Not sure how to exercise and what type of physical activity you should choose? You can engage in any type of physical activity or opt for individually adapted workouts – it only depends on your body. Read on to find out what I mean.
We will start exercising as soon as we split into groups. Which group will you join?
- The first one is the luckiest group (so to speak). It includes women who barely notice that they are menstruating, hardly experience any pain and stop bleeding quickly.
- The second group is for those who sometimes feel their period more, sometimes less, and who have moderate bleeding. In their case, physical activity is recommended to help relax the muscles.
- There is also a third group – which is by no means the worst one! This one is for women who would gladly wait their period out curled up in their beds for several days.
Should they exercise? Yes, they should, but with a small caveat.
The first group should pass on very intense workouts which directly target the abdominal muscles, and especially their lower sections, even if they feel capable of doing them. There are no other contraindications, so if you are one of those women, you can use our workouts which target, e.g. the inner part of the thighs and feel fantastic after your training session.
If you are one of those ladies whose bodies want to keep active during menstruation, try special-purpose moderate intensity workouts. Below, you will find a sample exercise plan you can use during your period. You can also try some yoga or Pilates.
If you are in the third group... first see a urogynecological physical therapist. They will advise about the best exercises or help you to solve the problem. You can also practice mindfulness: this type of activity will help you to reduce the pain. After a few sessions, the physical therapist may give you the green light to try more intensive exercises.
How should you exercise when on you period?
The first workout is meant for the second group, i.e. women who can indulge in moderate physical activity during menstruation.
- Walk in place with your knees raised high – 1 minute
- Jumping lunges – 1 minute
- Upper body twist – 20 repetitions for each side
1st set of exercises:
- 20 regular squats – stand up with your back straight; keep your feet hip-width apart and make sure your knees do not move beyond the line of your toes.
- 15 classic push-ups – place your hands at shoulder-width, with your fingers facing forward and not inwards; you can rest on your knees
- 20 shoulder touches in front support – in front support; touch your shoulders alternately; keep your back straight; do not move your hips
1-2 minute break.
2nd set of exercises:
- 30 skater jumps – stand with your weight resting on one leg with a slight bend in your knee and hip; jump as far to the side as you can and pretend you touch the floor with the opposite arm. Land on a slightly bent, not on a straight leg.
- 20 moves to the side in front support – in front support, simultaneously move your arm and leg to the side, make two moves to the right and two moves to the left
- 20 wide squats – start with your feet much wider than hip-width apart, with your toes facing outward; as you squat, make sure your knees point towards your feet.
An exercise routine to try if your periods are painful
Now, let’s find out which exercises are best for the third group – i.e. women who have a more painful experience during menstruation. The rule of thumb is that you should continue each exercise for as long as you feel you need to, but you should only finish when you feel your muscles relax. If you belong to this group, mainly focus on relaxing and stretching exercises, which are often overlooked in intensive workouts and considered less important, because it takes longer to notice their results. It is a big mistake, because relaxing and stretching exercises improve your body shape and make you more supple, while certain exercises can help with rehabilitation.
Relaxing and stretching exercises
- Child’s pose – start in the four-point kneeling position and place a large cushion between your knees, lie on it and stretch your arms as far forward as possible on the floor
- Cat camel stretch – four-point kneeling position; hands below your shoulders, knees below your hips, move your hips towards your ribs to bend the back upwards and then move them away to bend your back downwards
- Rocking cradle – lie down on your back, bring your knees up to your chest and rock gently in all directions
- While lying on your back, bring one of your knees to your chest and then move it to the opposite side of your body, using your arm for help; move your head to face in the opposite direction, then do it again for the opposite side of the body
- Lie flat on your back, bend your leg at the hip and knee, put your foot on your thigh, move your knee to the side and draw your bent leg to your chest
- Lie on your side and rest your head on your elbow; bend the top leg at the knee, grab your feet and move it as close as possible to your back; repeat for the other side of your body
- Lie flat on your back and bend your legs at the knees and hips; place your arms along your sides; place your feet close to your buttocks, lift your hips and rock them gently to the sides
- Lie flat on your back and place a small roller cushion or pillow under your lumbar spine, extend your arms above your head on the floor, lock your pinkie fingers together and make the big toes of your feet touch. Breathe slowly.
With these exercises, it is important to focus on relaxing your muscles – if something hurts, stop doing it. You may sometimes feel some discomfort because your body is tense and your period is the perfect time for low-intensity exercises which you would otherwise “waste” no time on. Each of you can find the right exercise to fit your needs.