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Working Out On Your Period: What You Need To Know
It’s that time of month again, and you feel like garbage. Everything hurts, you’re exhausted, and all you want to do is lay in bed with a heat pack. You can absolutely do that—but we recommend trying a workout too.
If you’ve never hit the gym with cramps, you might be thinking, “What!? Why? Should you work out on your period, even? Is that safe?”
Yes, you should, and yes, it’s very safe! Working out is actually a great way to keep painful cramps under control. Not only does exercise help period cramps, but it’s also completely adaptable to your needs. You’re in control!
Benefits of Exercise During a Period
Not only can you work out on your period, it’s actually recommended. While it can be difficult to feel motivated to work out during that time of the month, some movement can be very beneficial when you’re menstruating. We’ve listed some of the biggest benefits below.
1) Less Painful Cramps
For many people, the worst thing about periods is dealing with cramps! Cramps (and the side effects that come with them) can be so painful and disruptive that many people find it difficult to participate in everyday activities. However, there is one activity that might actually bring relief: exercise. This does not need to be super strenuous exercise, especially on more painful days. A nice walk or doing some stretches could be perfect.
2) More Manageable PMS
Your period can have an effect on your body and mind before the bleeding actually begins. This is referred to as premenstrual syndrome or PMS. If you’ve experienced PMS, you know that it can have a pretty big impact on your mental and physical well-being. While working out won’t erase the effects of PMS entirely, many people find that regular aerobic exercise helps lessen the impact it has on their energy and mood levels.
3) Powerful Workouts
Over the course of your period, your body experiences some hormonal fluctuation. This can actually have a positive effect on your athletic performance! According to a 2016 study on this topic, participants had more successful workouts (like a noticeably increased jump height) during their periods.
4) Hello, Endorphins
As you likely know, your body releases endorphin hormones during a workout. Endorphins help you mentally and physically. They lift your mood and even help reduce physical pain. Thanks to endorphins, a gentle workout is a tried-and-true method for managing the cramps and irritability that come along with your period.
How Does Your Period Affect Working Out?
While it’s ideal to get moving during your period, that doesn’t mean that you should approach your workout the same way you normally would. While it can be helpful and safe to exercise during your period, it’s not mandatory—and the type of workout you choose should reflect your needs and circumstances.
Every athlete who menstruates is different and has their own set of conditions to contend with when they hit the gym, from birth control use to unique medical history. This might mean swapping your normally super-intense workout for something a bit gentler. The key is listening to your body and respecting what it says.
If you are unsure how to approach working out on your period, we recommend having a chat with your fitness coach. Your doctor or gyno might also have some suggestions that are tailored to your unique circumstances.
Staying Motivated to Work Out During Your Period
Often, the biggest hurdle to exercising during your period is motivation. Remember, your period workout doesn’t need to be a super-sweaty megasesh. You can choose lower-key movements that feel doable for you—and you can do them from the comforts of your own home, too. Remind yourself that you can stop whenever you feel ready. A fun treat to look forward to afterward, like your favorite movie in your PJs, can also help get you motivated to move.
Let’s Get Started!
To learn more about Jack City Fitness, call (208) 999-1111. We’ll invite you to our Boise gym for a FREE fitness consultation and an opportunity to tour our facilities and meet our team. Once you’re signed up to become a Jack City Partner, everything will be at your fingertips: 24/7 access, heart-pumping classes, and one-on-one coaches who can help you make a personalized workout plan. Come and see for yourself! We can’t wait to meet you and help you see real results, whatever your goals may be.