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Work it! Our Guide to Exercising on Your Period (Plus Why it is Important)

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                                                                               Image: @jp_photography

If exercise is the last thing you feel like doing when you’ve got your period, you’re certainly not alone. Aches, cramps, bloating and tiredness can make it difficult to summon the energy required for a workout.

However, the many benefits of exercising whilst menstruating may have you trading those paisley pyjamas for a little Lycra!

Studies have found that exercise can help with menstrual symptoms such as pain, fatigue and water retention as well as improve mood and cognitive function.

There are so many workout options available that you don’t have to commit to pounding the pavements until your legs turn to jelly, but if you enjoy running and feel up to it, go for it! Cardio workouts release endorphins, which can help with pain and low mood. Just keep hydrated and don’t overdo it. If you’re not a runner and prefer to exercise in the comfort of your own home, consider an online workout to get your cardio hit.

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It’s not all about cardio, though. Exercise that stretches and strengthens your muscles, such as Pilates, can help to alleviate stomach cramps.

Another option is yoga, which increases flexibility and energy levels and can relieve you of bloating and even stress. An ideal choice when faced with your period. You might want to take a break from inversions such as shoulder stands and headstands, though.

Yoga Pose                                                                                Image: @dominikwycislo 

If you enjoy weight training, feel free to carry on during your period. Oestrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest during this time, which means that, metabolically, your body is more like a man’s and you’re likely to feel at your strongest. Exercises which target the lower back and abdomen may help to reduce your menstrual pain, too, and if you’re worried about weight gain, resistance training also boosts metabolism.

If you’re in two minds about a HIIT workout, your time of the month is actually the best time to do it! The hormonal drop means that you’re able to push yourself harder and therefore get the most out of your workout.

And if you don’t like your exercise to feel like exercise, grab your friends and go out dancing! Or for a more structured dance workout that’s just as fun, sign up for a Zumba class.

If you’re really struggling to tear yourself away from the TV, try squatting, lunging or planking during adverts, as this is definitely better than nothing!

Bear in mind that although walking burns fewer calories than other forms of exercise, it still counts! A breath of fresh air could be just the ticket.

As for period products during exercise, menstrual cups are great for active women who experience heavy flow; especially if you prefer low-impact exercise like swimming.

Ultimately, when exercising on your period, it’s all about listening to your body and doing what works best for you.

Written by Megan Whiting for Grace & Green 

Grace & Green is a revolutionary new hygiene company which is empowering women by connecting them with period products which are good for the body as well as sustainable for the planet. 

Join the movement today and go into the draw to win a year's subscription of organic period products or a menstrual cup. 


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