Exercising Through Your Period: Do’s and Dont’s

yoga-period-mensturation

Has your period got you down? For many women, the time of menstruation tends to be a time of:

  • very low energy levels
  • irritability
  • bloating
  • extremely low desire to do anything physical – your workouts included.

If you feel as though you’d much rather hit the couch for a nap than hit the gym for an intense session, you need to figure out ways to deal with this so that at the very least, you can maintain your fitness level during this time.

No one is expecting you to set personal bests when you’re down with your period, but if you approach the situation properly, you can still certainly keep up with some lighter gym sessions and ensure that you feel your best throughout the week.

Let’s have a brief look at a few of the vital things that you should consider.

Cut Back On Cardio Training

The very first thing that you should consider is cutting back slightly on the intensity of the cardio training you’re doing.  Chances are you will have gained some water weight during this time so if you’re doing activities that do cause you to transport your body weight such as running, they are going to feel harder.

light activity can ease some of the symptoms of PMS and bloating…

Instead, focus on just getting up and getting active. Some light activity can ease some of the symptoms of PMS and bloating, so will only help, not hinder the way you feel.

Try a light walk or a recreational swim. Both will be much better options during this time and still offer positive benefits as far as your health and fitness level is concerned.

Go For One Max Set

The next adjustment to make is to your weight lifting workout routine.  During this time when you are more likely to fatigue, consider cutting back on the total volume of the session.

Rather than doing 2-3 sets per exercise, try for one full out set that has you pushing yourself to the max. If you can work up the energy to perform this full out set, you’ll still maintain your strength without depleting as much muscle glycogen and bringing on the potential fatigue that you might otherwise feel.

Make sure that you focus on the compound exercises as well to get the most ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of results for your time invested.

Focus On Relaxation Based Activities

Finally, the last thing to take note of during this week of your period is that you may want to focus more on relaxation based exercises in general.  Rather than hitting the gym for yet another ultra-intense session, try going for some yoga or pilates.

Lower intensity activities will help ease your stress, calm your mind, and still help you feel great that you are doing something positive for your body.

Lower intensity activities will help ease your stress, calm your mind, and still help you feel great…

The goal is to really keep up that ‘healthy lifestyle’ attitude so you’re less likely to let this week cause you to slip-up with staying committed to your program and succumb to some of the food cravings you may be experiencing during this time.

Follow these strategies and you can feel confident you won’t have any time maintaining your workouts throughout your period.

About shannonclark

Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta. She is an AFLCA certified personal trainer with over 8 years experience. She has been featured in the Iron Man magazine and has contributed well over 400 articles to a variety of different websites dedicated towards muscle building and athletic performance. ShannonClarkFitness.com

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