Girls! We know what a messy pain period can be. Regardless of how much or how less your period cramps hurt, there is no denying that the hormonal changes during PMS and periods can make us extremely moody. And it also tires us out mentally and physically. Resting is usually recommended as it helps us. But what we don’t realize is that working out during periods can be of an ever greater help. I’ll just say it – Workouts are a period’s best friend. Period.
Today, let’s understand why.
Why is it important to workout during periods?
You may think that exercise can make you more uncomfortable while you are already bloated and in pain. But exercising can ease the cramps and is possibly the best natural remedy and more! Here’s five reason why period workouts are the best –
- Period workouts are more effective and better your performance
When your period starts, oestrogen and progesterone levels drop. And so, you can access carbohydrate/glycogen easily, as compared to non-period days when the body relies more on the slow breakdown of fat. So you actually end up burning more fat and carbs, despite you feeling bloated. This subtle hormonal shift could make you feel more powerful, recover faster and have a higher pain tolerance. This helps you get the best out of your workouts by letting yourself push yourself harder.
- Better Mood
Mood swings and periods go hand in hand. It’s true that you do not have control over your mood while PMS and on periods. While the hormonal changes your body goes through can confuse you, there’s still a way to gain back that control. EXERCISE! Exercise lowers stress hormone levels and triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin, uplifting the brain similar to the way that morphine works. And in doing so, takes you to your happy place and makes you forget your messy period pain.
- Better Sleep Cycle
With the body being confused and the mind stressed, it is only normal to feel restless and sleepless during your periods. However, exercising can help combat this as well. Doing cardio and some stretching is the best way to help relax your body and prepare it for sleep. Exercise raises your body temperature, which causes the body to sweat. The post-exercise drop in body temperature can trick your worked up brain into feeling sleepy by relaxing the tense muscles and lift menstrual migraines.
- Controls Period Symptoms
Bloating, headaches, cramps, indigestion, tiredness, restlessness, moodiness and body aches are common symptoms of PMS and periods. Since exercise releases endorphins and serotonins, the moodiness and feelings of mental tiredness can be controlled. This also takes your mind off from the pain and discomfort. The more active you are overall and especially during periods, the better your periods end up being—less cramping and less heavy flow. Sweating during exercise can relieve belly bloating and replenishing your body after workout with water can help better hormonal flow and relieve cramps.
- Controls Binges
It is a given that our hunger pangs and food craving increase multi-fold during periods. While we resort to comfort food, it is comforting lie we tell ourselves than it doesn’t make us gain weight. Exercising not only helps ease the cramps, it takes our mind off of periods and helps us gain more control over our mental and physical self. Helping us stay away from binge eating and excess (junk/fatty) food. You feel powerful not just physically but also mentally and won’t feel the need to resort to comfort food.
Recommended Workouts during Periods
- Light Cardio
- Low volume strength training
Workouts to avoid during Periods
Understand this – everybody is different and everyone’s pain tolerance, endurance and cramp intensity differs. While you may see some of your friends doing HIIT easily, you may find it discomforting to do so. You need to understand your body better and a good trainer will help you do so. Start with low intensity cardio and training, and keep increasing the intensity to test your own limits. Do not compare. On days, when your body is just not up to it, go easy on yourself and give yourself that rest. Do not give up easily but don’t push your body beyond its breaking point.
Hope this helps you in befriending your periods and making harmony with its symptoms. Should you have any doubts or questions, drop a comment below and I will more than happy to help you out. Happy Period to you!