Can I Exercise on My Period?

By Joanna 06/11/2020 In
Fitness Tips

Can I workout on my period? Is it dangerous? What exercises should I do when on my period? What should I avoid? That’s what I’ll be answering in today!

When we’re on our period, our uterus is shedding its lining, for crying out loud, so it’s no surprise that we had to deal with bloating, mood swings, cramps, fatigue and indigestion. We just want to cosy up on the sofa rather than working out. I totally get it, ladies.

But what if I told you that working out during your period can actually help relieve some of the period symptoms and make you feel better. Exercising while on period can increase endorphins, the “feel good hormone”, improve your mood, ease menstrual cramps, reduce cravings, keep your hormone in balance and as a result, this helps to regulate irregular periods naturally.

YES, you should exercise on your period, saying that however, there are also certain types of exercises which we might want to avoid, depending on how your body feels. Here are a few Dos and Don’ts:


DON'T: Sit and Do Nothing

Some ladies think that because they are low in energy and experience discomfort, they should just lie in bed and do nothing. That way, the pain will go away and they will feel better. This is NOT the case. I’m sure you’ll just be tossing and turning in pain, and you might even pop some pills to help.

DO: Move

I know it’s tough, but do MOVE. Even if it’s a short 10 - 15 mins of stretching or walking, I promise you, it’s going to make you feel so much better, and it will reduce your period pains and discomfort naturally. So get up, get out of bed and do some light movements to boost your mood and energy.


DON'T: Strenuous or Prolonged Training

I love interval running. It’s really effective in burning fat and building endurance. However it's a very taxing workout, and all that high-impact, rapid movement in your lower body might aggravate your menstrual cramps and leave you feeling completely wiped out.

If you are feeling extremely tired and do experience menstrual cramps, this is not the time to be adding more stress to your body by doing high impact, high intensity training or running half a marathon. This could actually do more harm to your body and even cause exercise-induced inflammation.

This is the time to do movements that will help rather than harm your body. 

DO: Low Intensity or Light Cardio

Change things up and engage in gentle low intensity exercises such as yoga and pilates. There are lots of yoga poses which actually helps to increase blood flow and circulation, helps your body to relax, reduce cramps, reduce breast tenderness, reduce muscle fatigue and soreness.

Or do light cardio exercises such as taking a 30 minute brisk walk outdoor. Walking at a steady pace for an extended period of time is a great cardio which also promotes fat burning, without making you extremely fatigue. If however you can’t go outdoor at the moment, then do try out my Indoor Walking exercises which you can do at home and get your steps in!


DON'T: Heavy Duty Lifting

I do understand that it can get frustrating to some ladies, because you feel like it’s affecting your training progress. Due to the changes in our hormones, our joints and tendons are at higher risk of injuries when we are on your period. So it’s not a great idea to be trying new exercises or lifting excessively heavy weights without a spotter or support. For some women, including myself, I find my training sessions to be much more challenging and I struggle to lift heavy. Saying that however, you should NOT skip strength training.

DO: Moderate Weight Training

Instead, do moderate weight training. You can reduce your training volume and also weights. If you need to, take slightly longer breaks in between sets and maintain your heart rate at a steady pace.

Some research has found that strength training during the follicular phase resulted in higher increase in muscle strength compared to training in the luteal phase. So don’t miss weight lifting, just take it a notch down!


DON'T: Force Yourself

Fitness enthusiast, I do understand that this could be hard to do, because we want to do our best in every training session. However this is NOT the time to subscribe to the idea of “No Pain, No Gain”.

If you feel extremely fatigued, nauseous, or an increase in pain or discomfort, STOP what you are doing and take extra time to recover. If these symptoms continue — stop completely. Don’t force yourself and push through. Listen to your body.

DO: Listen to Your Body

Be realistic with yourself and listen to your body. Vary your workouts, take extra time to recover, avoid overexercising and honour what you’re capable of. No, taking it “easy” on one workout session, will not hinder the progress you’ve been making. Overtraining will!



We are all different and the period symptoms I have will be different from you as well. If you’re not experiencing any discomfort from your period, feel free to continue with your regular exercise routine. If you find that your body isn’t performing like it usually does, give yourself a break, ease up on the intensity and vary your workouts. The key to exercise when you least feel like it is to do something you actually enjoy.




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