Exercise during periods: Say no to these moves when you are down

The thought of exercising during periods vanishes as soon as you get cramps. Well, you should exercise during menstruation, but make sure to avoid certain moves.
exercises during periods
5 exercises you should avoid during periods. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 21 Mar 2023, 17:22 pm IST
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When pain, cramps, mood swings, and laziness overpowers your body, you know it’s that time of the month. Menstruation means resting and barely moving from your bed. If only you could do that for real! In reality, you have household chores to do and office work, so taking leave every month might not be possible. Paid menstrual leave is not a reality, so you need to do everything during periods that you do otherwise. But exercising during periods is something that doesn’t make it to the to-do list of many women. Well, you should not stop exercising during menstruation. Just stay away from certain exercises during the period, says an expert.

HealthShots connected with celebrity trainer Praveen Nair, who shared everything about exercising during periods.

exercises to avoid during periods
Avoid these exercises during menstruation. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Exercises to avoid during periods

Regular exercise is beneficial for your body and your mind. In fact, there’s no scientific reason you should skip out on your workouts during your period. Nair says you should continue with exercise, but reduce the intensity, especially if you’re feeling fatigued. You can vary your workouts, take more time to recover, and honour what your body is capable of.

Here’s what to avoid –

1. Intense cardio

Doing intense cardio can often result in heavy menstrual flow and may lead to extra stress on your mind as well as your body.

2. Heavy weight training

If you are experiencing menstrual cramps from the very first day, avoid weight training for the first two to three days, depending on your flow and pain, says the expert. Give your body time to recover and do not indulge into any kind of exercise if you feel fatigued.

3. Inverted yoga poses

Most of the yoga moves are fine to do during your period. But inverted yoga poses that involve standing on your head should not be done during this time. Shoulder stands, headstands and plough pose are especially a big no-no during this time. Standing on your head can lead to vascular congestion in your uterus, which results in excessive menstrual flow, says Nair.

4. Avoid squats and cramps

Women with pelvic pain should not perform squats, as it may cause discomfort. Also, if you have severe cramps, doing crunches may make you feel more uncomfortable.

5. Jumping and high-intensity exercises

It is also advisable to avoid exercises that require intense or prolonged bouts of activity if you experience fatigue. It will drain you faster and increase your menstrual flow.

Exercises women can do during periods

When women are menstruating, a lot of them totally skip exercising during periods. But doing no workout for five days is also not the right thing to do.

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Here’s what you can do:

1. Light walk

Walking in the park or streets with the exposure to sunlight can be great to help your body and muscles open up and relax without even hampering your menstrual cycle.

exercises to avoid during periods
You can go for a light walk during periods. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Pilates

Whether it’s your first day of period or last, you can do Pilates during your periods. It helps in reducing the uncomfortable symptoms of menstruation like cramping, abdominal pain and fatigue, says Nair.

3. Gentle yoga

You can start with light yoga forms, as these will bring a positive reinforcement and also relax your body.

4. Light aerobics

Practicing light aerobic exercises reduces PMS symptoms. The mood swings and discomfort might get relief by light cardio.

5. Low-volume strength training and power-based activities

They help to release endorphins, that’s your happy hormones, which will eventually alleviate your mood swings.

So, pick the right exercises during periods to tap into your endorphins and combat painful periods and decrease PMS symptoms.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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