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Periods 101 – should I work out on my period?

Periods 101 – should I work out on my period?

Periods can be painful, uncomfortable and messy. But it should not get in the way of your everyday lifestyle. Working out on your period can be tough for a number of reasons; your pad may be visible through your leggings, your tampon may be placed uncomfortably, the paranoia that you have bled through to your leggings and not to mention the tummy cramps from hell. But this isn’t anything to be ashamed about, we need to embrace this perfectly natural monthly occurrence and make it as comfortable for ourselves as possible (Hooray! For! Periods!). So, this all leads to the ultimate question – should you work out on your period?

The short answer is yes – there is nothing stopping you from working out on that particular time of the month.

Now we’re not saying you should get up and run a marathon as soon as mother nature comes calling. If you feel like staying in bed, binging Netflix and eating a family packet of Doritos there is nothing wrong with that (and you totally should!). During our menstrual cycle (days 1-5), our oestrogen and progesterone levels are low, leaving us feeling run down and sluggish. So, don’t punish yourself if your motivation is lacking. We all need recover days anyway so our muscles can repair themselves.

Nevertheless, you can get the most out of your workouts by going with the flow (pun intended). If you don’t feel like sweating it out to some high intensity cardio, some weightlifting may be just the thing for you at this time, due to your testosterone levels being slightly higher than usual. One study conducted by Umeå University in Sweden found that women may experience greater gains in strength during the first two weeks of their menstrual cycle (starting the first day of your period) due to the low levels of female hormones during this time.  So, this is a great time to build muscle!

If this still doesn’t sound ideal, then perhaps some light yoga, Pilates or a brisk walk is the ideal workout for you at this time. Some gentle exercise during this time can release those magical endorphins and enhance your mood. We can all get a bit grouchy around the time of our period, so this is a great way to lift your spirits, improve circulation and clear your head. If you are unsure about what workout to do, Auro offer tons of one-on-one yoga, Pilates and light cardio classes with our expert personal trainers guiding you through every step of the way.

Exercising on your period can also help relieve other PMS symptoms, such as headaches, cramps or back pain. As well as giving you a natural ‘high’, endorphins also act as a natural pain killer, so when they are released during exercise you may feel relief from your period pain. This is especially important if you suffer from particularly painful periods, otherwise known as dysmenorrhea.

So, the bottom line is, working out on your period is one hundred percent okay and can even help you get through the less positive parts of this time of the month. Keeping your body fit and healthy is so important and we shouldn’t let anything get in the way of our goals.

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Sources:

https://www.cosmo.ph/health/exercising-on-your-period-a704-20200630

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a33083972/working-out-on-period/

https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-during-period#benefits