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Wondering if you can exercise during periods? Mirabai Chanu is the inspiration you need

Updated on:5 August 2021, 11:51am IST
Many women wonder whether it is alright to exercise while they’re on their period but at the end of the day, it is all about listening to your body.
Grace Bains
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period flow
Believe facts, not myths about periods. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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There is a lot of apprehensions around whether one should exercise during their period or not. This hesitation makes people often skip their workouts, as exercising while on your period can come across as counterintuitive.

Recently, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal at the prestigious Olympics but her coach revealed to the media that she was actually on her period when she achieved that feat! So, maybe exercising when Aunt Flo is visiting isn’t all that bad?

See, there is no black or white when it comes to exercising during that time of the month. While strenuous activities should ideally be avoided, a moderate and light workout could actually help alleviate menstrual symptoms.

exercising during period
When it comes to working out during your periods, you should listen to your body. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Benefits of exercising when on periods

With some caution, light exercise during your periods can benefit you in the following ways:

Alleviate menstrual symptoms: Working out can help stretch muscles, and reduce stress on joints and bones. Blood flow also increases due to exercising, and hence, the blood oxygen levels take a boost. Hence, the intensity of symptoms such as cramps, pain, bloating, mood changes, irritability, and fatigue can be reduced by some light exercising.

Improves your mood: Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.

exercising during period
Those who exercise during their period may reap multiple benefits! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
A few exercises that you can do when on your periods

It is advisable to stay in your comfort zone when exercising during your periods. Also, factor in the volume of flow, as the first day or two of the period may have you experiencing a heavy flow.

You may consider doing the following exercises during your period:

Walking: Taking a walk is a great way to relax and exercise at the same time. Walking can be done without any specific equipment and can be taken up as per your schedule. You can also regulate its intensity as per your choice.

Low-intensity cardio exercises: Regardless of the exercise you choose, be it jogging or swimming, remember to keep the intensity low. For example, if you decide to jog, then don’t plan on covering long distances in one go. Consider breaking your jogging session into intervals, try to keep them short at the beginning, and don’t shy away from walking between the intervals so you can recover. Moreover, start jogging at a moderate pace and maintain the same pace for the entire distance.

Stretching and yoga: Stretching can improve blood flow to the working muscle, and reduce stiffness. It will also help you regulate your heart rate, and aid cardiovascular health. Yoga is great for flexibility, strength, stamina and mobility, and keeps the mind relaxed and focused.

exercising during period
Yoga can be quite soothing during your periods. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here are a few precautions you can take

If you plan to exercise during your periods, then remember to follow certain precautions:

  • Avoid strenuous or prolonged workouts, as it may cause exercise-induced inflammation. It may also cause fatigue, nausea, and pain or discomfort.
  • Choose the right menstrual product for you, something that makes you feel comfortable. The idea is to use a tampon or pad that will help you avoid stains on your underwear, and let you exercise without any itching or discomfort.
  • Ensure to take care of your hygiene. Consider measures such as taking a shower after working out, changing your underwear and clothes, to using a fresh pad or tampon.

So, ladies, you may consider exercising during your periods, as long as you observe due precautions! At the same time, remember that you should rest if you’re in a lot of pain. Essentially, you must listen to your body!

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.