Exercise and Your Menstrual Cycle - What you can do?

If you thought you can’t do anything about it and have no alternative except to break your exercise routine and wait, you are mistaken! This article tells how you can go on without disturbing your workout schedule during your periods.

Obvious Question: Can you workout during your periods?

And the answer is yes, generally speaking, working out during your periods is a good thing because exercise helps relieve period-related annoyingness like anxiety, fatigue and headaches. There are many Olympic athletes who performed at peak during their periods. However, it is important to keep in mind exercising around and during your period it is very individualized depending on your symptoms, stress micronutrient deficiencies, thyroid problems and the mystery of hoe variable the menstruation cycle could be.

Here is the good news: You can use these hormonal cycle changes to your advantage by planning and tracking the full menstruation cycle, week by week (considering 28 days cycle here):

Note: The below recommendations are generic and you should consult a specialist and listen to your body instead of blinding following this advice (or any advice for that matter)

1. Follicular Phase and Menstruating (Days 1-13):

For roughly two weeks before your period, you’re in the high-hormone phase. At this point in your cycle which starts when you ovulate and ends with the first day of your period, your estrogen progesterone levels peak. You can use this advantage of period to your advantages including strength training:

Week#1: During this time, recovering time can be quicker and the pain tolerance higher. Make sure you warm up properly because you are more injury prone during this week. Workout option: Yoga, Swimming, walking and light strength training.

Week#2: In week 2 your body is preparing for ovulation and hormones are on the rise. The additional estrogen allows your muscles to absorb sugar more efficiently, giving you a little extra energy. Which means you can do high intensity workout (like kettlebell swing, burpee) and strength training (lift weights or use resistance bands).

2. Ovulation period (day 14)

Estrogen is at highest, making you focused and more intend with your body. The best is to do some light warm up and stretching. Listen to your body—if you have cramps or excessive flow, take that day off. If there is not much pain on cramps then you can do any of the following workouts:

  • Use foam roller and do some light stretching
  • Going up/down the stairs few time or doing some household cardio work (e.g. prepare food in kitchen).

3. When you have your period (and the week after)

Your body is more like a man’s. During this part of your cycle, your levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest.

Week#3: focus on the moderate workout like group classes because you may feel inflamed and bloated. Workout you can do is pilates, running, power yoga.

Week#4: You can come back to your strength and weight training. In this week you can really make progress on your strength side.

Other FAQ’s:

What Exercises Should You Avoid During Your Period?

Inversions type workout move aren’t recommended during your period - like headstand or any other yoga/exercise pose where your head is down for more than 10 seconds. Why?

Because, standing on your uterus, can make you bleed more. Thus, more cramps.

  • Make sure to start with a warm-up to loosen your muscles and joints
  • Start slowly and progress as your body allows

What food to avoid during your period?

Avoid Soya – Eliminating commercial soy sauces sources such as tofu and soya milk can help some women a void estrogen dominance, which can lead to menstrual cycle irregularities.

Reduce caffeine intake: Avoid the extra stimulant. Drink more water to stay hydrated.

Eat well (home cook real food) and take supplements and the pain medication as recommended by your doctor.

About The Author

Manjeet Singh

Manjeet Singh is a Nesta Certified Fitness Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach. He has been changing lives by making people from Fat to Super Fit from over a decade. Manjeet&r.... Read More..

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