The benefits of exercising during your period

Even though it’s often the last thing we feel like doing, light exercise during your period can be really beneficial in a lot of ways. 

First of all, a little bit of movement can work wonders on period cramps. During menstrual cramps, the uterus contracts and tightens to help shed its lining. By increasing blood flow to the uterus and therefore increasing the supply of oxygen, the muscles relax and the intensity of contractions decreases. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are a type of natural painkiller that really make a difference to your comfort.

Another great benefit of exercise is that it’s a mood booster! According to one study, just walking for 15 minutes a day can drastically reduce the risk of major depression. You don’t need to hit the gym or climb a mountain to feel better either. Just a little bit of movement each day adds up, and this is all the more important during your period.

It can be hard to get a good night’s sleep during your period, as your hormone levels are in flux, your mood is swinging all over the place, and sometimes you’re in pain or just generally uncomfortable. Exercise is a great way to relax the muscles and reduce the stress hormones floating around the body during this time. That way you can get to sleep faster, which is important as sleep is another way of managing stress and anxiety by reducing cortisol levels in the body!

Finally, regular exercise, both during and off your period, will help you regulate your menstrual cycle in general. Our hormones in the body change when we work out. Exercising regulates the distribution of oestrogen and progesterone, preventing too much from being released into the body. Excess oestrogen can raise the risk of fibroids, obesity, anxiety, depression and fatigue in women, so it’s important it’s kept in check. Apparently, regular exercise can also help lower the risk of breast cancer, so just another bonus!

You should always listen to your body, especially during your period. If you feel super tired or uncomfortable, it’s probably best not to make things worse by trying to do a whole workout. But you can still do something light so that you don’t feel completely worn out, like going for a walk or doing some bed stretches.

In another blog post, we’ll talk about the best exercises to do on your period, both for people who normally work out and those who don’t!

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