Cramps, bloating, a throbbing headache…uuugh…it’s that time of the month and we don’t feel like doing anything, we just wanna lie in our bed (cue in Bruno Mars). Give me an acai bowl (because it’s summer now) and let me Netflix and chill…am I right?
Should we get a free pass during our flow days, or could we actually benefit from getting off our tushes and moving our body? Let’s find out!
If you just google ‘Should I Work Out on my Period?’, you’ll find all sort of mumbo jumbo. From articles saying you should stay home and rest to those saying you should treat it like no other day in the month, and then you also have some stating you’ll have more energy and will even burn more calories (hmmm…interesting…). So how can we know which one is true? Well, let’s just get one thing out of the way first – Can we actually make a wrong move? Think about it; this is something we experience on a monthly basis, it’s completely natural, and it doesn’t disrupt any other function in our body. Why do we even think that working out would be a wrong thing to do? Having no motivation and feeling lethargic & bloated is one thing, but why should we even google the words Should we workout… There is absolutely no science-backed reason not to. Period. (Pun intended :))
Now, what KIND of workout should we be doing is a whole different question. A lot of doctors and obstetricians promote lighter workouts such as yoga, pilates, walking, light cardio. Simply because of the fact our bodies are cramping, we feel more fatigued and heavy. There is very little science behind it, other than relying on how we feel. There is one interesting research though, which proved how our lung capacity slightly decreases during our period, meaning our endurance may be a bit lower. Still, the research says ‘it is not known if these differences exist during exercise’.
Ever since I first got my period, my PMS and the first 2 days of flow were absolutely excruciating. Terrible cramps, bloating, water retention, fever, nausea, toothache (crazy, I know, but according to my acupuncturist, this is actually not a weird symptom!), and occasional headaches & fainting (always a drama queen). Being a professional dancer, I really didn’t have a choice – I needed to go to the studio, bite my tongue and just push through it. And you know what, I felt better every single time. So, that’s what I am used to. I actually love doing crunches because they warm everything up and my cramps subside. The one thing I did notice, and do know is true, is the fact that your balance may be a bit off (so if you can’t seem to hold your center and activate your core, it’s ok :))
If you don’t have a habit of working out during your period, and you want to give it a go, I definitely recommend you do, especially if you feel pain & discomfort.
TOP reasons to work out on your period are:
#1 Boosts your mood! Workout endorphins are a real thing girl!
#2 Eases cramps because of improved blood circulation.
#3 Helps with fatigue and headache. (keeps everything moving & flowing in the body)
#4 Raises your body temperature and makes you sweat which leaves you feeling lighter after a workout (and I don’t mean lighter as in weight-loss-lighter, but lighter as in ‘no more period heavy feeling’, you know what I’m talking about)
But, hey, at the end of the day, it all comes down to what you want and how you feel. If you’ve been a dancer or an athlete your whole life, you were probably trained how pms and period days are no different than any other, and you didn’t even think of the words “Should I…” If you tried working out on those days and you just felt worse afterwards, by all means, please stay at home and rest. Go on a relaxing walk, or simply put your feet up and chillax. If you simply love sweating your body in the gym, cycling, or doing some yoga, enjoy it! And if you just don’t know if you should or shouldn’t do it, like I said, there is no science-backed reason not to, so give it a go and decide for yourself! There is no wrong move, do what you want to do – we are all in this together 😉
XOX, Karla Tafra
Yoga 💕 Nutrition 💕Fitness