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Exercises that Can Soothe Your Period Cramps

Does the thought of working out while having your period cramps feel like an impossible thing to do? Can you or should you actually work out during your period? Many people skip their workout routines during this time of the month. But here’s why you should actually continue with your workouts.

Benefits of exercising during your period

The physical and mental benefits of exercise don’t stop just because you have your period. In fact, sticking to a routine can actually help ease some of the common complaints that accompany menstruation.

According to Dr. Christopher Holligsworth, the period is a complex time from a hormonal standpoint. “Both progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest during the entire length of the period phase of the menstrual cycle, which can make people feel tired and less energetic,” he explained.

Even though you might feel lethargic during your period, continuing with your exercise routine will increase your endorphins level. Thus, giving you a boost of energy level after your workout.

Types of workouts to do during your period

The first few days of your period might be the most uncomfortable. Hence, try focusing on low intensity workouts like running or yoga.

Yoga and Pilates

The two to three days leading up to your period is a great time to engage in activities like yoga, which can help relax your body and potentially reduce symptoms like cramping, breast tenderness, and muscular fatigue and soreness.

Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana)

(image by: Cobbler's Pose - Baddha Konasana. pkline/E+/Getty Images)

Since the lower half of the body often feels heavy during menstruation, seated poses will be our focus. You may stay in each pose for up to several minutes, as is common in restorative classes.

Baddha Konasana—the Cobbler's Pose—opens the pelvic region. For a more restorative version, come into a forward bend using a bolster or several folded blankets to support your torso so you can relax more.

Supported Bridge Pose

(image by: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images)

This very gentle backbend can help relieve back pain associated with menstruation. ​Even if you typically use a higher level.

To do the pose:

  1. Lie down on your back.

  2. Press into your feet to lift the hips slightly and slide a yoga block under them for support.

  3. To come out, press into the feet to lift the hips again and slide the block out.

Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

(image by: Goddess Pose - Supta Baddha Konasana. © Barry Stone)

You may notice that this is a reclined version of Cobbler's Pose, so we're back where we started. Supta Baddha Konasana—Goddess Pose—is all about opening your groin and hips and relaxing.

If you can stay in this one for several minutes, it's a good way to end your session. 5 to 10 minutes in a meditative state in Goddess Pose will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed for the day ahead.

To do the pose:

  1. Stay in a reclined position with your knees bent.

  2. Release your knees out to the sides and down to your mat.

  3. Bring the soles of your feet together for Goddess Pose. Placing a bolster under the length of your spine can feel great here.

Running During Your Period

(image by: unsplash)

Running during your period may actually relieve some symptoms of PMS through the following steps:

  1. Releasing natural endorphins: running during your period may release natural endorphins, which boost your mood and act as a natural painkiller.

  2. Minimizing discomfort: running during your period may also increase blood circulation, which promotes oxygen flow and can minimize bloating or swelling.

Here are some tips that you can adopt while during during your period:

  1. Stay Hydrated

  2. Pace Yourself

  3. Stretch Beforehand

  4. Stick to a balanced diet

To keep your runs safe and rewarding, take steps to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and stretch before and after each run. Exercising with a friend is a great way to build consistency. If you do run during your period, planning your period hygiene and breathing naturally through both your mouth and nose can make the activity more enjoyable. After your run, make sure to refuel with fresh, whole foods and plenty of fluids.

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