Does the thought of exercising on your period make you want to ditch your running shoes altogether? If you’re worried about how your period will affect your physical activity, you’re not alone.
Many people skip exercise at this time of the month for many reasons. But there’s no reason to stop exercising just because you’re on your period.
Benefits of exercising during menstruation
The benefits of physical and mental exercise don’t stop with menstruation. In fact, maintaining a regular routine can help alleviate common menstrual complaints.
According to Dr. Christopher Holligsworth, this period is a complex period from a hormonal point of view. “Progesterone and estrogen levels are at their lowest during all phases of the menstrual cycle, which can make people feel tired and energetic,” she explains.
That being said, avoiding exercise won’t save you energy or make you feel better. Instead of stopping all activity during your period, use this week as an opportunity to try new exercises. Here are five benefits of exercising during your period:
Reduce PMS symptoms
If you experience fatigue and mood swings in the days leading up to your period and during your cycle, regular aerobic exercise can reduce these symptoms.
Tap into your endorphins
Exercising gives you a natural endorphin rush, which can boost your mood and make you feel better. Dr. Brandon Marcello says one of the most important benefits of exercising during menstruation is the endorphin release and exercise “high.” She also says that because endorphins are natural pain relievers, when they’re released during exercise, they can ease menstrual discomfort.
Feel more power and strength
According to one study, the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle (the first day is the first day of the period) allow you to increase strength and power due to low levels of female hormones.
Raise your spirits
Strength and conditioning coach Dr. Lindsey Mathews, founder and CEO of BIRTHFIT, says exercising during this time will improve your mood and increase circulation. Exercise also tends to relieve menstrual cramps, headaches, and back pain.
Dealing with painful periods
If you have painful periods, also known as dysmenorrhea, you know how uncomfortable this time of the month can be. The good news is that exercise, such as light walking, can help reduce these symptoms.