Every month there are always some days when you only want to curl up under covers and satisfy your cravings. However, still, many ladies keep working hard while sweating and even menstruating, which is so motivating. Here’s what you need to know about fitness on your period because it’s very important to take extra good care of yourself.
1. Can you exercise during your period?
Absolutely yes. If you are healthy women with regular periods, there are several reasons you should absolutely do it. Exercising helps balance your nervous system and enhance blood circulation. Also, the contraction and relaxation of your abdominal and pelvic muscles promotes a smooth flow of menstrual blood which can relieve some bloating and cramps.
In the week of your menstruation period, estrogen starts out at its lowest point, which makes it a bit easier to build muscle fiber so it’s much likely to get tighter arms or legs when you do resistance exercises such as lifting weights or using resistance bands. In other words, unless you suffer a severe dysmenorrhea, excessive blood flow or functional uterine bleeding, it’s not likely that you cannot have a workout.
2. What type of workout you should do and shouldn’t
Some high-intensity exercises should be avoided during your menstruation cycle, such as insanity workout or boxing with lots of jumping movements. Also, you should try not to take exercises which can increase abdominal pressure like squat with weights, sit-ups and other ab training since it can occasionally result in malposition of the uterus and excessive menstrual flow.
Research shows that women who usually have tough workouts during or around the special time take a large percentage of female population with menoxenia. This is because strenuous exercises inhibit hypothalamic function and result in abnormal endocrine function, which affects the normal menstrual cycle. Some ladies even suffer from malposition of uterus or even hysteroptosis involved with highly intensive exercises especially strength training.
Inverted yoga poses during your period, is believed that standing on your head may engorge your blood vessels in your uterus, which can lead to more period flow, more cramps and even an increased risk of infection.
Ladies who have regular exercises and a high level of physical fitness should reduce the workout intensity to 60% while exercising by lessening the number of reps or slowing down the movement speed. (Also avoid violent jumps, weight training, inverted pose, and abdominal training.)
For those of you who are physically weaker and rarely exercise, a few exercises are highly recommended such as yoga, walk, and stretching training etc.
There is no strict standard of how much or how long you should work out during your period. Rather, it varies from person to person. Adjust yourself based on the points below:
1). Fatigue is gone after a full night’s sleep.
2). Period flow doesn’t get heavier.
3). You don’t get more belly cramps.
(Go to see a doctor if your period is late for many days, or your period flow increases and lasts for nearly half a month due to the amount of workout you have. After all, you know your body better than anyone, and your period’s as good a time as any to actually listen to it.)
In short, whether your fitness goal is to loss fat or build muscles, over exercising will only harm your body. Instead, going slow the days before and during your period can have your body well-rested and stretched so as to prepare for a better training.
3.How to combine diet and exercise?
From the week before and during your period, your estrogen level tends to be low so you can find yourself getting hungry and regularly craving for particular foods. Fortunately, study found that women’s metabolic rate will increase by about 300–400 kcals during menstruating.
However, that doesn’t mean you won’t put on weight no matter how much you eat since you would have less exercise as well.
So remember not to overindulge in too much food. Don’t get us wrong. We are not saying you have to kill all your cravings. You can spread out the 200–350 kcals into what you crave for. (If you have more workout sessions, it means you can consume more calories. Weight loss is just a process of balancing between calorie intake and consumption.)
During this period of time, the insulin response tends to be slow, as a result, the glucose builds up in your bloodstream and your sugar level rises. Therefore, rather than trying to stave off hunger by having rice and flour, it’s a good idea to go for whole grains like whole wheat bread and cereals. It can not only maintain your body fat levels but also regulate irregular periods as well as calm nerves. Besides, eat foods rich in vitamin B, like walnuts and cashews, to help support your menstrual hormone balance.
In addition, try to eat smaller meals more regularly. Eat slowly and chew your food well, so your brain gets the ‘satiety’ signal before you feel over-full.
4. What to wear during exercise?
Say no to unbreathable leggings
Many women like wearing leggings while exercising in order to build muscle definition and ensure best training effects. However, during your menstrual period, wearing unbreathable tights can result in bad consequences such as blocking sweat glands, breeding bacteria and even oppressing uterus. What makes it worse, a series of gynecological diseases would be induced. To avoid such sufferings, remember to wear breathable and comfortable sportswear.
Regardless of seasons, your immune system tends to be weaker during “that time of the month”, so getting yourself toasty and warm is really important. Even in summer, instead of wearing a short top to show your abs, you’d better wear a T-shirt. Also, remember to change your clothes in time after getting sweaty.
5. Does your menstrual cycle affect weight loss?
Women’s hormone fluctuations may have an impact on fat loss. There has been an argument of “Fat burning period”, which means exercising in the last 2 days of menstruation or a week after is more effective.