When your period hits you like a tidal wave, working out is probably the last thing on your mind. Oh, we know how it feels. The thought of running and squatting with that belly bloat, those nasty cramps, a heavy flow—it makes us want to retreat to fetal position with none other than a box of chocolates. Far, far away from the gym.
But did you know that exercising on your period can actually alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms? As difficult as it may be to swap snacks for tennies, here are three reasons why you should:
1) Exercise boosts endorphins. Endorphins enhance your mood and help you feel better, inside and out. 💁♀️
That’s right, exercise equals endorphins, or “the natural painkiller,” which help relieve cramps and body aches! Plus, exercise boosts metabolism, helping you feel less sluggish during that time of month. Talk about a win-win.
2) Exercise combats PMS symptoms. 🎯
Say goodbye to tiredness, emotional swings, muscle aches and late-night cravings. According to a study by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, aerobic exercise like walking, cycling and swimming reduces PMS symptoms like fatigue and even depression.
3) Period exercise can improve strength, agility and overall performance. 🏋️♀️
That’s right, working out on your period can actually help you optimize results! A recent study found that “training during the first two weeks of the cycle is more beneficial to optimize resistance training, than the last two weeks.” Say whaaaat?
We know, we know. Despite all this, the struggle is still very real. Working out on your period is tough, especially when the flow comes in heavy. (Pro tip: We have a highly-absorbent period solution for that.)
But we promise the hardest part is walking through those gym doors, getting a move on your nearby hiking trail or making it to that yoga class. Plus, does anybody ever regret working out?
This isn’t to say you should jump straight into heavy lifting and attempt to hit PRs. In fact, experts agree that light workouts like yoga, pilates, cardio aerobics and low-volume strength training are the best ways to get your fitness on when Aunt Flo is in town.
Whatever the case, remember to listen to your body and trust your gut. Even a brisk walk around your block is better than none!