It’s understandable that hitting the treadmill or even doing a few laps in the pool remains a harrowing thought for many women on their periods, so here are some top tips to keep in mind on your next period courtesy of Lil-Lets.
Here 5 tips for exercising while on your period.
1. Easy does it. Getting yourself out the door for a run or a gym session is an achievement enough on your best day, but add cramps, back aches and even nausea to this and suddenly it feels near impossible to do anything productive, much less get out of bed. You don’t have to go hard with exercise during this time. Instead, aim for around an hour or less of light cardio, which can include jogging on the treadmill, and low-volume strengthening exercises such as weight-lifting and squats. Yoga is an option, but is better suited to those who don’t experience too much cramping – positions like an inversion, for example, can cause you to cramp more.
2. Warm up and stretch. Much like a workout on any other day, it’s important to first warm up and then stretch, making sure to stretch after your workout too, to avoid leaving your body feeling sore and achy later on. Warming up with a brisk walk or jog first, for example, ensures you won’t pull a muscle and wind up injuring yourself during workouts. If you take medication during your cycle, you may like to take one before exercising, to help alleviate cramps.
SEE ALSO: How to better understand your period
3. Wear the right gear.Let’s face it, period leaks and stains are a reality that many of us are familiar with from school days and beyond and it’s normal to feel vulnerable when working out on your period but taking the right precautions ahead of time will help put those fears to rest. Firstly, make sure you’re wearing the right protection (whether that’s a tampon, pad or pantyliner) that’s suited to your specific size and flow requirements. If you need an added layer of confidence, wear a pair of stretchy tights or fitted shorts under your gym clothes – and opt for black pants, just in case.
4. Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water every day (at least two litres) is especially important when you’re on your period. In fact, it’s better for you to drink more water than you usually would during this time to keep your digestive system healthy and functioning normally (considering many women tend to suffer from diarrhoea or constipation on their periods). A common misconception is that this can result in an increase in water retention and as a result, more of the awful bloating that comes with periods. However, drinking less water will leave you feeling far worse, and drained of energy.
SEE ALSO: 4 tips for an easier period
5. Remember to have fun! Working out during you period doesn’t have to feel like a chore, and there are plenty of ways to keep yourself motivated and enjoying your workouts. Try doing a fun and energetic class like Zumba, step or aerobics classes to get you in the right mood. Create your own playlist to listen to, so you can rock out while you work out! You can also invite a friend to work out with you to make the process a bit more fun. Sure, periods are anything but fun, but they shouldn’t stop you from living life to the fullest!