Period & Exercising! Everything You Need to Know

By Joanna 13/11/2015 In
Fitness Tips

So today I’m gonna answer a question that you ladies have been asking me over and over again, “Should I Exercise While on My Period”. I’m actually filming this video right while on my period. So be careful ladies, I might get cranky, haha, just kidding!

I got myself certified as a Women’s Fitness Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) because I wanted to understand us, women, better and to share my knowledge and experience with you ladies. I’ve learned a lot from it and if you are interested to get into healthy living and to inspire others to lead a healthier lifestyle, do check out the NASM online Personal Training course. You can try it out for free for 14 days, and if you feel that it’s a path you want to explore, then you can choose to sign up to full course and become a certified Personal Trainer yourself.

Right let’s talk about us and period. I would love to hear from you, so as your watch this video, do share your personal experience and thoughts in the comments below.

Sometimes when you’re on your period, all you really feel like doing is lying on the couch and do absolutely nothing. I feel that as time too. But what your body needs may be the exact opposite. So to answer your question, yes you can and should exercise before and while on your period.

The most important thing is to listen to your body but try not to give excuses as well. If you feel perfectly fine, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue with your regular workout routine. Your period does not hamper your performance and you should be able to perform as normal.

If however you do experience mild cramps and discomfort, then you might want to avoid high intensity or any exercises that will put too much stress on your body. Go for moderate to low intensity exercises such as pilates or yoga, which stretches and relaxes your entire body, or perhaps dancing, brisk walking, easy cycling and even swimming.

Although you might not feel like doing any exercises, this is not an excuse for you to sit on the couch all day long. You got to push yourself and do some gentle exercises. Here are 5 reasons why you can and should exercise before and while on your period.

5 Reasons why you can & should exercise Before & While on Your Period

1) Elevate Your Mood

2) Ease Menstrual Cramps

Exercising will elevate your mood and ease menstrual cramps. I did not feel like exercising at all the past 2 days, and I had to talk to myself and remind myself that it’d only make me feel better both physically and mentally afterwards. So I joined a pilates class yesterday, and yup, totally made me feel much better than sitting on my bum.

Just don’t push yourself if you’re nauseated, having severe cramps or excessive flow. Take the day off and do gentle exercises when you feel better the next day.

3) Combat Dysmenorrhea (dis – me – no – rea)

Another huge benefit of regular exercising is something I’ve experienced myself over the years is I’ve combated dysmenorrhea, which also means excessive period pain.

When I was a teenager and did almost no physical activity, I would experience excessive period pain almost every month that would leave me lying in bed screaming and skipped school. The pain was so sharp that I would suffer from constipation and diarrhea and I’ve even fainted several times before in the toilet. For those of you who have experienced it, I’m sure you would agree that the pain could be so severe and that you’re unable to perform any normal activities.

When I started getting into fitness and worked out on a regular basis, I noticed that over the years, I don’t experience severe period cramps anymore and in fact nowadays, I barely experience any cramps. Those days of monthly torture were gone! Thank god.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve experienced severe period pain and if doing regular workout has helped you over the years.

4) Reduce Bloating

Bloating is a very common complains before menstruation and is usually caused by water retention. Some of you might also experience excess gas or constipation. I do experience bloating several days before my period. I wake up, look into the mirror and feel like I put on 5 pounds overnight, and that’s when I know I’ll be menstruating really soon.

It’s such an uncomfortable feeling that could leave me feeling really irritated the entire day. For me, the only thing that could get rid of it is exercising. When you exercise and sweat, you will get rid of excess water in the body and feel less bloated. It can also help to prevent constipation.

5) Reduce Cravings

And finally another thing we tend to moan about is that we crave for everything and want to eat anything before and during our period. I’ve filmed an entire video just on Period Cravings, which I would encourage you to watch here.
In the video, I talked on common period cravings and why, foods to avoid and practical tips to overcome it which including exercising.

Research has showed that ladies who exercise regularly are more in control of their period cravings compared to ladies who don’t do any physical activity. This is due to the feel good endorphins released during physical activity, which can replace food.

Although you might feel particularly shitty, the best thing you can do is push through it and do your workout. Exercise gives you a natural endorphin high, it will elevate your mood, ease menstrual cramps, helps you to feel less bloated, reduce cravings and keep you on track with your fitness goal. You don’t want to be missing an entire week of doing nothing!

So ladies, don’t just sit on your bum, get up and move. If you find this video helpful, be sure to give it a Thumb Up & SHARE it with your girl friends. All the best! xx


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