Health Tips | 03/02/2023

Fitness & Exercise During Your Period

By Bhoomi Lengde
Copywriter, SSSPORTS.COM

We are aware that exercising generally is beneficial, but is it helpful to exercise during your menstrual cycle? That depends on you and how your body feels during that time of the month. On average, 8 out of 10 women experience discomfort, loss of energy, and change in mood during their menstrual phase.

Most women’s bodies go through 4 phases every month, these are:

  • Menstrual Phase: The phase when you’re actually on your period. This period usually lasts between 3-7 days on average. It is also the time wherein your progesterone and oestrogen levels will be at their lowest.
  • Follicular Phase: Once your period is over your body begins to create eggs for the ovulation phase. This starts on the 1st day of your period and goes up to the Ovulation phase. During this time, your oestrogen levels get a big boost and energy levels are high.
  • Ovulation Phase: The ovulation phase is just after the follicular phase and typically lasts for 3-5 days. Some women experience mild cramps but overall have high energy similar to the Follicular phase.
  • Luteal Phase: This is the last phase of your menstrual cycle and is when your body prepares for the menstrual phase. This typically lasts 12 to 14 days. In the first part of this phase, women have high energy levels which reduce as you get closer to the Menstrual phase.

How should you exercise during your menstrual cycle?

The different phases impact your energy levels, which influence your motivation to exercise. Although getting some movement every day is good for overall health, it is equally important to listen to your body. If you feel drained, you can benefit by taking it easy and might enjoy doing light yoga or stretching. It will allow your muscles to release and offer some ease.

Here is a short guideline that will help you plan your month or week of classes based on your time of the month.

Menstrual Phase

During this time a high-intensity exercise class does not sound appealing. Instead, try doing Yin/Restorative Yoga as a great channel to release tension and calm your mind and body. Exercises such as Child’s Pose, Cat-Cow, Bound Angle Pose, or Reclined Bound Angle Pose aid in releasing the tension in your lower back and lower abdominal region. Alternatively, if you have some energy you can also go on a gentle walk or do some light strength training.

Follicular Phase

This phase is associated with an increase in energy and is an excellent time to try new exercises that challenge your body. Some options can be High-Intensity-Interval-Training (HIIT), Boxing, or Strength Training. This is the perfect time to challenge yourself and lift a little more or push yourself more in that HIIT class.

Ovulation Phase

Similar to the Follicular Phase your energy levels are still high and it is a great opportunity to keep going and make the most of this. You can introduce Spin class, Circuit Training, or TABATA-style training to raise your heart rate.

Luteal Phase

During the first half of this phase, your energy levels are high but often start to reduce. It is a good idea to perhaps try out classes or exercises such as Barre, Pilates, or Low-intensity Cardio. These exercises will still ensure you have a burn but without excessively pushing yourself.

Track your period to know your phase in the menstrual cycle. Do it the old-fashioned way, noting in your calendar, or using a period app. Learn how your menstrual cycle influences your energy levels, mood, and exercise performance.

Share your journey and tag us on Instagram @sssports to let us know if you enjoyed reading this. Subscribe to our newsletter and download our app on the App Store or Google Play  for the latest updates.


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