Many women experience discomfort and pain during their menstrual cycle, which can make exercising seem like a daunting task. However, the question remains: can we workout during our period? The answer is YES – in fact, exercising during your menstrual cycle can provide numerous benefits for both your physical and mental health.
The Benefits of Exercising During Your Period
Exercising during your period can help reduce menstrual pain, bloating, and cramps. When we exercise, endorphins are released in the body, which are natural painkillers that can help alleviate menstrual cramps. Exercise can also help reduce bloating and water retention, which are common symptoms during menstruation.
In addition to physical benefits, exercising during your period can also provide mental health benefits. Exercise is a natural stress reliever and can help improve your mood by increasing endorphin levels in the body. This can be particularly helpful for those who experience mood swings or anxiety during their menstrual cycle.
What Type of Exercise is Best?
The type of exercise you choose to do during your period depends on your personal preference and comfort level. Low to moderate-intensity exercises are generally recommended during menstruation. Yoga, Pilates, walking, and swimming are all great options. These exercises are low impact and can help improve circulation, which can help reduce menstrual cramps and bloating.
It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard during your menstrual cycle. High-intensity exercises, such as running or weightlifting, can be more challenging during this time due to the discomfort and fatigue that many women experience.
Tips for Exercising During Your Period
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercise is essential for staying hydrated and reducing bloating.
- Wear Comfortable Clothing: Wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing can help reduce discomfort during exercise.
- Use Heat Therapy: Applying heat to the lower abdomen can help reduce menstrual cramps. Consider using a hot water bottle or heating pad before or after exercise.
- Be Mindful of Your Energy Levels: It’s important to be mindful of your energy levels and not push yourself too hard during your period. Rest and recovery are just as important as exercise during this time.
- Consider Using Menstrual Products: Using an anti-leak sanitary pad, tampon or menstrual cup can make exercising more comfortable and prevent leakage during exercise.
In conclusion, exercising during your menstrual cycle can provide numerous benefits for both your physical and mental health. Low to moderate-intensity exercises, such as yoga, Pilates, walking, and swimming, are generally recommended during this time. It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Staying hydrated, wearing comfortable clothing, using heat therapy, and being mindful of your energy levels can all help make exercising during your period more comfortable and enjoyable. Remember, exercise is a natural stress reliever and can help improve your mood during a time when many women experience mood swings and anxiety. So go ahead and lace up those sneakers – your period doesn’t have to hold you back from staying active and healthy!
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2015). Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. Retrieved from https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/pregnancy/exercise-during-pregna ncy-and-the-postpartum-period
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2020). The health benefits of yoga. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-health-benefits-of-yoga