Let’s be honest, exercising even on normal days is already a bit of a challenge for some. We cling on to whatever excuse we can think of – “there’s so much work”, “I slept late”, “I have errands”, “I have to take care of the kids;” then for menstruators, “I have my period”. While there’s nothing wrong with giving your body a break when it needs to, regular exercise is important to keep you fit and healthy.
“Sitting is the new smoking” is what people often say these days; and for menstruators, exercising even during your period has a lot of benefits.
During your blood phase or menstruation, progesterone and estrogen levels are at their lowest, which can make you feel sluggish and tired. Hence, skipping exercise becomes very tempting. However, not exercising during your period won’t do you any good either. It’s not like you’ll be saving your energy and end up feeling upbeat.
Here are the best exercises that you can do during your period to avoid cramps, feel stronger, and uplift your overall mood.
Before your period, you’ll start feeling some soreness, making you want to move less and just stay in bed. Yoga, stretching exercises, and pilates are great to help you feel more relaxed. Such exercises can also aid in reducing other PMS symptoms such as cramps, muscle fatigue, and even breast tenderness. Adjust the level of intensity to how you are feeling and avoid overly complicated poses.
Understandably, heavy flows during the first few days of your period will make you feel very uncomfortable so focus on doing low-intensity workouts. Walking, jogging, and cycling are good activities to keep you moving during your period without straining yourself. Going outdoors can also help improve your mood.
Obviously, this is not the best time to do some heavy lifting. The goal here is to keep moving even while you’re on your period, not tire yourself out. Switch to lighter weights and just enjoy having a good sweat to keep the endorphins flowing.
Another thing to keep in mind is having proper hygiene – shower, change your underwear, use fresh pads, and wear comfortable clothing. Using period underwear is also a great idea as menstruators are prone to spotting during this time. Period underwear will give you peace of mind and lessen the discomfort you may feel so you can enjoy staying active.
Exercising during your period has many benefits but just stick to light exercises, don’t push yourself if your body is asking you to rest. As we have different bodies so are our periods and symptoms. You still know your body best.