Many ladies dread that time of the month! The pain, nausea, and mood swings almost make it hard to do anything, especially a workout routine. But should you stop working out during your periods? Does exercising make your period heavier?
Working out doesn’t make your period heavier. On the contrary, it has positive effects on your period. So there’s no reason to skip your workout sessions during that time of the month. Inactive women who don’t have a regular workout routine usually experience heavier and more painful periods.
Read on as we explore the benefits of exercising during periods. We’ll also introduce some exercises that can be beneficial during this time of the month.
Benefits Of Working Out On A Period
Contrary to common belief, avoiding exercise during that time of the month doesn’t save you energy or make you feel better. In fact, sticking to a regular exercise routine can help you with reducing common period complaints.
Here are some benefits of working our during your periods:
Period pain is a common symptom whose severity varies from one woman to another.
When you exercise, you release feel-good hormones —endorphins— that affect the brain’s reaction to pain and stress. These hormones reduce the feeling of period pain by blocking the pain receptors in the brain.
Reduces Period-Related Symptoms
Working out can help you deal with period-related symptoms like headache, bloating, and mood swings before or during your periods.
When you exercise, you increase your blood flow, which along with endorphins, can help with period-related headaches.
Endorphins also boost your mood, giving you a positive feeling.
What’s more, sweating during an activity decreases the amount of water in your body, which minimizes the chance of bloating.
Makes Your Flow Lighter
Weight loss and hormonal changes from regular exercise affect your body and lead to a lighter flow.
The more fat you have in your body, the more estrogen your body makes. The high amount of estrogen leads to a thicker uterus layer, which causes a heavy period.
Gives You More Strength
Female hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, are at their lowest level when you’re on your period. This shift makes you stronger and helps you perform your exercise routine faster than other times of the month.
Best Exercises While On Your Period
When you’re on your period, it’s better to perform workouts that make you feel energized, not completely wiped out.
Here are some ideas to keep you both happy and healthy in your period days:
A light walk can be a great activity during your periods. This low-intensity aerobic workout improves your lung function and releases more endorphins. The movement also helps you boost your mood and burn some calories.
You can go running in the last days of your period when your symptoms are less severe. If you feel uncomfortable, run slowly or take some rest before start running again.
Running reduces your pain and annoyance quickly. Remember to stay hydrated while running.
Yoga stretching and breathing exercises will ease your cranky moods and increase your blood circulation. These exercises also help to relieve your period-related symptoms such as bloating and cramps.
Here are some yoga poses that can help you with period-related pains:
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet together. Hold your ankles and open your feet like a book. Slowly bends forward and close your nose to your feet. Keep your core tight and your spine straight. Do five reps.
Cat And Cow Stretch
Get down on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are placed exactly under your knees. Keep your belly tight and arch your back over a count of five.
Hold the position for three seconds. Then exhale and slowly round your back and drop your head over a count of five. Hold on for three seconds and turn back to the starting position. Repeat five to eight times.
Pilates workouts are your sweet spot in your period days. The movements relax your body and keep you healthy.
They increase your metabolism and ease your cramps. Here are some pilates workouts that make you feel better during periods:
Mermaid movement, combined with rotation and extension, boosts blood circulation in your belly by contracting abdominal muscles. Increased blood circulation will relax your abdomen pain.
Sit upright on a soft exercise mat and fold both your legs to your right side.
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Stretch your left arm over the mat and slowly lift your right arm straight up above your head. Reach your right arm as much as you can, hold on there for a few seconds, and inhale.
Exhale as you slowly go back to the starting position. Keep your core and back tight during the movement. Repeat five times and then switch the side.
Watch this video to learn how to perform mermaid properly:
Wall Roll Down
Period-related back pain happens when your back muscles tighten up. This exercise helps to ease the monthly back tension.
Lean against the wall with your feet one step ahead of you and your heels touching each other. Drop your head and hang your arms long to your side.
Bend the upper back and push your lower back against the wall and gradually reach your hands to your feet. Let your body hang there for a few seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat the movement three times.
Watch this video to learn the correct form:
Bridging is an excellent exercise for period-related bloating, stomach and back tension.
Lay on your back with your feet bent on the ground and your hands at your side. Make sure to keep your core tight and flatten out your back. Push up your hips until your knees and make a straight line with your hips and shoulder. Hold on there for five seconds and slowly come down. Do ten reps.
Power-based workouts and light lifting can be both period-friendly and enhance muscle flexibility and strength.
You can try dumbbells workouts with light dumbbells (15 to 20-pounds), available on Amazon. If you feel uncomfortable, you can perform exercises without weights.
Frequently Asked Questions About Exercising During Your Period
Can Exercise Make Your Period Early?
As we mentioned earlier, a regular workout routine can change your hormone levels, interfering with the shedding of your uterine layer. This layer responds to this hormonal change by irregular shedding or break-through bleeding.
Besides, intense workouts can lead to irregular periods or stop your period at all. But this condition mostly happens to athletes that exercise more hours daily.
What Exercises Should You Avoid During Your Period?
When you’re on your period, avoid high-intensity running or fast-paced workouts. The rapid movements in your lower body are likely to worsen the aching cramps in your belly and make you feel totally wrecked.
Can You Do Abs Workouts During The Period?
There’s no scientific evidence that you should avoid abs workouts, but it all depends on your mood. Reduce the intensity or do fewer reps if you feel fatigued.
But the more core stability you have, the less belly pain you’ll experience during your periods. So make sure to incorporate some abs workouts into your exercise routine.
There’s no scientific evidence that exercise during a period is unsafe and can make your bleeding heavier. On the contrary, some exercises can reduce period-related pain symptoms like bloating and mood swings.
Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API