Periods can be mentally and physically draining. One has to deal with all those changes in hormones taking place inside the body. These changes manifest in mood swings and varied emotions. Exercise in periods thus takes a back seat.
To be candid, exercising is the most convenient way to steer clear from any physical exertion during those days. Add to that the myths associated with workout during periods. They make exercise during a period a taboo for most women. Scientifically, there is no evidence to suggest that one should refrain from exercise during periods.
Medical science recommends low to moderate intensity exercise during the period. This is why one must not shun workouts during periods. It is important to engage in a physical drill which serves as an exercise for period cramps as well.
Benefits of Exercise During Periods
In general, exercising is important to have a toned and healthy body. It wards off various debilitating diseases. Workout during periods leads to the secretion of endorphins, feel-good hormones.
So, contrary to the notion that exercise in periods will aggravate symptoms such as fatigue and nausea; it may have a beneficial impact by alleviating cramps, depression, and irritability. Listed below are the ways in which exercising during menstruation helps you:
1. Pain Reliever
Doing exercise for period pain helps immensely. For a layperson, it may sound out of the ordinary that exercising can relieve period pain. One of the most common reasons people believe for not doing workout during periods is that the person is experiencing pain. Beta-endorphins, the natural pain killer, are released during workouts. Exercising burns prostaglandins – chemicals that lead to uterine muscle contraction. Thus, you must exercise for period cramps and get relief from pain.
2. Manage Mood Swings
Exercise during periods reduces cortisol (a hormone that exacerbates stress) and increases endorphins (hormones known to boost happiness). This helps keep anxiety out of the picture.
3. Keep Fatigue at Bay
Exercise in periods helps strengthen muscles and keep you energetic. This, in turn, increases work productivity and lessens exhaustion.
Empirical evidence, albeit inconclusive, suggests that women tend to burn more calories when they exercise during periods vis-à-vis when they exercise during other days. So, the simple rule is to know the list of exercises during a period and engage in a moderate workout.
Choosing the Best Exercise in Periods
Here are a few suggestions on exercises that will help you remain healthy and pepped up during periods as well. The ultimate decision, however, depends on your flow and comfort.
Walking is one of the simplest exercises during periods that one can engage in. It is termed a panacea by some experts due to its healthful impact on the human body and its efficacy in warding off various illnesses. 30 minutes of walking every day have proven to enhance general wellness.
Walking, as one of the exercises in periods, can easily be self managed. It does not require any equipment, preparation, or a mate. So, simply put on your joggers and walk as much as you can without putting any physical strain on yourself.
2. Light Aerobics
Next on the list of exercises during periods is aerobics. Avoid overdoing it. Simple stretching such as doing forward and backward bends are also workable. The workout during periods may be shortened or punctuated with more and longer breaks.
Depending on the type of asanas that one performs, yoga has the efficacy of strengthening muscles and joints, boosting energy, improving blood circulation, boosting digestion, and decreasing cramps even during periods.
There is nothing more relaxing than listening to music and dancing. Not only do you burn calories but you also remain pepped up. Medical evidence suggests that Zumba can reduce the severity of menstruation and lessen the pain.
5. Strength Training
You can do press-ups and squats as a part of your exercise during periods. These are low-intensity and effective muscle strengthening techniques.
Tips for Exercise in Periods
Listed below are some points you should keep in mind when you exercise in periods:
1. Strenuous Exercises: you must not engage in strenuous exercises during periods. Lifting heavyweights and that too without support is strictly prohibited.
2. Avoid Prolonged Workouts: a prolonged exercise regimen is best avoided. If one intends to follow their normal daily pattern of exercise in periods, it is advised to show restraint and exercise caution.
3. ‘Stop’ is the Keyword: adjust the intensity of exercising as per your needs. Just remember to stop in time. The moment you feel that workout during periods is becoming too demanding, just withdraw, sit back, and relax.
4. Maintain Hygiene: when you exercise during periods, pay utmost importance to hygiene. This includes taking a quick shower, changing innerwear and the sanitary pad afterwards.
5. Drink Plenty of Water: drinking more water and staying hydrated is the simplest way to reduce period pain. Increased water intake is also important after a workout during periods.
6. OTC Pain Relievers: one may take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers in case there is back pain or cramps. A natural way to lessen such pain is to apply ice or use a heating pad after the exercise during periods.
Choose any of the exercises as mentioned in the list of exercises during periods. One must, however, prudently consider the intensity of exercise in periods. Do remember that exercise during periods is an antidote to menstrual problems. There is, therefore, no reason for you to not exercise unless specifically forbidden by a health expert due to any underlying medical condition.