So, it's that time of the month? For many, the natural reaction to Aunt Flo’s monthly visit is curling up in bed with Netflix & chocolate. But, ironically, it’s during our periods that our bodies are the most receptive to training & toning. In fact, some researchers have found that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise helps relieve cramps, bloating, mood swings & other symptoms associated with menstruation. The key is to not overdo it. Light to moderate exercise can reduce congestion in your pelvic area & increase the level of endorphins in your system,which results in a greater state of relaxation.
Cramps, caused by contracting uterine muscles, can be eased by activities such as yoga, which increases the flow of blood to the pelvic area & simultaneously, stretches the muscles in the abdomen. Exercising also helps you sweat, which can reduce bloating.
The best exercises to do during your period are those that stretch your lower back, abs & thighs. The most recommended exercises? Squats, planks, jumping jacks, lunges, sit-ups & rear deadlifts. The most recommended yoga positions are camel pose, fish pose, reclining big toe pose & reclining hero pose.
Dr. Sims, an exercise physiologist at Stanford University & a leading researcher on the impact of menstruation on athletic performance, says that it’s during that time of the month that our bodies are most like men's.
It’s during our period that our bodies have higher levels of pain tolerance & muscle recovery. During this time, your estrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest, meaning an increase in energy! The toughest part of your workout will be getting out of bed & working through the initial cramps.
So, this month when your period comes, don’t be afraid to jump out of bed & kick PMS in the butt by exercising! It’ll lighten your mood & help you feel even healthier & stronger than some of your regular workouts. You Got This!