Why Periods and Exercise are a Match Made in Heaven

periods and exercises

Finding the energy and enthusiasm to exercise can be tricky at the best of times but your period certainly doesn’t make it any easier to get motivated. When you’re dealing with bloating, cramps and fatigue, the last thing you feel like doing is working out.
However, exercising on your period can actually have a variety of benefits. As well as the physical and mental benefits exercise brings in general, it can help to banish bloating, improve your mood, increase energy levels and reduce pain.

If you’re still not convinced, get the lowdown on why you should exercise on your period now…

Boost Endorphins
With numerous physical and emotional symptoms to contend with, it’s not surprising that women can experience a low mood during their time of the month. Whether you suffer from full-blown PMS or you’re a little crankier than usual, exercise can have a significant impact on how you feel.

Responsible for ‘runner’s high’, endorphins are released by the body following exercise and have a direct effect on how you feel. In addition to being a mood booster, they’re recognized as painkillers too.

Released in response to pain or stress, endorphins are your body’s way of minimizing discomfort. When you exercise on your period, the endorphin boost will help to combat period pain and enhance your mood.

Combat Anemia
Some women avoid exercise throughout their period because they feel weak or lightheaded. Anemia is a common cause of this an iron-deficiency anemia, in particular, can leave you feeling fatigued. However, exercise can actually help to minimize the symptoms of anemia by ensuring red blood cells are delivered to muscle tissue more easily.

f you’ve been diagnosed with anemia or you routinely feel faint during your period, it’s important to consult your physician. Once anemia has been confirmed or ruled out, you can discuss how exercise can help to resolve the condition with your doctor and plan your next workout.

running exercise

Reduce Pain
For some women, period cramps are a minor inconvenience. For others, however, they’re debilitating and devastating. When you’re doubled over in pain and experiencing severe discomfort, exercise is the last thing on your mind.

If you can convince yourself to try a workout, however, you’ll notice how exercise can significantly reduce period pain. Whilst endorphins are a highly effective painkiller, there are other options for combating period pain too. Buscopan can be used for abdominal cramps, for example, while migraine medication may be recommended if you suffer from hormone-related migraines.

Whether you need medication to reduce period pain or not, exercise will still have a beneficial impact. By adding to the pain-relieving properties, regular workouts will help to minimize pain further and relieve period-related discomfort.

Minimize Anxiety
Anxiety can strike at any time but it’s common for women to experience heightened anxiety throughout their periods. As if the cramps, bloating and back pain wasn’t enough, chances are you’re going to feel extra anxious too.

Exercise is one of the most effective natural remedies for anxiety, regardless of the cause, as well as being great for general health. If you feel extra anxious throughout your period, a workout, a yoga session or even a brisk walk could help to minimize symptoms.

Similarly, exercise can help you to get a good night’s sleep before and during your period. If painful cramps or racing thoughts are preventing you from dropping off, a daily dose of exercise could restore your sleeping pattern.

As well as minimizing discomfort, exercise can release tension in the muscles, which will help you to feel more relaxed. In addition, a post-workout drop in body temperature can help you to feel sleepier, which will make it easier to get a good night’s rest.

Improved Performance
Believe it or not – your sporting performance could actually improve when you’re on your period. At the start of your period, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, which enables your body to access glycogen more easily.

When estrogen levels are high, it’s harder for your body to access this type of fuel, which leads to a slower breakdown of fat. During the first few days of your period, however, your body can access glycogen, which means you’ll get more out of your workouts.

With the potential to increase gains and enhance weight loss, exercising on your period can enhance your overall fitness levels and help you to achieve your fitness goals more quickly.


Longer Workouts
When you work out, your body heat naturally increases. Whilst our systems can tolerate an increase in body temperature when it gets too high, we experience central nervous system fatigue. Once your body hits this point, you’re ‘overtraining’ if you continue to work out. As a result, you could experience fatigue, decreased performance and agitation, as well as an increased risk of injuries.

When you’re on your period, your body temperature is typically lower than average. Ever noticed that you can’t get warm when you’re on your period? That’s why. Instead of snuggling up with a hot water bottle, try working out instead.
When you start off with a lower core temperature, it will take longer for your system to reach the central nervous system fatigue. With longer to exercise, you can get more from your work out session, without overtraining.

Banish Bloating
If your jeans feel a little tighter than usual or you have a whole separate wardrobe for when you’re on your period, chances are it’s due to bloating. Women can carry an extra 5-10l bs of water before their period, so it’s no surprise that you feel uncomfortable.

Regular exercise can help to reduce bloating, so they should be a staple throughout your period. When you work out, you sweat more than you would otherwise. This helps to reduce the belly bloat and offers a myriad of other benefits too.

Whilst you may not feel like exercising when you’re on your period, the benefits are undeniable. Capable of improving your mood, reducing pain, minimizing bloating and enhancing your fitness levels, working out when you’re on your period could be the best exercise you do all month.

1 comment

  1. This is something I can relate to and can completely agree. I love that you wrote this. Going to share it with my friends