Simple exercises to do on your period



Qualified Nutritionist (BSc, MSc, RNutr)
@EmmaThornton
Ask Emma


10 September 2018

Aerobics

This is a great all-round exercise as it combines rhythmic moves with stretch and strength training. The aim here is to improve your flexibility, muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness. 

If you’re new to the activity then I wouldn’t worry too much as there are many beginners classes available, as well as online videos. This is a good option if you want to try the activity out before investing in a class, plus you’ll be able to go at your own pace.

How does it help?

As well as being a fun activity that will help you to stay healthy, research has also indicated that aerobics could help to reduce the symptoms associated with Premenstrual Syndrome such as severe cramp. One particular study recruited 40 girls between the ages of 18 and 25 who had been diagnosed with PMS. By getting the girls to complete a symptoms diary and questionnaires on their mood, researchers looked at what impact eight weeks of aerobic exercise had on their symptoms. The results showed that symptoms declined after eight weeks of training where the young girls did three 60 minute sessions of aerobics per week.1  

So, whether you’re experienced in the activity or are willing to try something new, aerobics is the perfect form of exercise to do during and in the lead up to your period!

Swimming and cycling

A trip to your local pool to swim a few lengths is another great option when you’re on your period, as is a cycle round town! Provided you don’t push yourself too hard, these are what we’d call low impact sports meaning they won’t put your body under too much strain. When it comes to doing activities on your period this is key because, as I explain a little later, excessive amounts of exercise can disrupt menstruation.

How does it help?

Swimming and cycling gets the blood pumping and, as a lack of blood flow to the pelvic area can make cramps worse, this means these forms of exercise can help to reduce the problem.

However, not only are these popular activities linked to improvements in period pain, they’re also known to support mood. 

As we approach our time of the month, our hormone levels fluctuate and this can cause mood swings. Swimming and cycling (and any other form of exercise) helps here because it releases feel-good hormones called endorphins which can make you feel good! 

Stretching

If your day-to-day routine means you struggle to find the time to exercise then this is the activity for you! It is something you can so at home or in the garden, alone or with friends, for five minutes or for thirty – the options are endless! 

To get started have a look at some of our simple exercise videos on stretching!

How does it help?

Anxiety is another problem that many women experience during the course of their period and so stretching can prove beneficial here as it is relaxing. 

Walking

Tiredness and fatigue can make it difficult to find the motivation to exercise when you’re on your period and so that’s why I’d recommend walking! Whether it’s to the corner shop or further afield, walking outdoors provides a distraction from the period symptoms you may be experiencing. I know it can be a little difficult to push yourself to get moving when you’re on your period but rest assured that when you do get out there, you’ll feel a lot better for it!

How does it help?

Surprisingly, the feel good hormones that are released during exercise don’t just help to improve mood, they also help to resist cravings! Also, an activity like walking keeps your bowels moving meaning problems like bloating and constipation can be reduced. 

Plus, if that wasn’t enough to convince you that exercise is important during your period, let me just tell you that it also helps sleep! That’s because it tires your body out meaning instead of tossing and turning all night, sleep comes a little easier. 

Top tips for exercising on your period

Stay hydrated 

Water is one of my top period drinks for very good reason! It can tackle bloating for example, and can even reduce period cramps. However, to ensure these problems don’t get worse after exercise, it’s essential you stay hydrated.

Don’t do too much or try to push yourself too hard

Excessive exercise puts the body under a significant amount of stress meaning menstruation will cease to become its top focus. Instead the process will be put on the back burner leading to problems like irregular and missed periods.

Lots of hard workouts can also add to the feelings of fatigue that we experience during our period so can leave you feeling more exhausted than ever.

Do what works for you! 

If you’ve found an activity that isn’t on this list that you can enjoy during your period then go for it. Whether it’s karate or climbing, any form of exercise will bring the benefits I’ve mentioned above such as increased blood flow around the body and the release of endorphins.

My top herbal remedies for your period

Agnus castus

One of our most popular remedies here at A.Vogel is Agnus castus which works to ease symptoms of PMS such as bloating, cramps and mood swings. These symptoms are associated with too much oestrogen or too little progesterone and so the Agnus castus helps to balance these things out. There are instances when this should not be used however, so read this blog to find out more. 

Stress Relief 

Menstruation can contribute to anxiety but anxiety can also make period symptoms more severe. Therefore, in some instances Stress Relief Daytime can come in useful. Made from freshly harvested and organically grown Valerian and Hops, this remedy helps to address mild stress and anxiety.

 

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3748549/ 

Stress Relief Daytime – for stress and mild anxiety

15ml

£ 4.50

Buy now

For the relief of stress and anxiety. Fresh herb tincture. Also available in 50ml size.
More info

Agnus castus

50ml

£ 10.50

Buy now

Helps maintain normal healthy balance of female hormones in younger women.
More info

What's being asked

What causes period pain?

Period pain or dysmenorrhoea, can be caused by a number of reasons. The main cause of the pain you ...
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What causes period pain?

Period pain or dysmenorrhoea, can be caused by a number of reasons. The main cause of the pain you ...
Read more >

Here's what I recommend

As the A.Vogel  Women’s Health advisor, I recommend Agnus castus to help relieve premenstrual symptoms such as painful periods.

Learn more

Did you know?

Did you know the average age of starting your periods has changed? A 100 years ago, 16 was the average age for a girl to get her first period in the UK but now this has dropped to just 12! Incredible!

15 interesting facts about your period

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