While you might automatically associate your period with blankets and moving only from bathroom to fridge, your body is actually hugely effective at fat burning during this stage of the month.
Exercising on your period can leave you feeling productive, energetic, more focused while improving everything from your cramps to your mood.
It will be no secret that getting started is the real struggle but once you are on your way, the endorphins and relief you will feel from a good sweat will make it all the more worthwhile.
Below are some tips for unpeeling from your sofa and getting yourself moving.
1. Switch up your routine
You may be used to a routine of high impact, intense workouts. You will find that during your cycle your energy levels will fall and drop interchangeably. There will be some workouts where you notice a real difference in your ability to keep up and work hard. You should always make a note of how you feel after each session; did you feel energetic or tired / lethargic. Making a note makes it far easier to plan your workouts for your next cycle. For example if you found yourself feeling low on for example the 1st/2nd day of your period, you will know to adapt your workouts for your next cycle to ensure you factor in a lower impact workout i.e. stretching, swimming, yoga etc for these days when you are not quite feeling yourself. This will get you moving and get your heart rate raised without causing you to feel more uncomfortable or injure yourself through lack of concentration. A great app to track down your daily symptoms with regards to your cycle is FITR – check it out!
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
There is a misconception here that drinking less fluid will support water retention. This is NOT the case and in actual fact when we feel bloated and heavy during this phase of our cycle we should be concentrating on drinking more. Try and aim for at least 2 litres of water per day and more when exercising. Cutting down on sugary snacks, salt and caffeine can also help to heavily reduce bloating and discomfort.
3. Focus on stretching
Stretching is a brilliant way to get your body moving without too much irritation. Stretching is not only brilliant in relieving tense muscles, it can also contribute to reducing cramps, aches and pains which we are more than familiar with during our period!
4. Listen to your body
You can try every trick or tip in the book and some days you just will not feel like it and that is fine, the answer is simple – don’t! Pain is often the bodies way of reminding us to slow down and take some time out. The first few days of our period are usually the toughest, in the grand scheme of things taking 2 days off a month WILL NOT hinder your progress and will actually do you the world of good if that is what your body needs. You can still go for a nice walk, get a good sleep, hydrate and eat well, but if your body is saying no thank you, it is probably right so take a breather, reset and come back stronger!
Remember there is no one size fits all approach to how and what we do exercise wise on our period. Every woman is different and we will most likely feel different in ourselves each month. Period pain can range from ‘I feel a little bit blergh’ to ‘Why does my uterus hate me?…’ it is simply about tracking your own needs, doing what is best for you and your body and re-shuffling your exercise routine accordingly.
If you’re feeling ready to move your body head to my Instagram channel @niix.fit where I post regular workouts suitable for any stage of your cycle! https://www.instagram.com/niix.fit/?hl=en