If you are worried about how your period will affect your fitness routine, you are not alone. For several reasons, a lot of women skip their workouts during this time of the month.
But the truth is: there is literally no reason to skip out on exercise just because you have your period.
Think about it:
Some women experience symptoms that may include bloating, stomach upset, fatigue, and headache during their menstruation cycle. And physical exercise may help to reduce these symptoms along with many others.
Exercise also provides a variety of additional health benefits. These benefits mean you should try to incorporate exercise into your everyday routine, whether it is your period or not. There are, however, some constraints to be aware of.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of exercise during menstruation, as well as any considerations to avoid or try.
So let’s start!
Benefits Of Exercising During Your Period
Exercising is a beneficial decision, either a person is on their period and when they are not. A recent study indicated that exercise helps with at least 30 chronic diseases. However, it does not need to be strenuous nor happen every day to help.
Best of all,
Physical and chemical changes occur in the body during menstruation that can be mitigated through exercise. In fact, exercise can also increase endorphins’ production (feel-good hormones) and reduce depression, anxiety and pain while improving your mood.
Following are some of the potential benefits for women when it comes to exercising while on their period:
Enhances Your Mood
According to The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG), exercise can help to decrease feelings of depression. So, it may help lift the mood when a person has feelings of irritability, sadness, or anger during their period.
During a period, hormonal changes in the body can increase fatigue sensations in most women.
And the Good news?
According to the Office On Women’s Health (OWH), physical exercise can increase energy levels instead of lowering them during a period.
Reduces Menstrual Pain
A study in the Journal of Education and Health Promotion declared that women who exercised three days a week for at least thirty minutes for an 8-week time frame had less menstrual pain as compared to those who did not. They further concluded that exercising before and during a period may also reduce symptoms.
However, physical exercise does not have to be strenuous or time-consuming. Even two 15-minute walks a day can provide benefits.
These are just a few of the benefits you could experience while exercising during your period. Along with that, general physical exercise can also reduce the risk of serious medical issues such as stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis arthritis, and diabetes.
Best Exercises To Do On Your Period
Most people would suggest that it’s better to do the exercises you can tolerate during your period, that are good for your body, and that you like to do. Although, typically due to a heavier flow, the first day or two of their period may not be the best time to exercise for many people.
During this time, you may feel more likely to exercise at home. If the starting days of your periods are tough, take it easy and make changes to your workouts as required.
So, what are the best exercises that you can do on your period?
Here are a few exercises and tips:
Walking is an easy exercise that does not require any special clothing, location, or equipment. As previously mentioned, even two 15-minute walks a day can provide benefits. However, you can take as much time as you want, and can also adjust your speed – just the way you like it.
If you are up for it, try some gentle strengthening exercises and consider lighter weights than you might typically use. But always remember to avoid heavy-duty lifting at this time in your period.
Mild stretching exercises such as Tai chi, yoga, and pilates, can help to stretch muscles that may feel tense – especially while a person is on their period.
Staying hydrated during exercise decreases the chances of unpleasant side effects. On the other hand, dehydration can increase the possibility a person will experience undesirable side effects, such as bloating and constipation, during their period.
Hydration can also keep stool moving through the bowel and lessen discomfort during an exercise session. So keeping a water bottle with yourself and drinking it at least after every 15 minutes during an exercise session can benefit.
Try Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers
Back pain and cramping can initially prevent someone from exercising while on their period.
But taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can reduce cramping before an exercise session. Additionally, applying ice or a cloth-covered heating pad after an exercise session can also help.
Keep Period Protection With You
Workout can make it seem as if a person’s menstrual flow speeds up. This is usually because physical activities can assist blood exit the uterus faster. However, a person must be prepared by wearing a tampon or a menstrual pad designed for robust menstrual flow.
Some people may wear dark coloured pants, just in case some blood gets onto their pants or underwear. Dark clothing makes it less prominent if this occurs. Moreover, packing extra underwear or pants to change into after an exercise session is also a plus.
What To Avoid
During their period, people must always take measures to exercise harmlessly. This may involve wearing protective equipment and refraining from lifting hefty weights without support.
Overall, people should simply listen to their body during their period. If a person feels exhausted, they could reduce their exercise routine to prevent intense tiredness.
Dangers Of Overexercising
It is imperative to be aware that excessive exercise can cause a person to miss their period.
Endurance and high-performance athletes may skip periods due to hormonal as well as body changes. If a person has just started an intense exercise routine and begins missing periods, they should consult with their doctor.
Starting to miss periods could indicate a person is overdoing it when it comes to exercise. However, this doesn’t mean you have to stop your regular training, just be cautious!
Exercise during menstruation may help alleviate symptoms and is also beneficial for overall health.
People do not have to restrict any particular physical activity when on their periods unless they experience discomfort or pain, which suggests they should slow down.