Is Exercise Good For My Period?

By emily.blumkin
July 24, 2018

Yes, exercise can be very beneficial to you and your menstrual cycle in many ways! Overall activity and exercise helps regulate the menstrual cycle and flow, which also may equate to less cramping and lighter periods.
Exercise can relieve the symptoms of your period through a few different ways:
  • The sweat released during a workout removes water from your body, including the water in your belly that you feel as part of your period bloat. Bye bye bloatedness!
  • Exercise promotes the release of endorphins. These “happy hormones” may distract you from the period discomfort you are feeling, while also combating the moodiness sometimes (frequently) associated with your period or with PMSing. The movement will also help combat sensations of fatigue and exhaustion associated with your period, and in general.
  • Exercise is known to reduce stress and stress is known to sometimes amplify period cramps. So, by using exercise as a means of stress relief, you will be able alleviate some cramping
  • The increased blood flow can also help ease menstrual cramps
What type of exercise should you do? A lot of different types!
  • There are benefits to participating in all types of fitness during your period, so the following list is not exclusive. You can reap benefits of exercising during your period for any level of exercise
  • High Intensity Workouts: The hormonal changes that occur in your body during menstruation, such as drops in estrogen and progesterone levels, allows certain fuel sources (carbohydrates and glycogen) to be more accessible to you while you have your period.  As a result, you may be able to have more endurance & energy for short bursts of high intensity workouts, compared to other weeks where your estrogen is higher and your body relies more heavily on fat breakdown as an energy source. So don't be afraid to sign up for that new HIIT class at your local gym, especially when on your period!
  • Hot Yoga: Your body temperature is naturally cooler than normal during your period, as a result of the drop in hormones. You may find you can tolerate hotter and more climates, as well as take longer to feel fatigued.
  • Light to Moderate Cardio: A light jog/run, aerobic exercise, dance routine etc. can be helpful to get your blood flowing and heart raised should help relieve cramping
  • Light Walk: Anything to get your body moving can help increase your blood flowing and can help reduce inflammation. You don't need to endure anything strenuous to reap some benefits of physical activity during your period
  • None: You know your body best: if you really don't feel well and your body is telling you to rest - listen to it. Also, consider consulting your OB/GYN if your symptoms are severe or abnormal!
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