I'm sure exercising during your period is definitely not at the top of your “want to do” list, but it can actually help PMS symptoms more than it can hurt. The trick to exercising during your period is learning what types of exercises work with your menstrual cycle instead of against it. During your period your body is under a large amount of stress, even if it is all natural stress. You likely won’t feel like doing high intensity workouts (nor should you have to), but remember that lying around the whole time won't help matters much either. Instead of retiring on the sofa or exhausting your body, try some of these tips for exercising during your period!
1. Yoga It up
Ladies, the best tip for exercising during your period is to do as much mild yoga you possibly can. Yoga is gentle on your body, it helps drain the lymph fluids to remove toxins, and it stimulates blood flow. This can help prevent cramping, clotting, and joint pain all in one. You can try yoga DVDs or find free videos on YouTube.
2. Power down with Pilates
If you’re not a fan of yoga, try a simple Pilates routine instead. Just like yoga, Pilates helps move lymph and blood through your body to make you feel your best. Pilates also tones your core in a gentle way that creates movements to help dispel gas and relieve bloating.
3. Walk Your Way to Wellness
Walking is fantastic for you no matter how or where you choose to do it. Walking helps reduce digestive pain, break up gas, relieve constipation, and alleviate muscle cramps. It is also a great alternative to running since walking relaxes the body while running stresses it out.
4. Stretch It out
For those first few days of your cycle when everything hurts, try doing some stretching. I like to stretch first thing in the morning when I rise out of bed and within 10 minutes of turning in at night. Floor stretches and standing stretches are all great and can be done on a carpet or hardwood surface with a yoga mat.
5. Morning is Best
It’s best to exercise in the morning most of the time anyway, but especially during your period. Exercising in the morning not only relieves pain and cramps early on, but can also help prevent them the rest of the day. Plus, it’s likely you’ll have more energy to exercise in the morning than you'll have later in the day after work.
6. Refrain from Running
If you’re a hardcore runner, I’ll probably have a hard time convincing you not to run during your menstrual, but please consider it anyway. Three to five days without it won’t undo your efforts, I promise! In fact, taking a short running break may even improve your runs once you start back up! Try power walking instead for a smaller (but still effective) endorphin boost.
7. Repair and Replenish
After you exercise it’s important to replenish your body with the right foods and supplements. I suggest using omega 3 supplements like fish oil to relieve joint inflammation (or flax oil if you’re vegan). A hot bath with Epsom salts is also highly recommended to relieve cramps, bloating, constipation, and muscle pain. Also be sure to drink lots of water and hot tea, and eat plenty of veggies, lean protein, and water-rich foods.
If you want to exercise during your period, great! Just remember these little tidbits for exercising during your period so you can feel better, not worse. Do you exercise during your period?