Exercises During Period: Which Can Help You To Ease Period Cramps
It is very easy to skip a workout, especially during your period. It’s a simple reason that we are guilty justifying to avoid working out! Because of the rise and fall of the hormone levels, it’s easy to blame everything to your period. Aside from the changes in hormones, doing exercises during your period is uncomfortable.
Well, some people do experience some debilitating cramps during their period, which is a very good reason not to work out. Right? But hey, how about your fitness goals? Surely there’s a way to do some fitting workout, right?
1. Exercising During Your Period: Good Or Bad?
The first question in your mind is, I know, “can we do exercise during periods?”. You may have even searched for some information to support it’s bad for you! But hey, I also know why you landed here. You are starting to feel the need and accept the fact that maybe, it’s okay to work out.
Working out, in general, helps regulate your hormones and helps you normalize your cycle. That’s a fact that has been duly proven and recommended by obstetricians. But how about during your period? How does exercise affect menstrual cycle? What are the benefits of working out during your period?
2. Benefits Of Exercising During Period
1. Tone Down PMS
Exercising during your period can give you a liberating feeling. PMS can drive you crazy. Even the people around you, who are not aware of your PMS, can become a victim of your foul mood! The good news is, exercise during menstruation can help you combat PMS.
Endorphins are released into the blood stream to diminish pain. Aside from that, the release of endorphins can also be triggered by exercise. This exercise induced release of endorphins brings out a happy feeling. This hormone is also found out to ease out and combat depression.
2. Lose Weight
A study in 1999 at Pennington Biomedical Research Center lead by Leanne M. Redman, Ph.D., found out that ladies have an increased rate of fat burn two weeks before and up to the last day of the menstrual cycle. Subjects have been found out to have increased rate of caloric burn even when at rest.
This only means that you can take advantage of this boost in calorie burn and schedule a workout even during your period. If you are trying to shed off some weight, exercising while on period can yield you more calorie burn.
3. Increased Energy Levels
Working out requires energy. And during menstrual periods, it seems like, your energy is being sucked up by an invisible blackhole, and all you want to do is just lie down and sleep. In contrast, working out can make you feel lively. This can be contributed to the increased blood flow which efficiently delivers your body with oxygenated blood. Essentially, the increase in blood flow will make you feel generally better. Add the release of endorphins in your bloodstream, your mood and energy can sky rocket!
4. Reduced Menstrual Cramps
You may think that moving around too much can aggravate the cramps. But, the effective flow of blood in your body can distribute the endorphins effectively and diminish abdominal cramping. So, instead of lying down and binging chocolate during your period, exercise can be a great alternative!
3. Exercises You Can Do
During your period, you can run, swim, do yoga, do some HIIT, and even lift weights. But if you want to take advantage of your calorie burn boost while taking care of yourself, you may want to do the following:
Jogging at the park or around the neighborhood is a great form of exercise you can do even while on your period. It can be a little uncomfortable as you are wearing pads or tampons, but, this doesn’t mean you can’t run.
Swimming is another great form of exercise you can do during your period. It’s a low impact exercise that conserves your joint and has a minute impact on the body. There is no risk in swimming while on your period. You can even swim with your tampons on!
Another form of an enjoyable workout during your period is dancing. It’s fun, and with the right intensity, you can burn calories from it! Dancing upbeat for about thirty minutes can, aside from burning calories, make you feel good!
4. Exercises That Reduce Cramps
Abdominal cramps are something we dread during menstruation and can, in fact, prevent us from working out. We may even prefer not moving at all! But, here are some exercise that can help reduce the cramps.
If there’s too much pain and you think you can’t go for a more vigorous workout, you can take a walk. This can still increase the rate of blood flow and, you know what, walking outside can make your mood better. It can help you take away your focus from the pain.
- Bikram Yoga
This type of yoga is done in a temperature and humidity controlled room that is set at 40 degrees Celsius and 40% humidity. This room is already hot. Working out in a hot environment can further increase the rate of blood flow, and the warm temperature relaxes the uterus and diminishes the pain.
- Flutter Kicks
Abdominal exercises may seem like counterintuitive when you are already experiencing abdominal muscle cramps. But, there is merit in working out your core when you are at your period and experience abdominal cramps. It can help you reduce the cramps and while strengthening your pelvic abdominal and pelvic muscles.
Flutter kicks are pretty easy and heavily engages the lower abdomen where the cramps are at the strongest. Start off by lying on your back and tucking your hands on your sides. With straight knees, lift your feet off the ground and alternate lifting them up to about thirty degrees. Make sure your heels do not rest on the ground to keep the core muscles engaged.
To keep you whole core engaged, you can lift your head off the ground while doing the flutter kicks.
- Pelvic Thrusts
Another good way to relieve menstrual cramps is by doing pelvic thrusts. This exercise involves the lower abs and the glutes. With proper technique, you will also strengthen your pelvic muscles.
While lying, bend your knees and place your legs perpendicular to the floor. Put your arms on your side and lift your butt from the floor. The key to achieving and effective strengthening exercise is by doing explosive thrusts. Pause at the peak and gently lower down your butt.
Feel your glutes, abs and your pelvic muscle contract when you lift your butt and hold it until it touches the ground.
- Kegel Exercise
Kegel exercise has been a popular exercise recommended by gynecologists to people before giving birth. This muscle effectively strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and help them get through the labor. But aside from that, they are also an effective way to help avoid menstrual cramps.
Stronger muscles are less prone to cramping. The same principle applies to the pelvic muscles. This exercise is pretty convenient and easy to do. You don’t even need special equipment to do it. But to have a significant effect, you need to build on strength. It will take a while before you finally reap the benefits of it.
To do a Kegel exercise, tighten your abdomen and feel your anal and urethral sphincter contract. To make sure you are doing it right, it must feel like as if you are holding off your pee. Feel the squeeze and hold it for a few seconds then release.
5. Exercises You Must Avoid
- Avoid Lifting Too Heavy
Weight lifting can be done even during your menstrual period. But it is not recommended to lift weights that are too heavy. Your endometrial lining is sloughing off and lifting too much can aggravate the bleeding.
- Inverted Yoga Poses
Again, yoga is not a restricted form of work out during your period. But, be sure to avoid inverted or reverse poses. Standing on your head or shoulders can put pressure on your uterus and may make you bleed more.
In general, any form of exercise that will put your head lower than your body should be avoided to refrain putting too much pressure on the uterus.
These exercises during periods are safe and proven effective to help you manage and normalize your cycle if you have an irregular period. It can also help you reduce cramps and give you a better mood! Come on now. Don’t make your period an excuse, not to work out!
“Hope you find the post helpful and we are excited to hear what you think of it!”