We’ve all been there. A hint of the menstrual cramps, and it’s straight to the bed with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. Exercise? No, thank you. But the next time the furious chocolate cravings hit, you might want to revisit that thought and give working out a try. After all, experts say – time and again – that exercising on your period can ease pain, boost moods, and give you more energy.
In this article, find out everything you need to know about the benefits of exercising on your period.
#1 – It alleviates pesky period-related symptoms
If you’re like most menstruating women, you have to deal with annoying menstrual symptoms, like a bloated belly or foul mood, when it’s time for the monthly red tides. Understandably, when you’re already so uncomfortable, getting all sweaty from a workout session ranks at the very bottom of your to-do-list.
But – as counterintuitive as it seems, working up a sweat when you're shedding your uterine lining can help relieve the annoying symptoms!
When you sweat, your body releases excess fluids; this can help alleviate belly bloat. Also, exercise has been shown to ramp up the body’s production of endorphins ('feel-good' hormones), which can take your mind off any period-related discomfort or pain.
#2 – Enjoy an enhanced physical performance
Don’t belittle your physical capacity when you’re on your period! During menstruation, your sex hormones – progesterone and estrogen – are at their lowest points. And that enables your body to access carbohydrates and glycogen (stored energy in your muscles) more quickly.
In turn, the fuel your body needs to power through an intense work out session is more readily available, and you can amp up the intensity to try and break a new personal best.
Don’t just take our words for it, either. A recent 2016 study found that the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle – with day one being the first day of your period – can lead to more significant gains in strength and power. It's time to get your sweat on and feel like a superwoman!
#3 – You can make the experience more comfortable
Let's be real. You'll still need to endure 30 – 60 minutes of physical activity – all the while being a grumpy, achy, sweaty mess – before the much-coveted endorphins flood your system. Here's some good news: you don't have to tough it out through the pain. It's fine to take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like ibuprofen, to help you get through your workout without wincing in pain the whole time.
Also, if you find tampons and pads uncomfortable during exercise, there are plenty of menstrual products (menstrual cups, discs, and period-proof underwear) available for your experimentation.
Nonetheless, we have to say our favorite choice is period-proof underwear. Why? Well, think about it: you don’t even have to change anything about your routine when you’re bleeding – you already wear underwear every other day of the month (or at least we’re guessing you do)! Intrigued? Explore the comfort and convenience of leak-proof underwear the next time you get active on your monthly flow now.
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