parts of fertility which are healthy exercise and minds!  And remember, my 120 fertility program addresses all to what we have talked about with fertility thus far!

Previously we’ve talked about nervous system involvement, nutritional recommendations, and today we will dive into how to have a healthy exercise routine to sync with your cycle and to not deplete you.
It’s true that exercise is good and necessary for SO many health benefits including decrease alzheimers, increasing immune system, boosting mood, ect.  We are MOVING beings and NEED to move.
However, sometimes we can either get out of routine and not really do very much, or in San Diego, we see a lot of women who do way TOO much, thinking the more the better.

The key is moderation, and doing what is right for you.

How do we know this?

Well lets talk about excercising and syncing wiht your womenly cycle.

The goal of exercise in general which is known for many elite athletes is cycling your workouts and cross training.  Switching up your activity several days per week ensures that every muscle group gets both the work AND rest time it requires.  Going to the gym and doing the same machines, or the same class every week will NOT make you grow.

In order to sync up your exercise with your cycle, you have to kind of know what the four stages of your cycle look like right?!

*** this also requires you to have a NORMAL, healthy cycle.   Meaning you have already done step 1 and 2 of my protocol healing the nervous system and nutritional fundamentals to have a healthy cycle of around 28 days.  You can’t sync for cycle with exercise if it’s already irregular.

(this is not my image)

There are 5 hormones that govern your menstrual cycle:
1. estrogen
2. progesterone
3. follicle-stimulating hormone FSH
4. luteinizing hormone LH
5. testosterone.

The amount of these hormones that are released changes 4 times throughout your cycle.
This means: 4 phases:
1. Follicular
2. ovulatory
3. luteal
4. menstrual

Most women don’t really know where they are at daily in there cycle.  They either know they are in the moody phase or the bleeding phase.

Over time you will be able to tune in to the shifts and be able to sync up with what your body needs at different times during these phases.

PHASE 1: Follicular Phase. 7-10 days

What’s happening?  The hypothalamus (in your brain) signals your pituitary ( in your brain), to send FSH to your ovaries, telling them get ready, we need another EGG!  Egg follicles then start to swell to prep and estrogen increases to thicken your uterus so it can be able to make a nice little home for the egg.

What kind of exercise should I do to enhance this?
This is a good time to try something new, maybe a class you’ve been wanting to try.  Putting your brain and body in a new stimulating situation will feel easier during this phase.  Your able to form new neuro connections during this phase, which means YES you can step out of your comfort zone with ease, and the new activities might stick better for long term because you have the energy for challenging workouts right now.

PHASE 2: Ovulatory Phase. 3-4 Days

What’s Happening? A sharp rise in the FSH increases LH from the brain as well.  This helps to stimulate ONE follicle further to swell and burst releasing an egg into the fallopian tube which transports the egg to the uterus.  Estrogen is still increasing, and testosterone takes a quick surge and drops right around ovulation.

What kind of exercise should I do to enhance this?
Keep two things in mind for this phase.  High impact workouts and group settings.  This is when your energy is at its highest, so you can do more strenuous things like weight lifting, running, plyometrics.  Communicating and connecting with others will also feel easier at this stage, so doing group classes like cycling or working with your gal pals will be best now.

PHASE 3: Luteal Phase. 10-14 days

Whats happening? The follicle that bursts now called the (corpus luteum), grows on the surface of the ovary, which causes production of progesterone.  This signals the body to keep the lining of the uterus intact, and also signals the brain to stop sending out FSH and LH so that only one egg gets into the uterus.  Estrogen continues to rise.  If the egg isn’t fertilized, the corpus luteum gets reabosrbed by the body, progesterone will stop which triggers your period, and testosterone will increase.

What kind of exercise should I do to enhance this?
During the first half, your energy may still be high, so more strenuous exercise may be great, then you will need to scale back on the intensity during the last half of the phase.  Yoga, pilates, walking are all great options because you may feel more sluggish and have more water retention.

PHASE 4. Menstrual Phase. 3-7 days
Whats happening?  Progesterone production stops, which triggers the shedding of your uterus (bleeding).  Estrogen peaks and then drops stimulating your hypothalamus to start all over again!  This part is also vital as this is a time per month we get to detox.  Men don’t get this opportunity.

What kind of exercise should I do to enhance this?
Rest AND recovery are important during this phase as it’s an intense job shedding the lining of the uterus.  Your body needs time to repair.  Schedule rest or a gentle yoga class, especially the 1st day or 2. You also don’t want to overdue the stretching, as ligaments will be looser and we don’t want to cause pelvic instability.  With heavy flow days made sure you go for a walk and stretch.  Towards the end you will be able to amp up for exercise again depending on how you feel.

Makes sense right??  It looks a lot different than just planning to go for a run 7 days a week, or lift massive weights 7 days a week.

This is definitely a skill, but will help you so much in the long run when you can sync in with how your body is feeling.  Maybe in the past you’ve felt like one day just doing a yoga class, but you talked yourself into going for a jog instead because it “burns” more calories.  But then the jog was super difficult, or that gym session you did instead was half way done which led you to be more down on yourself.
Don’t overdue things.  Exercise IS healthy, but it IS also a stress.  You need time for rest and recovery.

Being in tune with your body takes time, its a partnership really, but one that can SUPERCHARGE your fertility.


Mind- Body AND Fertility.

The last and final part is what can often be the most important is having the right mindset for fertility.
Often women that come to me for fertility help are not in partnership with their bodies.

They either are:
Adrenal fried, have been burning the stick and both ends either already being a mom, or in their adult lives with work and stress.

Those who dedicate their lives to helping others and leave little for themselves

– Women who recently got off the pill, having been on it since a teenager, which masked a huge problem which is why they can’t now conceive.

Maybe there isn’t enough space in your life for the pregnancy, or for a dependent baby, which means you have to start shifting your life BEFORE pregnancy.

***Everyone has stress, but how well you adapt to it makes all the difference in the world.
Many cycles issues can resolve with appropriate adrenal support and function.

Another important mind body connection with fertility is knowing if you have an imbalance in masculine or feminine energy, and being able to tap in more to the feminine energy.

How do you identify this?!

Here is a list of masculine and feminine energy from the book (WOMAN CODE).

Masculine Energy

  • “Tenaciously pursuing what you want
  • deciding when/where/how a project grows
  • focusing on the end result, less on process
  • focusing on one thing at a time
  • relying on only yourself and your individual achievenments
  • setting boundaries around emotions and body in order to accomplish goals
  • relating through entertainment, camaraderie, problem solving”
Feminine Energy
  • “Magnetically attracting what you want
  • holding the space for projects to develop at their natural pace
  • enjoying the process of creation independent of the end result
  • seeing the big picture, multitaksingng
  • working with others, community
  • connecting to emotional and physical life
  • relating to others by listening, sharing nurturing”

Here would be having too much masculine:

-“feeling disconnected from emotions
-self worth outside yourself, material success
-difficult to give and receive nurturing
-unable to fully get projects up and running
-stick to your schedule like clockwork
-push yourself and others to finish every task
-when with others don’t share whats going on, don’t want others opinions
-you eat what’s in front of you, or forget to eat
-select your workout based on your fitness goals and push through no matter what
-you want to talk about what you accomplished for the day then crash out in front of the TV
-focus on the next day’s to do list”

Now, these aren’t all “bad” to have masculine qualities of course, it’s just a balance that’s more important.  Especially when talking about fertility and conceiving.

In order to create a better fertility mentally, you have to create more space for feminine energy.  This means coming to terms with how you feel, working through past hurts (if any) and giving yourself the time and space needed.  Get closer to God during this period. I know it sounds woo woo, but often just the physical part with fertility is not enough.  Celebrate emotions and release them as needed.

You need FUN every day, make time for it.

Follow your heart and goals you have. Create new dynamics and relationships to support you, make room for love in your life.

Often times there are subconscious thoughts and blockages we don’t know about and that’s why I use NET in my office for this purpose.  It’s vital and often enough but not always enough for some.

Some women are also on medications to balance this.  I’m not anti medications as they can help many, but important to note with preparing for a baby. Anti-depressants and anti anxiety medications …… NO drug has been demonstrated safe for all fetuses under ALL circumstances. All drugs cross the placenta and antibiotics cross it rapidly.  So, be careful when taking these during pregnancy.

Need more help with exercise specific for you???
I have great referrals for that JUST ask!

Next month will be all about ADRENAL HEALTH!

Stay tuned!