#GirlTalk: Should You Work Out While on Your Period?

That time of the month is different for every woman. While you may experience fatigue, bloating and awful menstrual pain, your best friend might be going through an entirely different phase. She can probably feel as light as a feather and continue doing her everyday errands like on any other normal day. That’s why exercising during PMS is unique for every woman. There is no scientific research stating that you should sit still and not engage in any strenuous activity, but there are, however, a few recommendations on how you should treat your body during that time of the month. 

Period Affects Every Woman Differently 

Considering hormone levels are fluctuating throughout the menstrual cycle, some women will have much lower energy levels during their period than usual. Other women will experience much higher energy levels and feel like they can take over the world. 7 days before your period, you can notice the hormone levels associated with menstruation drop, leading to estrogen and progesterone levels to be at their lowest on the first day of your period. This is precisely the reason behind all of the PMS symptoms many women report to experience month after month. 

Read: #GirlTalk Why Your Weight Shifts During Your Cycle

Even premenstrual symptoms can be different for everyone, which is why it would be a good idea to take notice of your menstrual cycle and energy levels, to know how your body reacts to hormonal changes. Write all of the important details on how you feel so that you can find out when your energy levels are at their highest and when you need a timeout. You can download the Flo App to keep track of your symptoms easily.

Working Out During Period Offers Many Benefits 

Even though you might not feel up for it, exercising can give you an endorphin boost and put you in a much better mood. Contrary to popular belief, menstruating doesn’t affect your ability to exercise. Instead of simply stopping to work out for 5-7 days, you should only turn the intensity of your exercises down a notch.

After starting to work out, your endorphin levels will rise, putting you in a better mood and helping with period pains as endorphins act as natural painkillers. Therefore, not only will you feel happier, but you’ll be less likely to feel those nasty cramps, headaches, back pain or any of the other uncomfortable symptoms. 

Furthermore, sweating during training helps remove all the water that’s been building up in your body from your hormones shifting. This is especially true for the water retention in your waist area, caused by period bloating. So, if you don’t want to feel like you’re carrying a balloon filled with water in your stomach, exercising during your period should be something to consider in the future. 

Even with all these facts in mind, some women will still find that their body doesn’t perform like it usually does, and it’s okay if you want to put your exercises on pause for a few days. You can wait a day or two, if you feel the need to, but it’s recommended to try and adjust the exercises to the mood you’re currently in and the energy levels you’re experiencing. Cutting back on endurance and cardiovascular training could be a good idea if you feel too fatigued. 

Another benefit of working out while on period is that you’ll quickly relieve yourself of any stress which will in return alleviate cramping as well. The more stressed you are, the bigger the chances that you’ll experience terrible cramping, so don’t deprive yourself of working out unless your body is feeling like it won’t be able to function for a week. Yoga, stretching, Pilates, and some light cardio will be a great start. You can work your way up from there as you monitor the way your body feels. 

Final thoughts 

As we’ve mentioned, menstruation is a unique experience and every woman will go through it in her own way. That’s why you should act according to the way your body feels. Always listen to the signals it’s sending you and try to plan your activities accordingly.

If you’re feeling sluggish and you can’t do anything but curl up in your bed because of the cramps, then lay there and don’t even think about exercising. If on the other hand, your flow is under control and you need a little bit of an energy boost, grab your gym wear and start sweating.

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