Exercise during a Period: Should you Exercise during Your Period?

Exercise during a Period: Should you Exercise during Your Period?

We know that exercising helps tone up muscles, burns calories and boosts our mood. But is it safe to exercise during menstruation? Nothing’s worse than the first day of period when your body feels as though it’s at war. Getting out of bed itself seems like a far fetched idea, let alone the idea of exercising. However, what’s interesting is that studies show exercising during periods can actually be beneficial to your health. Exercising results in the production of endorphins - “the feel-good hormones”; which can help in alleviating the crippling pain from the cramps. Find out more in this article! 

Tips for exercising during periods 

Periods can be rough. The cramps, headache, bloating, and lower back pain is enough to make anyone want to lay in bed all day. However, when you actually work out and sweat during that period, it's a cure-all of sorts. Here are some things for exercising during your period. The release of endorphins from a good workout will shorten your misery time by 30 minutes on average. Plus you'll return to work healthier and refreshed after a long weekend. After all, that's what this break from work should entail! 

Exercises to do during periods 

  • Kegel exercises, walking, or riding a bike are all excellent choices. 
  • Swimming can be a great exercise that can help your body relax and loosen up. Not only do you bleed little (because of the counter-pressure of water) but you also experience very little cramping.  
  • Running is also an excellent exercise when you have mild pain or in the latter days of your periods. It helps you reduce stress and anxiety levels much more effectively than many other forms of exercise
  • The best exercise you can practice while menstruating is Yoga. The breathing exercises in yoga can help alleviate your mood and help you feel calmer. Many poses in yoga are known to improve blood circulation, ease PMS symptoms and relieve cramps. 
  • Gentle stretching is great for relaxing muscles, reducing stress and tension. Pilates is  one of the best exercises for stretching muscles.  

Remember to drink natural sports drinks before exercising and wait at least an hour afterwards to replenish your body with nutrients and sugars. Drinking chamomile tea to help calm your headache may be beneficial along with eating high-fibre foods. Proper hydration will promote clearer skin and help to eliminate menstrual cramps more quickly. Plus, there are other fun benefits such as minimising bloating and relieving migraines.

Benefits of exercising during periods

  • Improves mood 

Although exercising during your period might sound unpleasant, it can have some benefits. Exercise releases the hormone serotonin which has mood boosting properties. It can also prevent depression, increase happiness levels, and lessen anxiety.

  • Alleviates menstrual pain 

Exercise increases body-wide benefits while providing relief from troublesome side effects of menstruation. Exercising improves blood circulation in the body and hastens the process of shedding the endometrial lining. One of the reasons why one suffers from menstrual cramps is because the body releases prostaglandin. Exercising helps to burn this chemical and consequently alleviate pain. 

  • Reduces fatigue 

Many women experience fatigue and generally feel low while they’re menstruating. This is primarily because of the array of symptoms that one experiences while bleeding. To counter the fatigue that one experiences as a result of these symptoms, one should start working out. This will keep them energised and lively. 

Exercises to avoid during periods- 

It is strongly recommended to avoid exercises involving abdominal contractions. These are weight lifting, sit ups, crunches, and any other exercise for the abdomen. One should not perform heavy weight training during that time because it will cause the uterus to contract more quickly than normal and will make cramping worse. 

Too much activity could also cause bleeding, potentially becoming heavier and difficult to manage.

Dangers of overexercising during periods.

Over Exercising during periods can stress your body and leave you feeling exhausted. Over-exhausting the body with exercise can also cause a rise in lactic acid levels, making you sore the next day. Finally, if you are someone who gets particularly bad cramps during their period, exercising can make those cramps more intense. Exercise during the first half of your period is safe, but too much physical activity during the second half of your cycle (when your cervix may be softer due to lower levels of progesterone) can lead to haemorrhage. For this reason, if you're involved in a competitive sport, you might want to consider taking some days off from exercise when it's more likely your cervix will be softer and more hormone balance fluctuations are expected.

Exercising regularly will increase your overall fitness and improve your lifestyle in the long run. Although exercising may seem like a difficult task, it is essential that you start somewhere. Always choose workouts that are light and do not cause much discomfort. 

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