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Did you know that exercising when on your period can actually help your body’s hormone levels, ease your cramps and even help PMS? The simple fact is that women who exercise regularly are more likely to have fewer menstrual problems.
It’s important to exercise – even when you have a period and it’s also safe to exercise while on your period.
Sister Burgie Ireland, advisory nursing sister and midwife for Kotex® states, “Exercise stimulates the heart, improving blood circulation which in turn oxygenates the brain, helps to remove body waste and stimulates ‘feel good’ hormones like endorphins. You may not feel like running a marathon or swimming for the Olympics, but doing mild to moderate exercise during your period has many benefits”.
Exercise helps during menstruation by keeping you distracted from period pain, energises you and can even help with nausea. Women who don’t exercise can feel sluggish and lethargic and are more susceptible to put on weight and even feel depressed.
“A quick 20 minute workout every day can do wonders for women. Those who exercise regularly find it easier to do some exercise during their period, though all women should engage in physical activity for the overall well-being of their bodies” affirms Ireland.
Ovulation (the ripening of an egg) is affected by a woman’s health, diet, hormones and emotions. Doing regular exercise helps to strengthen muscles and prevents the build-up of excessive fatty tissue, gives a woman confidence and helps her to feel good about herself.
This combination helps to ensure a regular cycle of ovulation and menstruation. Overweight women are more likely to have ‘oestrogen overload’ because oestrogen is stored in fatty tissue and this can mean heavier and more painful periods.
“There needs to be a balance of exercise. Excessive exercising combined with the stress of competitive sport can stop ovulation and that in turn can stop periods for a while” states Ireland on performing strenuous exercise.
Though there are still many benefits of exercising while menstruating. “While you may not feel like doing strenuous exercises during your period, specific exercises like stretching, crouching and squatting can help to relieve period pain by improving blood circulation to the muscles of the pelvis” advises Ireland.
Suggestions of activities women can do while on their period in order to keep active:
- Walking is an ideal exercise when you have your period. It’s great for your hips and bones, doesn’t require any equipment, is not too strenuous and it’s refreshing to get off the couch and out of the house for a while.
- Stand with your back to the wall, tilt your pelvis and bend your knees while pressing the small of your back into the wall
- Legs apart, arms at your side, slightly bend to the left while you slide your arm down your left leg. Repeat this on the right side. Then gently squat to the count of five. Stand up slowly and repeat.
- On hands and knees tilt your pelvis by bending then arching your back
- Pay attention to your posture – sit straight at your desk / computer. Always remember to walk tall
- Be sure to take a long warm bath or shower after doing these exercises
Next time you’re on your period, grab your walking shoes and go for a quick stroll to help relieve any pain you feel – your body will thank you for it. For more exercise tips and keeping healthy whilst on your period, be sure join the discussion and engage with others on the Kotex® Mxit app and Kotex Facebook page.