Five Tips for Working Out on Your Menstrual Period

Once a month, women have extra challenges they have to face while working out. Still, they are challenges we can conquer by gaining knowledge and by finding the motivation to press on. When you want to exercise while on your menstrual cycle, try all of these five tips.

Five Tips for Working Out on Your Menstrual Period
Wikimedia Commons/Peter van der Sluijs

#1 Keep in mind that exercise can actually reduce the symptoms of PMS and menstrual discomfort

During your menstrual cycle you may feel more tired and rundown. In addition, you may experience cramps or a melancholy mood. Exercise can reduce these symptoms and serve as motivation to workout even when one does not feel like it. Working out wards off bad moods and burnout. It can also help women to get a better nights sleep.

#2 Refrain from inverting the body

You should refrain from anything that causes your legs or hips to rise over your head. It is thought that inverting the body works against the natural flow of the menstrual cycle, creating discord in the body. This theory is especially believed to be true among those who participate in yoga; therefore, the following inversion yoga poses should be avoided during menstruation:

*Feathered Peacock Pose (Pincha Mayurasana)

*Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

*Plow Pose (Halasana)

*Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana)

*Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana)

#3 Try a lower intensity workout or working out for less time

Energy levels can drop during menstruation because 300 extra calories are used each day during the menstrual cycle. It is alright to turn an hour long workout into a half hour during this time of the month. Any exercise is better than no exercise, and it is important to listen to your body.

#4 Perform yoga poses that aid in relieving menstrual discomfort and pain

The following yoga postures aid in alleviating menstrual discomfort:

*Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

*Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

*Reclining Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

*Reclining Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)

#5 Think outside the box

When you are feeling down you may not feel like being around numerous people at a gym or having to go through the effort of packing workout gear, water bottles and the like. You can sway from your normal workout routine. I know when I am not in the mood to workout, I put my workout clothes on and grab my mp3 player before walking out the door for a jog around the neighborhood. There are no distractions because it is just me, my music and nature. For a lower intensity workout ditch the workout clothes and take a walk outside for some fresh air. Another great idea is to treat yourself to a new workout video.

Sources:

Shape Magazine (online)

My Lifetime (online)

More from Rebecca Bardelli:

Top Five Winter Sports for Women: A Female's Perspective

Eight Yoga Poses for PMS

Taking Birth Control Pills Can Hinder Muscle Gain in Females

Five Things Every Female Swimmer Must Know

Rebecca completed courses in Medical Terminology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Coding and Billing. She is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). In addition, Rebecca is a former gymnast and is avid about yoga, swimming and other athletic activities.

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Updated Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012