Keeping up with a workout on your period is one of the best ways to overcome unwanted symptoms. Sure, you may not feel great during that part of your cycle but exercising helps. This seems counterintuitive. After all, you’re in pain. You’re exhausted. You feel like curling into a ball and staying still, not moving around and stretching out.
Following your instincts, in this sense, is partially accurate. That’s why your workout on your period likely won’t be the same as what you do during other weeks. Consider the types of exercises you should be doing and why it matters to keep moving for menstrual pain relief.
The Right Type of Workout on your Period
Just motivating yourself to get up and move should get you a pat on the back. That said, if you want the best benefits from your workout on your period, you’ll need to move properly. This will involve, believe it or not, the highest intensity exercises you can stand.
Research shows that higher intensity workout on your period will cause your body to release more endorphins. These are your brain’s feel-good chemicals. As a result, the more you pour yourself into high intensity exercising, the better you’ll feel during the workout and for hours afterward. Moreover, endorphins will also help with pain relief and will assist in pushing out the prostaglandins – inflammation-boosting chemicals your body produces during menstruation that lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms.
Choose a Cardio Workout on Your Period
Though both cardio and strength training have important benefits, and both should play a role in your overall fitness strategy, cardio is your goal during your period. A cardio workout during your period will give you the most symptoms alleviation. Therefore, even if you’d normally be focusing on Pilates or lifting weights, you might be better off hitting the treadmill or rowing machine.
Research has shown that there is a direct link between your PMS symptom severity and your aerobic capacity. What does this mean? The more aerobic (cardio) activity you do – within reason – the more you’ll be able to bring down your symptoms.
The same could not be said about strength training. Anaerobic workouts showed no significant link between the intensity of the workout and the reduction in PMS symptoms. Therefore, you might want to shift your exercise schedule around for a cardio workout on your period in its worst days and strength training later. Need energy to get through it? Try one of our top recommended diet pills for women to gain a boost of energy when you need it most.