Is it Safe to Exercise during Menstrual Cycle?
There have been several debates as to whether one should exercise during menstrual cycle or not. People have pointed out at the advantages and disadvantages for the same. But having an opinion that has been derived from a medical standpoint after going through several studies is what we need to find the truth.
And that is exactly what we plan to do today in our article. For those of you who are unsure as to whether you should or should not exercise during menstrual cycle, you have landed at the perfect place. We are going to take a pragmatic approach and look at the various implications of exercises during periods before coming to our conclusion. Let’s see where we ultimately land.
Benefits of Exercise during Menstrual Cycle
When you are having your periods, it is one of the most vulnerable moments for you. Most of you prefer retiring to your couch instead of doing some intense workout regime. And that is completely natural and understandable.
But contrary to popular belief, exercise during menstrual cycle can bring you a bunch of benefits. Yes, you heard that right! You don’t necessarily have to skip your workout regime during this specific time of the month. Of course, the intensity and type of workout that you perform during periods will change. More on that later!
But first, we are going to take a look at the benefits of exercise during menstrual cycle.
Taps into Your Endorphins
Endorphins are the happy hormones that make you feel better. If you exercise during menstrual cycle, then it helps in releasing this hormone. They also boost your overall energy, thereby decreasing any feelings of lethargy that you might experience at this point. In addition, endorphins also soothe any pain, ache, or cramps that you have during this stage.
Enhances Your Mood
Exercises perk up your mood during periods, thereby keeping you relaxed and happy. And we all know that happy soul is a healthy soul. They will help in eliminating any feelings of anger, sadness or irritably.
Helps Avoid Painful Periods
Many women experience painful periods, which is known as dysmenorrhea in the medical world. This makes periods extremely uncomfortable for them. It has seen that light exercise during menstrual cycle can help decrease the pain at this period.
Lowers the Symptoms of PMS
If you frequently experience mood swings and fatigue during periods or in the days leading up to periods, then it is a good idea to do some light aerobic exercises. They would help you in lowering these symptoms.
Boosts Your Strength
Performing light exercises during periods can give you the much-needed strength and power that you need to at this stage. As we stated earlier, this would, in turn, help you in avoiding the fatigue that you often feel during periods.
Regulates Irregular Periods
Light physical activities can help bring your menstrual cycle back on track if you have irregular periods. We recommend you combine a healthy diet with light exercises in the days leading up to your periods to combat any issue pertaining to irregular periods. Include papaya, parsley, and pineapples since they act as emmenagogue and help in kickstarting a late or irregular period.
Types of Exercises to Perform during Menstrual Cycle
With the benefits of exercise during menstrual cycle now known, let us help you identify which specific exercise you should perform here.
Yoga and Pilates can help you in relaxing your body in the days leading up to your period. They would aid you in decreasing the symptoms of breast tenderness, soreness, muscular fatigue and cramping. Balance-based exercises that allow you to focus on breathing and make you work at your own pace are ideal in this scenario.
Light cardiovascular or aerobic exercises can go a long way in giving boosting your endorphins and keeping you active as much as necessary. They help in eliminating any feeling of fatigue that many often experience at this stage. Simple walking or light jogging can suffice here.
Low-volume Strength-based Training
Try and include low-volume strength-based training while you are on your periods as it will help you in regaining the strength and power that you might lose due to the pain involved with periods. Make sure the training is nowhere close to an intense experience. It would also aid you in improving muscle flexibility.
Tips to Keep in Mind While Doing Exercise during Menstrual Cycle
Before we head out, let us give you some helpful tips related to our subject today.
- Taking a hot bath during periods would help in relaxing your boy and in avoiding muscle spasms.
- Alternate between using an ice pack and a heating pad on your abdomen to soothe any soreness or cramps.
- Constipation, diarrhoea, and nausea can cause hormonal fluctuation during periods. As such, it is extremely important to keep yourself hydrated. Limit your intake of dehydrating beverages such as energy drinks, coffee, and alcohol, and instead go for water.
- Avoid any endurance-based training or any exercise that are too intense by nature.
- Do not lift any heavy weights.
- Listen to your body. When your body is telling you to rest, you should take rest. End of discussion.
From a hormonal standpoint, the menstrual cycle is an extremely complicated time. During the entire tenure of your menstrual cycle, both your estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest levels. Stopping yourself from working out isn’t a solution. This is a time to look for new workout routines.
Light exercises such a low-volume strength-based training, Yoga, Pilates, light aerobics, light cardio, etc. can help in decreasing pain associate with periods. They would give you the much-needed relaxation and strength that you need during menstrual cycles. With that being said, don’t over-exercise since too much intensity can do more harm than good to you.