It's that time of month and the LAST thing you feel like doing is going to the gym.
Working out can help you feel better, but getting the motivation to get up and go (and push yourself while you're there) is another story. While there are many benefits to working out on your period, it can also end up making you feel worse. However, if you follow a few guidelines, it's easy to find balance. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Don't Push Yourself
If you're on the first day of your period and you're suffering from painful cramps, this isn't the time to push yourself. Cramps are hard enough to deal with even if you aren't trying to break a sweat. If you have to take a rest day, now would be the ideal time to do to that. Give yourself permission to relax and engage in some other forms of self-care.
Give yourself permission to relax and engage in some other forms of self-care.
But if you're feeling emotional and need to release those endorphins, you can always do some light cardio. Even a brisk neighborhood walk with a friend or your pup will make you feel better. It can also help to relieve that uncomfortable bloating.
Avoid Overly Intense Workouts
If you're up for your regular workout, that's great, but it's best to avoid anything too intense. Skip the HIIT classes because they can make you extra exhausted instead of energized when your hormones are raging.
Crowded group fitness classes aren't the best idea either. After all, there's no faster way to feel irritated than another sweaty person getting in your space.
Now would be a great time to stretch and relieve tension. But stay away from aerial yoga because inversions or going upside down can potentially lead to embarrassing situations (I'll let you imagine what those are for yourself).
Take a Reformer Pilates Class
Reformer Pilates feels wonderful on your period because you're sitting and lying down for the majority of the class while still being challenged.
Pilates has so many benefits for women on their period. It helps stretch the pelvis and pelvic floor muscles, which have a tendency to tighten up. Stretching this area of the body can help regulate your flow and even reduce cramping.
Pilates helps stretch the pelvis and pelvic floor muscles, which have a tendency to tighten up.
Pilates also helps tone your core, which probably looks and feels less than ideal thanks to bloating.
Take Your Vitamins
Having your period can feel depleting. Go natural and try vitamins with cramp bark and ginger to help curb the pain. If your stomach is extra sensitive, drink some Gingerade Kombucha to settle it. And because it's better for you than chocolate or ice cream, consider indulging in a little ginger candy, guilt-free.
Go All Out When It's Over
There's always a great sense of relief when you look down and realize your period is officially done. So push yourself to work extra hard to make up for the past 5-7 days.