Should you exercise during your period?

For most women, it is not uncommon to feel abdominal cramps, pain, and mood swings during their period each month. And all you want to do is to lie down and do nothing. And the first thing that gets missed out on is your workout. That’s because most of the women have been told that exercise in periods will make you fatigued and that it may increase the pain, cramps, and blood flow. But these are common misconceptions and there is no scientific proof that exercises during periods have any ill effects.Â

What are the benefits of exercising during your period?

Exercising has tremendous benefits for your mind and body, which don’t cease just because you are on your period. Workout during periods is extremely beneficial that helps make this time less stressful and discomforting. Just like you continue with your hair care routine and other daily activities, you should not stop exercising during periods. Here are some of the most important benefits of exercising on your period:

  • Exercise during the period helps improve your blood circulation and releases beta-endorphins in your body. This acts as natural pain killers and reduces pain. Â
  • During the period, your abdominal muscles contract that causes cramps. Exercise during the period reduces the chemicals that cause these contractions, reducing cramps.
  • Periods are a time when your levels of progesterone and estrogen drop causing mood changes. These range from irritability, fatigue, anxiety, and stress. Workout during the period helps counter this by releasing endorphins (happy hormones) and reducing cortisol (stress hormone).
  • A drop in your estrogen levels helps you to experience more physical strength and drives away exhaustion. This not just lets you gain the benefits of exercise during period better but also helps you through the day with more energy.
  • Some women experience a condition known as dysmenorrhea, which causes extremely painful periods. Exercise during periods helps reduce these painful symptoms to a great extent.

What are some tips for exercising during your period?

One question that most women as is ‘can we do exercise during periods?’Your period is a time when your body undergoes several changes. There are changes in your hormones, energy levels, mood, weight, and eating habits. This makes it essential for you to review your workout plan and know the things that you should do and avoid. Here are some tips to keep in mind to not just know which exercise is best during periods but also to gain its benefits:

  • Many women wonder which exercise is best during periods. Do exercises that your body can tolerate comfortably without pushing yourself too much.Â
  • Avoid stressing your body by doing strenuous exercises. This may cause fatigue and exacerbate your pain and stress levels.
  • Pass on the inversion yoga poses. Some studies say that they may increase the chances of vascular congestion and increase your blood flow.
  • Always listen to your body. If you feel severe nausea, pain, or fatigue either before or after exercise in periods, stop working out unless you feel completely better.Â
  • Maintain hygiene during your exercise routine by taking a shower, changing into fresh clothes, and using comfortable and good-quality sanitary products.
  • Keep yourself hydrated to avoid exhaustion and dizziness.

Which are the best exercises to do while on your period?

Here are some of the most effective and appropriate exercises to do while on your period:

  1. Walking: This is one of the best exercises that you can do. It is gentle, low intensity, and makes you feel great by uplifting your mood. This is especially beneficial when you are feeling the worst of PMS like sluggishness and abdominal discomfort. It needs no special equipment and can be done anywhere. You can take as much time as you need and adjust your speed to match your comfort levels.Â
  1. Dancing: This is a great exercise during periods. Accompanied by music, this fun exercise not just helps you burn calories but also reduces stress and fatigue. It also helps fight stiffness that many women experience during their period.Â
  1. Swimming: While the thought of dipping your body in water during your period may not sound like a great idea, but trust us, swimming is one of the gentlest exercises to do. It is relaxing and helps you ease out of your PMS symptoms, whether physiological or physical.
  1. Yoga: Several studies have proven that practicing yoga has long-term benefits in alleviating period pain, anxiety, and even headaches. These exercises work holistically by invigorating your organs and improving your circulation. They also prevent diseases of the reproductive system. Some of the best low-intensity and restorative exercises that you can do include Apan Vayu Mudra, Dhanurasana, Bhujangasana, and Malasana.Â
  1. Strength training: Many women wonder can we do exercise during periods that involve the use of weights or resistance equipment. This is a fantastic exercise in periods that improves the strength of your muscles especially in the follicular phase of your period. This has long-term benefits such as preventing injuries, helping you maintain healthy body weight, and better energy levels.
  1. Stretching: Stretching is one of the best forms of a workout during periods that is great for relaxing your muscles and easing cramps and pain. This also makes your body more flexible by decreasing stiffness and soreness in your back and legs. You can opt for exercises such as torso stretch, standing triceps stretch, and hamstring stretch.Â
  1. Sumo squats: Wondering why and how to do sumo squats during periods? While the mention of sumo squats may sound counterintuitive during your period, it is a great form of exercise. When done correctly without overexerting yourself, this exercise strengthens your hips, calves, and inner thighs. This also helps in preventing pain and heaviness in the legs, which is one of the most common period issues.Â

So, the bottom line is that you should continue with exercise in periods while keeping a check on the intensity and listening to your body. Go slow, give yourself more recovery time, and focus on a variety of workouts to keep yourself engaged and gain the benefits of exercising during your period.

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