Should you be exercising during menstruation?
This one’s for the ladies; does working out on your period seem like an impossible chore and something that you avoid altogether? If you think that bed rest and keeping still when experiencing menstrual cramps is the best way to ease the pain then you may be wrong. Exercise, particularly yoga, may be your solution.
It is no secret that endorphins are a natural high as a result of moderate-intense exercise and that that release can give you a ‘feel-good’ high. But endorphins are also a natural painkiller and can offer pain relief when experiencing menstrual cramps. In saying this, it is important to not overexert or push yourself more than usual. Dr Marcello, PhD for Healthline said, “During this time many women report experiencing an increase in the rate of perceived exertion, so exercises that are moderately difficult feel much more difficult during this time”.
Mild exercises to consider to ease tension in your abdomen and muscles, and increase blood flow without the risk over over-exertion are yoga-related routines and stretches According to Dr Suzanne Trupin, M.D., “Yoga incorporates deep breathing, which helps relieve the effects of oxygen deprivation to the tissues, one of the main causes of cramps”.
Another method of using exercise to ease your uncomfortable pains during this time is foam rolling. It’s may be common knowledge that foam rolling helps to relax your muscles and promote blood flow and is usually done to prevent muscle cramps from everyday exercising. But there are benefits to using this tool when experiencing menstrual cramps, an example may be by positioning yourself on the roller, sitting upwards and rolling the foam roller down your glutes, the hamstrings and below the sacrum, you are massaging those hard-working muscles are aiding circulation.
Just like there are countless mental and physical health benefits to exercising regularly, there are just as many benefits to exercising on your period. Don’t skip your regular workout just because you have your period, carry on or adjust your exercise and experience that benefits that may come with it.
Healthline. 2020. Exercise During Period: What You Should Do And Avoid. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-during-period> [Accessed 15 May 2020].
Nascimento, J., 2020. Yoga Postures & Foam Rolling To Help With Menstrual Pain — The Karma Mamas. [online] The Karma Mamas. Available at: <https://www.thekarmamamas.com/blog/yoga-foam-roller-pms> [Accessed 15 May 2020].
Shape. 2020. These Simple Exercises Will Ease Your Worst Menstrual Cramps. [online] Available at: <https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/best-exercises-for-period-cramps> [Accessed 15 May 2020].