Working out on your period can often feel uncomfortable but there are things you can do to relieve yourself from cramps and even give your body a good energy boost.
"The best exercises to do during your period are the ones you feel like doing."
So whether that’s going for a nice long walk, doing a yoga sequence, or a HIT class, incorporate some sort of movement in your day to help blood flow and release endorphins.
Aerobic workouts – cardio
If you suffer from PMS, then the week of your period opt for cardio and fewer barbell workouts. Research shows that there is a direct correlation between aerobic capacity and the severity of PMS symptoms.
Yes – swimming. Don’t worry you will not leave the pool looking like a shark attack happened. Swimming is a great way of getting some exercise whilst reducing the impact on your body.
Yoga is another great low impact workout that will get your body moving.
Training on your period hacks:
- Drink enough water:
Women with heavy periods lose extra fluids, which can make them feel light-headed when they stand up quickly, like during a yoga vinyasa. So take your time when getting up.
- Take your time:
Slow down and take the time you need when resting between exercises. Remember, you’re not racing against anyone. The workout is there to benefit you.
- Warm up for a little longer:
Add an extra few exercises when warming up to give your body enough time to prepare for the impact of your session. Your body temperature is lower during this time of your cycle so spending a few extra minutes warming up can benefit your performance.
Training and nutrition tips for each phase of the menstrual cycle
Menstrual Phase ( Days 1 -7 )
For the average woman, engaging in full-blown rigorous exercises may not be of great interest. Potential changes in mood may be due to hormonal changes such as a dip in progesterone and estrogen.
Practising restorative training such as yoga and stretching can be a great way to release tension, stress, and pain.
Aim to select food that adds nutrients and restores. Foods that replenish your iron and zinc levels.
Anti-inflammatory foods as good foods rich in antioxidants for the immune system. Remember to keep hydrated.
Get our free 30 day training program for each day of your cycle. Repeat 3 times.
Follicular Phase ( Days 8 – 13)
During this phase, the body creates the hormone FSH (follicle stimulation hormone).
After menstruation is over, there is a boost in estrogen levels as the body prepares to release an egg, this is usually associated with increased energy.
This is the best time to increase the intensity of workouts, such as HIIT, Strength training, and heavier weight training.
Focus on balancing rising estrogen levels and nourishing growing follicles. Rich in protein and energy-sustaining foods are recommended.
Ovulatory Phase (Days 14 – 21)
High estrogen levels from the follicular phase will still be present, while also having increased levels of luteinizing hormone (LH).
You can continue with High-intensity workouts. This is also a great time to try different workout styles.
Focus on protecting against muscle breakdown with high protein intake, and support liver detoxing from high levels of estrogen with fiber and leafy greens.
Luteal Phase (Days 22 - 28)
As levels in progesterone peak, during the luteal phase, you may experience drowsiness, therefore, finding it harder to get through high-intensity exercises so reducing the intensity will be best suited during this phase.
Workout types such as low-intensity cardio, resistance training, and body weight training are good at this point.
Focus on preparing for PMS, foods rich in vitamins B and D, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. It is also good to incorporate mood-stabilizing food with leucine–rich protein.
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