Many women shy away from exercising during their period, and we understand that struggle. Some of us that exercise regularly have trained while on our period. We may notice an increase in fatigue or reduced performance, especially before our cycle begins and during the first couple of days of menstruation.
Headaches, fatigue, cramping, and bloating are something many women experience during their period. These symptoms can make exercising feel more complex and less appealing during these times. However, staying active can help reduce our period symptoms if we’re up to it.
Knowing the right exercises that help bring relief during our period can help us continue to be active if we want to. We experience hormonal changes and even advantages to performing specific exercises during “your” time of the month.
How Our Period Affects Exercising
The first day of menstruation is considered day one of our cycle. During our period, the hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest point throughout the cycle. The change or fluctuation can cause a lack of motivation and lethargy.
Women’s cycles are not experienced equally, and the differences between cycles and individuals are common. Women may also experience fatigue or adverse symptoms before or during their period. Others may experience much worse effects that can make daily tasks seem like a challenge.
The effects we might experience include a decrease in stamina and endurance, which can significantly impact our training performance. The typical symptoms like bloating, cramping, headaches, and fatigue can interfere with the quality and enjoyment of our exercise routine.
During these times of your menstrual cycle, it’s best to choose lower-intensity activities that will help relieve symptoms. Focusing on our form rather than our maximum efforts and performance is more beneficial. Honestly, this holds to be true regardless of our physical symptoms because motivation and mood changes may also wane.
Many of us will begin to feel more energetic and strong shortly after our period starts, somewhere around day 3. If this holds true for you, step up your training intensity as long as you feel up to it.
It’s essential to watch out for any heavy bleeding combined with activity during our period. We are at a higher risk of iron deficiency, especially when we’re active during menstruation. That fact, combined with the heavy menstrual flow, can lead to anemia. If you’re a heavy bleeder, it’s vital to talk to a healthcare professional about it and any other symptoms you experience during menstruation.
You'll find some incredible options below if you want to formulate a workout plan during your menstrual cycle. However, everyone feels differently, so you can adjust the exercises by leaving any movements out that doesn’t feel right for your body. We want to always come away from a training session feeling better than we did before we started, regardless of the time of the month.
Below you’ll find a full-body workout session you can do 2 to 3 times weekly. Make sure you rest between lifting sessions and add light cardio activity after your lifting routine or resting days.
- Seated Dumbell Shoulder press
- Single Arm Dumbell Roll
- Romanian Deadlift
- Light Cardio Active Rest
While exercising during our period can seem highly daunting, it has benefits. If you have concerns, please reach out to a healthcare professional to make sure it’s right for you; you know your body best!