Moderate exercise during a period has been shown to help boost mood, reduce cramps, and potentially aid other PMS symptoms. Despite this, before you hit the gym, keeping some things in mind to reduce stress on your body can help. If you have an extra heavy flow, consult your doctor beforehand to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Here are 6 tips to help you have a healthy workout on your period and why a menstrual cup can help.
Consider lower-impact workouts
A big part of a successful workout is setting an achievable goal at the beginning. You may not feel strong enough for your regular high-intensity routine during your period. If this is the case, consider some light cardio workouts, or choose a new class or workout style for those days. Setting certain types of exercise for period days allows you to get the benefits of working out and make your bleeding days more fun with a designated class.
Our bodies need lots of water when a menstrual cycle is in flow. We lose blood, which itself contains water. But highs and lows of hormones can cause us to retain fluid during a period. That retained water causes bloating and cannot hydrate our tissues and muscles. Because we dehydrate faster than usual during a period, staying hydrated during exercise is a priority. We need to quickly replace the water and electrolytes we lose through sweating and reduce stress on our bodies.
Comfort over everything
What people wear to the gym is a very personal choice. You might grab anything remotely clean and never give it a second thought. Or you might be one of the people who feel more motivated when they wear something stylish that they look good in. Whatever your reasons for choosing your gym fit, when on your period, be all about comfort. Our periods can bring us extra water retention, bloating, and sometimes skin inflammation and acne issues. Don’t find yourself with that stylish outfit cutting into you and chafing during your period workout. Dressing for comfort will make you more likely to achieve your goal.
Give yourself a day off when needed
Sometimes, you hydrate, eat, pull out your comfy sweats, and actually feel motivated but still won’t feel strong enough. Listen to your body. It will indicate when it needs rest. When you give your body what it needs to be healthy, you won’t lose progress in the gym. But you will gain a lot from nurturing yourself when you need it.
Make sure you get enough quality nutrition
Our bodies are busy when we menstruate. Ideally, we would nourish ourselves with good nutrition every day. But it should be a priority when we have a period. Keeping our blood sugar levels steady helps our hormones to regulate and can help with reducing PMS symptoms. Your appetite could be unpredictable during a period, but getting enough protein, iron, and vitamins is vital.
Consider using a menstrual cup
Sometimes people avoid exercise during their period due to bad experiences with pads and tampons. You might have sworn off wearing a sanitary pad in the gym if you experienced chafing or leaking. A tampon may have fallen out and created a never-again mindset around exercise. A menstrual cup like CapdCup from Capd Period can help. When fit correctly, menstrual cups create a seal that protects from leaks. They have a higher capacity than pads or tampons, and their soft silicone material is unnoticed during a workout.
During your period, nurturing and nourishing your body and mind is the priority. Use exercise as part of that plan to gain all the benefits while staying healthy.