Exercise Lifestyle Why so Serious? Women's Health

8 Best Exercises To Do During Periods

Written by Riddhi Parmar
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Getting your periods can be a mess, especially if you have painful menstrual cramps during the monthly menstrual cycle. All you want is to just lay down on your bed with a hot water bag. During this time, our physical activity is low, but exercise is exactly what you should be doing. There are many myths about exercise during periods, but exercise has proven beneficial to alleviate different symptoms associated with your cycle. Here are some common symptoms-

  • Abdominal cramps 
  • Stomach upset – diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting 
  • Headache 
  • Bloating 
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability 
  • Fatigue 

Research suggests various physical and hormonal changes in the female’s body caused these symptoms. Proper exercise can balance these physical and hormonal changes and enhance the production of endorphins (feel-good hormones) and reduce irritability, pain, thus improving your mood.

Benefits of exercising during periods

Exercising during periods doesn’t mean it will add to the pain. On the contrary, the mental and physical pros of doing a well-routined workout can be quite beneficial for allaying the pangs of period pain. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Helps decrease PMS symptoms- Experiencing fatigue and pain in the days leading up to actually getting your period is a common symptom. Doing regular aerobic exercise may certainly help reduce these pains.
  • Experience an endorphin release- Studies suggest that exercising helps release endorphins which in turn elevates your mood. Additionally, endorphins are natural painkillers that may help reduce period pains.
  • Gain more strength and power- Research says that women in their first two weeks of the menstrual cycle can experience a rise in more strength and power due to fewer female hormones.
  • Mood can be enhanced- Whether you are on your period or not, exercising can always help lift up your mood.
  • Fights period pains- It has been found that light walking can help in combating the irritating period pains.

Best exercises to do during periods 

The first few days of periods can be challenging due to abdominal cramps and heavy bleeding. Exercise can be a saviour for you on these difficult days. Here are a few simple workouts to keep you healthy and happy-

1: Walking 

A simple, light walk is the best exercise you can do during your periods. This low-intensity aerobic exercise helps your lungs work properly later in your cycle. So, lace up your favourite sneakers and hit the road for a stroll or a brisk walk around. These will also help you to uplift your mood and will you able to burn some calories. These light movements of your body will increase the secretion of endorphins. 

2: Running 

Yes, running! In the later days of your periods or when you have mild symptoms, you can go running. Go for a slow run and take some breaks in between if you feel uncomfortable. Running can reduce your pain and irritability instantly. Remember to keep yourself well hydrated. 

3: Yoga 

Yoga can relax your cranky and irritable mood just by stretching and breathing exercises. Many yoga poses help to increase your blood circulation and provide ease to your noxious complaints. It is scientifically proven and tested that yoga helps to relax your body and relieve your period symptoms such as cramps and bloating. 

Safe PosesHow To Do
Cobra Pose– Lie face down with your feet and legs together- With Your hands under the shoulders, push up without moving your legs- Hold the pose for several seconds (30-60) as long as you can handle- Take deep breaths while holding the pose- Lie flat when you’re done and breathe deeply- Repeat several times as long as you are comfortable
Cat to Cow Pose– Get on your hands and knees, support your weight with hands at about shoulder-width apart- Take a deep breath and push your tummy toward the ground- Stretch your head while you push (cat pose)- Gently exhale while stretching your back the opposite way and curve it inward (cow pose)- Repeat as often as you can with slow, deep breaths
Fish Pose– Take a pillow and lay it lengthwise on the floor- Lie on the pillow with your head, neck and back- Keep your arms out away from your body comfortably- Lay in this pose as long as you can- If you experience pain in the lower back, keep your knees up on flat feet

4: Pilates 

Pilates is the most trending type of workout nowadays. It helps to relax your body and keep you calm and healthy. Pilate moves are target specific muscle groups, so you can tailor out your workout as you need. Pilate builds a core strength that can reduce the severity of your cramps. 

5: Light lifting 

If you are unable to go for a walk or gym, then at least you can do light weight lifting at your home. Try light lifting and power-based moves that will result in increasing muscle flexibility and strength. 

6: Stretching 

Simple stretches at home can be beneficial than just rolling on your bed. If you are having more discomfort doing other exercises, then try to do stretching and take deep breaths to relax your body muscles. 

7: Dancing 

Dancing is a fun activity that can uplift your mood and burn extra calories too. So, enrol yourself in a Zumba class if you are up for it. 

8: Swimming 

It is a foreign concept for many girls, but swimming is one of the most relaxing and gentle exercises you can do even you are on your period. You won’t bleed out if your flow is light because of the counter-pressure of water. For better protection, you can use tampons. Many doctors suggest that females will bleed less when they are in cold water because of the cold clamping of blood vessels down for a bit. 

Exercises to avoid during periods 

Exercises during your periods shouldn’t put additional stress on your body as this can interfere with your periods. So, there are certain things that you should avoid during your periods –

  1. Avoid strenuous exercises.
  2. Avoid exercises for a prolonged time.
  3. Inversion poses with yoga is not recommended.
  4. Don’t force your body to exercise. Listen to your body.

Doing regular exercise is extremely beneficial for your health as well as your mind. There is no scientific reason to skip out your daily workout during your periods unless you have severe symptoms. Many doctors will suggest that exercise can be helpful to your body during this time. So, listen to your body and do light exercises to relax your body and mind. 

Read more about: Top 10 Habits For a Healthy Lifestyle

When to stop

While exercising can obviously provide you with the aforementioned benefits, going overboard can have a detrimental effect in an equal measure, if not more.

Overexercising can sometimes cause you to miss your periods altogether. If that happens, it is best to consult your doctor and lessen the hectic exercise regime. A regular menstrual cycle is in fact a sign of having good health.

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  1. Can yoga and exercises be a solution to irregular periods?

Exercise is vital for everyone, every day. A woman experiencing irregular periods must do certain yoga and asanas that can help regulate the menstrual cycle. Exercise also reduces stress and prevents you from being overweight. This in turn ensures that you have normal and regular periods, with less painful menstrual cramps. 

  1. Are there any tips for exercising during periods?

The most important tip for exercising during periods is to stay hydrated. Dehydration is bad for your overall health and can lead to bloating and constipation, which you totally want to avoid at this time. Drinking enough water will also reduce menstrual pain to a great extent. 

  1. What should I know about period hygiene when exercising?

Hygiene during your period is important, especially when you are exercising. Always choose period products that you are comfortable with, wear comfortable clothes, after exercising, take a shower to get rid of sweat.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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Riddhi Parmar

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