Have you ever skipped a workout because of your period? We all have at some point or another… Sure, it’s not always the first thing you want to do when you’re feeling crampy and tired – but exercising on your period can have its fair share of benefits.
It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t exercise while menstruating, but that’s not strictly true. A regular fitness routine promotes healthy and balanced hormones, and exercising during your period is no different. Let’s explore types of fitness that can improve period symptoms and other types that should be avoided, plus their benefits.
Benefits of exercising during your period
Exercise in general has been proven to improve mood, boost energy and promote better sleep – all of which can be affected during your menstrual cycle. The benefits of working out on your period can include:
- Pain relief
- Reduced bloating
- Increased mood-boosting hormones
- Lessened breast tenderness
- Improved blood circulation in the pelvic area
Does exercise help period cramps?
Studies have shown that exercise can absolutely help period cramps. The improved blood circulation in your pelvic area can combat period pains and regulate cramps. Plus, the endorphin boost we get from our workouts can act as pain relief, as well as alleviating any irritability, sadness or depression you may be feeling at the peak of your cycle when hormones oestrogen and progesterone are at their lowest levels.
Exercise for period cramps
There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to exercise during your period, but do listen to your body. For many of us, day one or two of our period can be completely ruled out due to heavier flows on those days. If you’re simply not feeling motivated, pop your trainers on and see how you go – you might be surprised once you get started. Depending on your usual fitness routine, you can choose to modify certain workouts, or try light period exercise. It’s also important to stay hydrated and eat well to sustain energy and satisfy hunger.
Light period exercise
When you want to squeeze in a workout but are feeling the effects of your menstrual cycle, try a lighter form of exercise. Although you might prefer more intense workouts, these options can still provide the same benefits as your regular routine.
- Walking or jogging
- Cycling or a cycle class
- Stretching exercises
What exercise should I avoid?
It’s best to listen to your body during your cycle. For example, if you’re feeling particularly fatigued, you might choose to avoid high-intensity or HIIT workouts and choose light period exercise. Or you may choose to avoid exercise completely. At the end of the day, you know your body best.
Keep in mind that every single body is different, so what works for one may not work for another. It’s all about finding out what works for you. As always, consult your GP or healthcare provider about any specific concerns relating to your period or general health before undertaking any fitness or wellness routine.
If you want a personalised workout tailored to you and your needs, you’ll love personal training. Book a one-on-one session with one of our expert trainers and start working towards your health and fitness goals in a way that works for you. Personal Training sessions can be purchased in-club.
Alternatively, for an at-home workout when you’re feeling under the weather, check out our virtual sessions and classes available on our member-exclusive platform, Fernwood Pulse.
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