Moody Month is a new app which makes the most of your moods and hormones with the tools, tips and vitamins to improve your down days and power up your best. The app offers a personalised support system for every step of your cycle, and syncs you up with your moods and menstrual cycle, helping you to understand you better. We chatted to Personal Trainer and Sports Therapist, Joslyn Thompson Rule, who has put together training advice for Moody Month about how exercise and training can be tailored to your hormones and cycle, making workouts more effective.

You’re a personal trainer and a sports therapist working with Moody Month – can you tell us a bit about the project and how you got involved?

Moody Month is an app that allows you to track the days of your menstrual cycle each month. Your body goes through an incredible amount of change (particularly hormonally) throughout your cycle; each day the app informs the user around cycle-specific hormonal and mood changes.  It means that we look beyond our cycle as just the days that we menstruate or an indicator of when we may conceive.

I have worked with Amy Thompson (Moody Month CEO) over the years through our mutual relationship with Nike, I was delighted that she asked me to be a part of such an important project. For me, tracking is a very powerful tool for clients; the more information you have about yourself, for yourself, the better able you are to make informed decisions about your health.

Can you tell us about the work you do with Moody and the training advice you’ve devised for the app? How can exercise and training be tailored to your hormones and cycle?

My part in the app is educating around how the days of your cycle affect your training. It has required me to look at various hormonal changes throughout the month and how training may be adapted accordingly. The start of your cycle (the start of the follicular phase) when you get your period is usually very specific to the individual; some women feel great, others want to curl up with a hot water bottle and hibernate.

From loosely day 5 onwards (it’s different for everyone) a rise in oestrogen means that your body is strong and can work at a greater intensity, due to faster recovery as you approach ovulation. During ovulation (the start of the luteal phase) may be considered to be a peak time, where personal bests may be achieved at the gym or in a race. Post-ovulation sees a drop in oestrogen and a rise in progesterone; time to fatigue is quicker, so you may want to reduce the volume of training at this time.

Can regular exercise effect your cycle? Would it change a pattern?

Safely prescribed regular exercise will have a positive effect on your physiology, helping to balance hormones (alongside many other important contributors) and therefore your cycle. However it’s important to note that our bodies are complex, incredible systems with many interdependent functions and influences; exercise is just one piece of the puzzle towards achieving hormonal balance. Too much exercise, will have a negative impact on your cycle.

Can over exercise have a negative effect on your cycle?

Yes! This is probably what I bang on about the most to my alpha clients! Less is more, less is more, less is more! There’s this ridiculous misconception that if you are not doubled over with sweat dripping from every pore after a workout, that somehow it was not effective. With the rise in popularity of HIIT workouts (getting more done in less time with greater intensity), enthusiasts opt for getting as many of these types of workouts into their week as they can *weeps into her tissue*.  Exercise is a stress on the body; when prescribed safely, taking all other lifestyle factors affecting an individual into account, it is a positive stress. However when you add multiple HIIT workouts to not enough sleep, a stressful job, not eating enough (also very common) and city living, exercise can be the very stress that sends your body into shut down. It’s very common for women to lose their period when there are too many stressors on the body. Clients often look at me gobsmacked when I tell them to eat more and work out less!

What form of exercise would you suggest for someone suffering from a ‘moody’ week?  

It’s likely that a ‘moody’ week will start the week before your period, which is in the second half of the luteal phase.  Your body recovers a little slower during this phase so beating out that mood on a boxing bag or with some sprints may not be the answer. For some there may be very little motivation to exercise, which would be a great time to grab a friend to join you for a workout – you will be less likely to cancel a session if someone else is relying on you.  Also just knowing that you are going through a ‘moody’ time somehow helps to get you through it. 

What kind of results can people expect to see when they use this app?

Essentially the more someone uses the app, the more in tune they become with how to best serve their body throughout the month.  The more you track, the more fine-tuned the app becomes to your individual needs.

What is it about Moody Month that sets it apart from other cycle tracking apps?

The fact that we are delivering extremely useful information around each day in the cycle including exercise, nutrition, energy and mood! This information for you, about you, is incredibly empowering.

Moody became available on the app store in the UK last month. What does the future hold for the app?

I get pretty excited when I think about it. I keep saying, I can’t believe that it’s taken us to get to 2018 to actually deliver this incredibly important information that affects every woman on this planet. How has it taken us so long? But here we are and I couldn’t be happier to get to be able to be a part of this incredible journey!

Moody Month is available for free download on the app store here.