A short while ago we covered the menstrual cycle in detail – what really goes on inside your body through the entire cycle. And in the last post we covered women athletes and the struggles they face affecting their period. So we thought…how about the average everyday athlete?
We all know how it feels like to be faced with the dilemma: to roll around in bed with cramps or to tough it out and go for a proper workout?
Science has no concrete proof to say that you shouldn’t exercise at all while on your period. Instead, there are ways that you can harness your entire menstrual cycle to exercise in a way that is both efficient and more comfortable at different stages of your cycle.
Here’s a quick overview in an infographic:
Now lets break it down.
Day 1-7: Your Period
This is where most of the dilemma occurs. You may already know that exercise helps with cramps, but at the same time, you’re bloated, cranky and bleeding from below with a throbbing pain in your abdomen. We’ve covered exercising to manage cramps in the post linked above, so go over to check it out!
The bottom line is: don’t overdo the exercises when you’re having your period, but still try to get active. Light exercises are not only more manageable, they still give you the workout you need and may even help with cramps.
Swimming is a great low-impact, whole-body exercise, but if you’re wimpy about swimming with your period, check out our article on ways to swim during your period! 🙂
Day 8-14: You’re Unstoppable!
Rejoice, your period is over!
Throughout the 5-7 of the course of your period, your body has been readjusting back to normal. No more PMS, no more bleeding and no more fatigue.
Here you can ramp your workout routine back up and include more intense sessions because your body can take it. You can tolerate pain and endure exercising longer.
Long-distance running, cycling, weightlifting, dance, etc. Push yourself and go all out to achieve the fit dream!
Day 14: Ovulation Day
Although slight ovulation cramps are possible, most women don’t notice when they are ovulating. If you still feel great, go ahead and work out as per normal. Some experts even say that this is the day that you can try to beat your personal records while you’re at the peak of your intense workouts!
However, do keep safe through correct postures and forms, because your estrogen levels start to go up when you are ovulating. This interferes with your neuromuscular control, so you are more likely to make a mistake and injure yourself.
Day 15-28: Dealing With PMS
After ovulation, changes to hormone levels will start PMS slowly. Or quickly, for some. PMS is a tricky situation to deal with, because everybody’s PMS situation can be so vastly different from each other.
Some may have higher body temperatures, with increased water retention, fatigue, headaches, indigestion, etc. The list is endless! All these symptoms will definitely affect your stamina and performance, and you will not be able to train like you’re unstoppable anymore.
When the PMS gets too bad to manage with your normal to high intensity workout, do low-impact workouts instead like yoga and balancing exercises. You can also get a comfortable workout from stretching too.
So know your body well, how it works, and don’t be too disheartened by the setbacks your menstrual cycle throws at you. Learn how to manage with the bad times, and when it’s the good times, go all out and work that body!
Looking for something to ease your menstrual cramps? Head over to www.menstruheat.com to get MenstruHeat mailed to you every two months!