It is not uncommon for women to be bothered by menstrual cramps and pain every month. If you find yourself sleeping the whole day, skipping work, or just curling up on your couch in pain, you are certainly not alone. If you can tolerate it, please do exercise during periods.
About exercise in periods
Exercising during periods is usually a big no-no for many women. However, various studies prove that workouts during periods or similar fitness activities help relieve pain and improve mood. The release of endorphins in your body during exercise also relieves stress.
Types of period pain
Period pain can be primary or secondary and can begin within 12-72 hours of commencement of periods. Uterine cramps are a monthly problem for most women all over the world. Some have mild pain, while others suffer severe pain.
Symptoms of period pain
One might experience mild to severe cramping or throbbing in the lower abdominal region. It can be associated with nausea, vomiting, loose motions, headache, and/or dizziness. Exercise during periods can reduce these symptoms, provided they are not severe and unbearable. If you have a gynecological condition, it might be a good idea to consult your gynaecologist before workout during periods. Your doctor will recommend safe exercises and also set a limit on the duration and intensity of the workout.
When to see a doctor?
You should see a doctor if you have any gynecological conditions, have been bleeding extensively for months, or have severe pain during your time of the month. Rare but concerning is a situation where any of the symptoms worsen due to exercise during periods. See a doctor in such cases.
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What are the top 5 reasons to exercise during periods?
There are numerous benefits of workouts during periods. There is no scientific evidence that proves that exercising during periods can be harmful or worsen your condition. The following are the top five benefits:
- Reduces cramps: Exercise during periods can reduce pain and menstrual cramps by improving blood circulation. It also improves and hastens the process of the shedding of the endometrial lining. You might notice a free flow of blood after a workout, especially if you have concerns like spotting.
Studies have shown that exercise releases beta-endorphins in your body that act like internal opioids to heal cramps and pain. It is also referred to as human morphine. Analgesia or pain relief is thus possible by exercising during periods.
Moreover, prostaglandin is the chemical released in your body during periods that causes cramps. Exercise helps burn this chemical and relieves pain. It is important to monitor your symptoms during workouts and exercise three times a week for at least 30 minutes.
2. Helps with PMS: Premenstrual symptoms can be a bothersome affair every month before the period. It can affect your normal life and daily routine by causing emotional disturbances, mood swings, concentration issues, and sleep disturbances. You might also experience bloating, fatigue, and food cravings.
Exercise helps with these problems and reduces pain during menstruation. Aerobic exercises like swimming, walking, jogging, cycling, etc., can help you overcome symptoms like depression and fatigue. It also reduces excess water retention and bloating, which is very common and bothersome.
3. Relularises the cycle: If you have an irregular cycle and are often unaware of your dates, workouts during periods might help. Exercising while having periods helps regularise period cycles and get your period calendar on track. Aerobic exercises are recommended to achieve this.
4. Energises: It is common to feel low during periods and wanting to stick to your bed in pajamas. Exercising during periods keeps you energised the whole day. You need not miss an important day at work or arrange for someone else to pick up your kid from school.
Exercise will improve circulation to all the muscles in your body and enrich them with oxygen and nutrients. This improves the ability of muscles to release more energy. This energy comes from a molecule called adenosine triphosphate.
5. Mood booster: The level of the stress hormone cortisol increases during periods due to exertion. Exercising during periods can help reduce the level of cortisol in your blood and improve your mood. It will control your period moods like agitation, crankiness, and period blues.
Prevention of injury
Avoid injuries at the gym during periods by not overdoing it. Take breaks as required and when you are tired. It might be a good idea not to set high targets for a workout during periods. Ensure warm up before exercising and rehydrate yourself. Your gym should have access to an emergency contact if needed. Call your doctor in case of injuries.
It is beneficial to exercise in periods. Additionally, studies show that as the female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone are at their lowest during periods, core strength workouts are more effective. Studies show that exercising from the first day of your periods up to two weeks later is the best time to gain strength. You should workout during periods, indoor or outdoor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is it compulsory to workout during periods?
No, it is not compulsory. However, if your period cramps are bearable, workouts during periods can be helpful. Squats during periods are a great option.
Q. Can exercise in periods help me with my mood swings?
Yes, definitely. It is proven that exercise, in general, induces happy hormones in your body. It will clear your mind and improve your focus during periods.
Q. Which is the best workout during periods?
You can take up light walking, mild weight training, and light cardio as part of your gym workout during periods. Yoga and pilates are also popular options.