Working out on your period can sound miserable. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is lift weights or run a mile. If your PMS symptoms are off the charts, feel free to take the day off. It’s most important to listen to our bodies!
However, exercising on your period can actually help ease PMS symptoms. The extra blood flow and endorphins will do wonders for our mood and bodies. Obviously if you have chronic illness or a preexisting condition, be sure to clear working out with your doctor. If you feel up to working out, here are a few tips to do it safely!
1. Stay Hydrated 💖
Make sure you’re drinking around 100 oz of water daily. Our bodies get a natural energy boost from being properly hydrated! Plus it’s better for our skin and digestion which is usually in knots during this time. Try to avoid carbonation and caffeine as they can actually make cramping and bloating worse.
2. Have realistic expectations 💖
Oftentimes our energy levels will be out of whack and we might feel fatigued. Listen to your body and lighten your load. Maybe your usual workout is an hour but you only feel up to 30 minutes today. Instead of going through a circuit 6 times, maybe you only do 3. Be patient, be kind, and just try your best. What matters is that you have made the choice to move your body!
3. Stick to light cardio 💖
If it’s your cardio day, take it easy. Trade in the 3 mile run or HIIT workout for a brisk long walk. High intensity cardio raises our cortisol levels and creates unnecessary strain- overdoing it will aggravate any inflammation already caused by our periods. If you choose to walk on the treadmill instead of outdoors, increase the incline and stay at a nice quick pace.
4. Incorporate low volume strength training 💖
This means less reps but more weight. Around this time in our cycle, our bodies naturally increase in strength. Can you believe it?? Take advantage by upping your normal weights by 2-5 lbs and sticking to 4-6 rep sets. The low intensity should allow you to go a little longer, so utilize that energy by incorporating some mobility exercises as well. Your joints will thank you!
5. Try some yoga! 💖
Yoga is a great way to reduce bodily inflammation and clear your head. I’m sure you’ve heard of runners high, but have you ever experienced complete bliss from stretching? It sounds silly, but it’s true! Practicing yoga releases dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. You don’t need a fancy membership to practice yoga. There are some amazing free classes available online. Here is one of my favorite flows from Yoga with Adriene. Next time you’re PMSing give it a try!
Our bodies do remarkable things but we can’t expect them to be 100% all the time, especially as women. It’s important to take care of our bodies as often as possible, not just on our periods. Some easy things to add to our routine include drinking enough water, taking a walk a day, and being mindful about including vegetables into our diet. Seems pretty standard, but it really does make all the difference.
Let me know how these tips workout for you and keep me posted with any questions!