Got period cramps? These exercises might help you feel better
It’s no secret that regular exercise is super important for our wellbeing. Loads of studies agree it helps us live longer, keep disease at bay and feel good mentally, too.
But what about when your period arrives? Thanks to a drop in progesterone and estrogen (or ‘oestrogen’), it’s normal to want to curl up and check out – especially if premenstrual syndrome (PMS) hits you hard. But the thing is, getting up and moving your body has a bunch of benefits in all phases of your menstrual cycle, including when you’re bleeding.
Ahead, we’ll explain how exercise during your period can help you feel better. We’ll also provide some guidance on the best activities to incorporate into your day and how you can go about them comfortably.
How does exercise help your period symptoms?
Tiredness and lethargy are common in the menstrual phase, so you might not feel like working out during your period. But it’s important to remember that exercise does help during your period – it can provide the same benefits in this phase as every other time in your cycle.
Plus, exercise can help lessen uncomfortable period-related symptoms like those associated with PMS.
In a nutshell, exercise during your period may help to:
- Boost your mood – Exercise naturally releases ‘feel good’ chemicals like serotonin and endorphins, which can help relieve stress and boost your mood. (Heard of the runner’s high? It’s all endorphins.)
- Ease PMS symptoms – Aerobic exercise like brisk walking, swimming and cycling may help reduce a bunch of PMS symptoms (such as period fatigue and headaches) and promote a healthier state of mind.
- Alleviate cramps – Lots of people get cramps in the pelvis, stomach, lower back and legs while menstruating. Research suggests that regular exercise may make these cramps less painful.
What exercise should you do on your period?
The best exercises to do on your period are the ones you feel up to doing. This might mean they’re a bit lower in intensity than your usual workouts.
Some exercises to try include:
- Walking and other light cardio – Keeping up your aerobic exercise is a good idea, but you might like to take it a little easier than normal or do shorter bursts.
- Yoga and Pilates – The relaxing effects of yoga and Pilates can be helpful in further reducing pesky period symptoms.
- Light strength training – Did you know that hormonal changes in the menstrual phase may allow for greater muscle gain? This means that your period may be the perfect time for weight training. That said, you might like to opt for fewer sets and reps than usual.
- Swimming – Research shows that gentle laps in the pool can help reduce a host of physical and emotional PMS symptoms, including cramps, headaches, anxiety and mood changes.
The slower pace of these activities also makes them great go-to exercises for the luteal phase, which happens in the lead-up to your period. (People sometimes feel tired and moody in the luteal phase, too.)
Stay active with Modibodi
We all experience menstruation differently, so exercises that work for one person during their period might not work for you. Listen to your body. If you feel up to yoga, then that may be a wonderfully beneficial activity for the day. If that seems too hard, a peaceful walk in the park might be ideal.
Modibodi’s activewear collection has got your back through whatever workout takes your fancy. Whether you’re jogging, jumping or gyming, our briefs, shorts and leggings come in a range of absorbency styles to keep period leaks at bay so you can move with confidence.
Keen to take to the water? Our mindfully made swimwear collection soaks up your period so you can enjoy all the benefits swimming has to offer. There’s a variety of cute styles available, from trendy one-piece suits to vibrant bikini briefs and crop tops
Go with your flow
There’s no reason to give up the benefits of exercise just because you’re on your period. In fact, some low-key activities – if you feel up to them – can help you manage unpleasant period symptoms so you feel comfier and happier in the menstrual phase.
Looking for more ways to feel better during your period? Check out our tips for what to eat on your period, and consider investing in some trusty moisture-wicking period underwear. Be sure to browse our blog, too – we’ve got plenty of menstruation-related pieces ready for you to read.