So what exercise should you do? Anything you like and feel comfortable doing. Mild cramps respond well to exercise; just don’t push yourself if you’re nauseated or having severe cramps.
Even experts against a hardcore workout on your period have to agree that a walk gets you moving without injury or danger. So, put on some sneakers and sunblock, and hit the road. Walking by itself isn’t a huge calorie burner, but you will feel good about the fact that you exercised. Don’t stress the exact calorie count.
2# Give Pilates a try
Pilates tops this list of the best exercises to do during the menstrual cycle because I love this type of workout and do it regularly, even during my period. Pilates helps me feel better as it relieves PMS symptoms. It helps move blood and lymph through the body, reducing cramps, bloating and irritability. Furthermore, Pilates helps to improve my posture, strength and flexibility. I know Pilates is not for every woman. Give it a try and see if it works for you. If it makes you feel worse, skip it.
If you’re feeling up for a jog, go for it. The endorphins you release during an intesnse cardio workout can help you beat the period ickies that you may be feeling. Hydrate well before, after and during your run, if possible; some researchers say you dehydrate more easily on your period. Whether that’s true or not, err on the side of safety and keep drinking.
Meditation is a good workout for your mind. During your period, you may experience stress, anxiety, and sudden and intense mood swings. Meditation is one of the most effective ways to relax, improve your emotional health and stay calm during the day. When you are calm, your cramps are not so intense. Meditating for 15-30 minutes a day can make a huge difference in how you feel.
Yoga is very customizable; many poses have options to match your skill level. Inversions aren’t recommended during your period, although this has no definitive medical basis. Still, having the option to relax in the goddess position if you’re not up for a headstand is nice.
Sometimes, when you’re on your period, you just want to go a little crazy. Aerobic exercise is the perfect way to let loose. Plus, aerobics classes are typically held in a low-pressure environment where the focus is on fun.
Shaking it up on the dance floor isn’t exercise in the traditional sense, but it will rev your heart rate and burn some calories. This is a great option because it doesn’t feel like exercise — and when you’re on your period, you might need a little motivation to get gussied up and feel great about who you are. Stepping out into an evening of dancing and fun will certainly give you that extra oomph and make you feel fabulous.
8# Do stretching
Stretching is a workout too. It is perfect for women with heavier menstrual cycles who can’t perform any exercise because of pain. Once you wake up, do standing stretches or floor stretching to increase your energy levels and feel a little bit better. Breathing is a good addition to stretching.
When it’s that time of the month, all you want to do is stay home and watch Lifetime movies. Make the most of your TV time by holding a plank position during the commercials:
Get down on the floor.
Put your arms and elbows under your chest.
Raise your body using just your forearms and toes, and hold.
This is an intense all-over workout. Start by holding your plank during every other commercial and work up to holding through an entire commercial break.
10# Working out from home
Pop in an exercise DVD or pull up an on OnDemand workout. You don’t need to dress in fancy workout gear, and quitting early won’t be embarrassing if you’re just doing it in your living room. Only you will know that you sweated to the oldies in your flannel nightie for exactly 14 minutes before sinking back into your couch to watch the Real Housewives reunion.
Don’t use your period as an excuse to forget your fitness routine — but do listen to your body if you need a break from it. Give some of the above workouts a try.
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