Go with the Flow - The Best Workouts during Your Period

Submitted by Matt Papa on February 26, 2013

It's an often asked question - "Should I work out when I’m on my period?" The answer is a resounding, "YES."


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Over the years our understanding of our monthly cycle has changed drastically. No longer is a menstruating woman viewed with fear or considered weaker than normal. Today, women continue with their daily routines treating their periods as a mere blip in an otherwise normal day.

In light of this, exercising and menstruation are not mutually exclusive. That said, it is understood that all women are not the same. What comes easily for one may be a struggle for the next. While some women complain of heavier bleeding after exercise, others swear that it helps relieve cramps and bloating and even PMS. So if you do or do not want to exercise during your period, the choice is ultimately up to only one person - you.

Following are some of the best exercises during your period. Just remember – don't stress yourself out too much and keep your workouts light for a few days.

  • Running and walking - If running is too much for you then try a brisk walk instead, but make sure that you keep your heart rate up and that you break a sweat in order to reap the benefits of this cardiovascular routine. Always hydrate before you go and replenish the lost electrolytes with coconut water or lemon juice.
  • Aerobic Exercise and Dancing – Combat the natural drop in energy levels during your period with a fun class at your gym. A group dancing or aerobics class can help you improve blood circulation and relieve symptoms such as headaches and bloating. Focusing on moving your body also helps combat the bad moods.
  • Yoga – Your yoga routine should emphasize meditation and relaxation techniques during your period. Certain yoga asanas can also increase the flow of oxygen in the body and calm down the nervous system, contributing towards fewer mood swings and emotional upsets. Yoga also gives you the time to feel relaxed and be more in tune with your body. Try asanas that specifically target the stomach and abdominal area to help reduce cramps and pain. Yoga poses such as the Cat Pose, Cobra Pose, and Fish Pose are all ideal as are Forward Bend Poses, Lotus Pose, Diamond Pose, Butterfly Pose and Head to Knee Pose. Inversion poses are however not recommended as they might increase blood flow. Other asanas to avoid during menstruation include back bends, Half Moon Pose, Mountain Pose, Chair Pose, Lunges and other Free Standing Poses. Always consult with a trained yoga teacher before beginning any new routine and to clear up any doubts about what you can and cannot do during your period.

The important thing is to listen to your body. Be aware of the signs that tell you that it is time to take it easy and when you can push yourself just that little bit more. While you should not let your period be an excuse to let you off your exercise routine, you can use this time to try something light and less demanding.

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