Why You Need To Exercise On Your Period
When you’re menstruating, it’s all too easy to leave workouts for the week. Cramps, low energy levels and heavy flow days can make temporarily giving up on your fitness regime tempting. But did you know that exercise can actually ease some of your period symptoms?
In this post, we’ll be talking about all of the great reasons why you need to exercise during your period. Read on for some menstruation inspiration…
Exercise boosts your energy and balances out mood swings
We know that regular exercise is obviously great for our physical health and has some excellent benefits for our mental health too.
Even if you don’t know about the exact science behind this, you’ll have probably noticed that your mood is considerably better after you’ve completed a workout. You feel happier and more pumped up; less stressed and lethargic.
This is because exercise releases serotonin and endorphins — feel-good hormones — in your body, which triggers positive, uplifting feelings and boosts your mood as well as your energy levels.
This makes it the perfect antidote to any mood swings, sluggishness or irritability you’re experiencing due to period hormones. The endorphins and serotonin that exercise produces can balance out extreme emotional changes, helping you to feel more balanced and zen during your period.
Exercise relieves menstrual cramps
One of the best reasons to keep up with your fitness regime, even with you’re on your period, is that exercise can relieve painful menstrual cramps.
Those mood-boosting endorphins that we were talking about before also help to reduce your perception of pain by interacting with the receptors in your brain. So if you’re suffering from cramps, then they can act as a natural pain killer!
Exercise also gets your heart pumping, which improves your circulation. This means that more blood is flowing to your muscles, which helps to alleviate those painful period cramps. After all, your cramps are caused by your uterine muscles contracting — so better blood flow relieves pressure and tension in this area, and tackles menstrual pain and soreness.
There are all sorts of ways that you can stop period cramps (check out this useful blog post on how to stop cramps) such as heat and the right food, but one of the best ways is exercise. It doesn’t have to be a high-intensity workout; even a gentle yoga session will increase your circulation and reduce menstrual cramps.
Exercise can reduce your bloating
During your period, it’s normal to feel more bloated, heavy and uncomfortable than usual.
That’s because the fluctuations in hormone levels affect how your body retains water and causes your digestive system to work slower which traps gas — resulting in excessive bloating.
Luckily, you can tackle this bloating with exercise; keeping your body active during your period helps your body to shift the water into your muscles (where it’s more useful), which decreases bloating. Plus, sweating during high-intensity workout sessions can help you sweat out excess water and keep your body balanced.
Staying active can also stimulate your digestive system, moving any trapped wind along and relieving any gas-related bloating and discomfort.
There are a few other ways to get rid of bloating like massage or consuming peppermint, but exercise is one of the best things for it.
Exercise can regulate your menstrual cycle too
It’s not just the symptoms of your periods that can be improved by regular exercise, it’s the timings too; exercise can help to regulate your menstrual cycle.
That’s right — if your menstrual cycle is irregular and you’re always having to second-guess when your period is going to arrive, then working out can help your cycle to stay on track. It can even help to make your periods lighter.
This is due to a number of reasons. Firstly, exercise helps you to maintain a healthy weight — which means healthy and on-time periods. Secondly, exercise tackles things like stress and anxiety, which can wreak havoc on your cycle’s timings, causing it to be late or even stop.
As you can see, there are so many good reasons why you need to exercise on your period.
Although it may seem like a challenge when you’re struggling with low energy levels and cramping, it’s worth putting a bit of effort in and taking part in an exercise class, yoga session or gentle jog. You’ll feel much better once you do — your mood and energy levels will improve, and it’ll even help with cramping, bloating and making your period more regular.
Of course, if you’re feeling really awful and you’re suffering from excruciating cramps and a heavy flow, don’t force yourself to exercise. Listen to your body and take it easy, whatever you decide to do.