Many women remember hearing the advice that stepping on the treadmill while you have debilitating cramps may be a good way to relieve them. If you’re like most of us, you may have noticed that an excruciating workout often doesn’t do the trick. Turns out, like with most things, the name of the game is balance.
Healthline notes that there’s no danger to working out on your period, it’s simply a matter of what your body can handle. However, with fluctuating hormones and high levels of inflammation around this time, it may be best to back off on the intensity of your sweat sessions, according to Women’s Health. Hormones play such a pivotal role in nearly all of your biological processes, and working with them, rather than against them, will have you feeling your best. The first few days of your cycle usually coincide with the most intense symptoms like cramping, fatigue and bloating; in order to best support your body, stick to more gentle movements and whatever routine that feels the best, the outlet suggests.
During your heavier-bleeding days, opt for simple stretches, light workouts and walking, Healthline recommends. A simple rule of thumb is that your workout during this time should be the one that feels the best. Your period is a deeply sensitive time, it’s important to treat it as such and care for your body rather than continuing to add layers of stress with high-intensity exercise.
It's best to do more mindful movements leading up to your cycle
Since stress has such a powerful impact on your body and your menstrual cycle, your period can denote how well you’re managing these levels. By managing your stress exposure prior to your period, you can aid in the complex process that your reproductive system is undergoing.
Healthline also suggests adding mindful movement like yoga or pilates into your routine for a few days leading up to your period as a way to keep stress at bay. With less tension in the body, your cycle is much less likely to affect various processes that create bloating, camping and soreness. By managing your health and relaxing more frequently, you’ll likely notice a shift in your period’s symptoms. Rather than logging an hour on the treadmill during this sensitive time, slow down, focus on your breath and help alleviate any tension the gentle way.
Goop notes that psychological stress — i.e. work stress, relationship issues, etc. — isn’t the only type that can impact our cycle. Physical stress like intense workouts, digesting and even heading out with your friends all require a certain level of energy. When you aren’t carving out space for your mind and body to relax, your period may be telling you that it’s time to switch up your work out routine.
The bottom line is that it’s best to only do what your body is up for during this time. If your system needs rest, make sure you go easier on yourself at the gym.
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