I received a message on my Instagram the other day from a gal wondering if you should workout when you’re on your period. She claimed she was easily fatigued and also her raging hormones caused her to want to eat everything in sight. “Any recommendations?”, she asked.
Here are 3 quick tips I shared with her. Hopefully they will help you the next time your period rolls around too. Let me know in the comments b’low if this helped at all; I’m happy to help so feel free to voice your concerns as well.
Definitely try to get your workouts in during your period. A good sweat sesh will do wonders for cramps. Exercise also helps relieve stress, anxiety, fatigue and headaches. The one thing you may want to consider however, is to take the intensity down a notch.
Activities like yoga, Pilates, walking and stretching may be a better option for you during your period. As the girl who messaged me claimed, she found herself much more fatigued during her period. (I can soooo relate to this!) Pushing your body beyond this fatigue may cause injury, something we all want to avoid.
The one caveat about yoga during your period? No inverted poses (in particular, plow pose, shoulder stands and headstands). These poses can cause your uterus to become engorged with menstrual blood. Sorry to be so graphic, but come on, we’re all grown ups here. This engorgement can cause excessive bleeding and cramps. These are just two things I try to avoid when I get my period.
Drink a little extra water.
Women with heavier periods (raising my hand here) lose more fluids and combined with your sweat sesh, it’s just good practice to up your water intake.
If you normally drink 2 L of water daily, aim for 3L during your period. This is espesh true if you are going to workout. Being dehydrated can make you a little light-headed so it’s a good idea to guzzle up.
I like to carry this water bottle around with me (I have it in the mauve colour); it’s super pretty and make me want to drink more too. Plus because it’s stainless steel, my water stays cooler, longer. #bonus
Listen to your body!
During your period your hormones actually resemble more of a man so you may find your strength increases big time.
The down side? Your energy slumps, as mentioned in Tip #1. I do like to recommend some weight training while Aunt Flo is in town. Play by the 5-minute rule:
-if your energy is low, tell yourself that if after 5 minutes you can’t continue, then you can rest or do a less-strenuous workout
The 5 minute rule is great for any day you “just aren’t feelin it”, but espesh so when you are on your period.
9 times out of 10 when I give myself the 5-minute rule I always feel like continuing my workout. This is because 5 minutes is a nice amount of time to let those yummy feel-good hormones called endorphins kick in.
Plus it allows me just enough time to re-focus on my goals. It helps me to think about what I am doing instead of what I am trying to achieve. That in turn takes off some of the pressure I put on myself (aren’t we way too good at doing that haha). And it makes for a happier (and healthier) Tanya.
In the end, it all comes down to what your goals are (are you trying to lose your last 10 lbs?) and how you feel. If you are feeling stressed and your wee one is grinding your last nerve cuz she won’t leave her big brother alone, maybe a sweat sesh is a good idea.
And if you choose to take and extra “rest day” that’s ok too. Just be sure to not “diet down” to make up for skipping a workout. Your body doesn’t work that way and doesn’t remember that you skipped yesterday’s workout.
And remember, be kind to yourself. No looking in the mirror and thinking bad things because your tummy is a little more bloated than usual. It’s just the way the human body works.
So be nice…to you <3