How Does Exercise Affect Your Period?

exercising to improve your period

5 min read

January 20, 2022

It is no doubt that exercise benefits your body in plenty of ways, but the question we'd like to explore today is how exercise affects your periods. I don't know about you, but the thought of stretching and lifting in the gym doesn't sound like something I would want to do during a period. Many people tend to avoid their fitness regimen during this time because of how uncomfortable it feels. However, studies show that working out while on your period is great for women’s health.

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Effects of exercising while on periods

Regular exercise can cause both subtle and intense changes to your body. In some cases, people may miss their periods due to intense activities in the gym. When the body experiences too much stress, it may disrupt one’s hormonal balance. While not missing their period, some may experience a lighter flow.

However, sticking to your regular fitness routine during your period might probably be the answer you need to overcome the discomfort that comes with periods. However, do remember to listen to your body and not overwork it. Cut down on the intensity and tweak the type of exercises that you may do during your period so that you do not cause undue stress to your body.

When you are having your period, your body’s estrogen and progesterone hormones are at their lowest, meaning you'll experience lethargy. This explains why you tend to feel sluggish and less energetic. When you exercise during your period, you may be able to experience the following:

Higher endorphin levels

The term “endorphin” comes from two words: endogenous (means coming from the body) and morphine (the opiate pain reliever). Therefore endorphins are also known as the body’s natural pain reliever.

Exercise typically boosts endorphins in an individual, sending happy chemicals through different parts of your body. When you exercise during your period, the endorphins produced provide a wave of relief to the body. This helps to mitigate the psychological and emotional stress one experiences during this period, and may help to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms.  

Decreased Period symptoms

Periods often come with bloating, headaches, constipation, breast tenderness, fatigue, and even depression. Working out regularly, even when on your periods, helps treat PMS symptoms over time.

Reduced pain levels

Let’s talk about cramps, the elephant in a period’s room. If there’s one thing that everyone can’t stop complaining about, it's the period pain that comes with cramps. Sometimes cramps result from a lack of sufficient oxygen in the body. Exercising provides a remedy for this by stimulating circulation and encouraging a healthy blood flow into your uterus. This eventually results in reduced period pain levels.

Final Thoughts

For the most part, exercising is a great way to combat the effects and changes that affect women’s health during their periods. Research shows absolutely no reason why you should skip your exercise during this time. The best way would be to reduce the intensity and incorporate a variety of workouts.

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