7 Tips for How to Work Out on Your Period
Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Pure Barre. She often produces content for a variety of health and fitness blogs.
When your period comes on, all you want to do is sleep, binge watch TV shows, eat chocolate and lay in your bed all day until the cramps and discomfort are gone. Working out during that time of the month is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but it may surprise you to know that exercise on your period might actually make you feel better.
After a good workout, your endorphins kick in and you are left feeling amazing – this process still occurs even though you are on your period! Having a boost in your mood and how you feel might make the entire period more bearable.
Here are 7 tips to help you continue your workout program while your natural cycle takes place:
1. Wear Comfortable Clothes
If you are worried about ruining your name brand athletic clothes due to leaking, then simply don’t wear them! Or you could invest in some period activewear, specially design leggings that have built-in protection against leaks and stains. Having a backup, less expensive option for clothing while working out will also help give you peace of mind for the duration of your workout. Plan to wear dark pants or a longer shirt to help you feel more comfortable. For sanitation and reducing the risk of bleeding through your clothing, make sure you change out your pad or tampon before starting your exercise.
2. Take Pain Medicine
Taking a few mild pain relievers before starting your workout might help ease the pain caused by cramps. Your body temperature is affected by just being on your period in general, but taking pain medicine has been proven to lower your temperature as well. Doing so might make you have a better workout, run, or class than usual because you don’t feel as hot while working out and the pain will be kept at bay.
3. Push Yourself
More than likely, your body can handle more than you think it can, even when you are in your menstruation part of your monthly cycle. It is suggested that you do a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout to target your fat cells. Stacy Sims, PhD, an exercise physiologist says that there is a hormone change that can really make you see results quicker. This happens because your estrogen and progesterone levels have dropped, and you are able to workout and target the fat cells. As with most things in a woman’s body, hormones always play a huge role! Take advantage of this time and burn off more fat than you otherwise could on a normal day.
4. Switch Things Up
The hormone change is a great way to try some new workouts or push your body to do harder exercises. One of the biggest things hormones have an effect on is your energy level. If you are feeling up to it, challenge your body, try something new, do the HIIT workout, or go to a hot yoga class. The thought of swimming might make you cringe but grab a tampon and jump in the pool for a workout that is easy on your joints and helps work muscles in your entire body. Change doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
5. Don’t Forget To Stretch
You may find that doing yoga during your period helps your entire body feel good, and some of the moves might even help you stretch out and relieve cramps you are feeling. Stretching is suggested for every muscle you work during your exercise, so you might as well work the muscles that are already uncomfortable so you can get a good stretch on them once your workout is complete.
6. Drink Your Weight In Water
You need to be drinking a lot of water to help flush your system and keep your body hydrated. It is suggested that women drink up to two liters of water while on their period, and if you are exercising, you need to drink even more. Stay away from salty foods and caffeine, as bloating is a natural side effect.
7. Listen to your Body
You know your body better than anyone else, so if you don’t feel up to working out, don’t push yourself. If you are feeling this way, try going for a walk, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes your body is trying to communicate to you that you need to take it easy, so listen to what your body is saying and jump back in as soon as you are feeling better and your period is over.
Photo courtesy of Dear Kate