Written for Kali By: Nadia Murdock

When your period is around the corner and you are experiencing cramps, bloating, and fatigue, the last thing you want to do is put on compression tights and hit the gym. Think again! Finding the energy to work out during that time of the month is actually a good idea and it might alleviate some of those pesky and uncomfortable symptoms you might be suffering from.

Studies show that working out can help with period symptoms such as cravings, bloating, mood swings, and the dreaded abdominal cramps. In fact, Sarah G. Jamison, MD Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician from the Bronx, NY, recommends 30 minutes of regular exercise to improve premenstrual symptoms over time.

There is a reason you may not feel your best or want to exercise during your time of the month. Per Dr. Wendy Goodall McDonald, the best oxygen utilization occurs between menstrual cycles due to the changes in blood volume. Circulating blood volume increases right before your menstrual cycle blood flow. Lungs process oxygen the best during this time. That means that you may feel less in shape during menstrual flow and immediately after based on your ability to handle oxygen intake with slightly less blood volume.

Look…curling up on the coach is totally allowed, but so is hitting the gym. Below are a few pointers to get you started. If you have been avoiding the gym during your period, the suggestions listed can help you feel your best when you may not have the motivation to get moving.

Workouts to Stick To:

#1 Cardio: Running, cardio dance, and the elliptical are all great options.

#2 Strength Training: Barre, Pilates and Power Yoga are more gentle approach to strength training if you aren’t looking to lift heavy during your cycle.

#3 Stretching: Start with something simple like child’s pose and then progress to moves like wide angle seated forward bend.

Workouts to Avoid:

Fitness classes with inversions: It’s believed that practicing inversions (turning the body upside down) help to recirculate your blood, bringing in fresh and found energy to your cells. As great as that sounds, try to stick to these moves when you are not menstruating. These moves can engorge the blood vessels in the uterus making cramps worsen and possibly cause you to bleed more!

It’s that simple! I always suggest starting out slow and each month try something different until you find a routine that works best for you.

Written for Kali By: Nadia Murdock

Nadia Murdock is a published author, fitness coach, and an on-air fitness expert seen on networks such as Fox, SELF, E! News, and Today.com just to name a few. Her motto is “train your mind, change your body”. After going through her own health journey through weight loss and transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, she became dedicated to sharing that power with others.