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TO EXERCISE OR NOT TO...?

Updated: May 13, 2020

When it comes to exercise, most womxn avoid it during their periods. I myself always suffer through period pain, and I am not alone. It is experienced by 80% of the womxn during menstruation. Let alone exercising, period pain makes it difficult for us to carry out even simpler tasks like sitting and walking. For some of my fellow menstruators, the first two days are the toughest, and for others the last two. As we all know, no two period journeys are the same. Usually, we all cope with this pain by curling up in our beds with a hot water bag, by popping a painkiller, eating comfort food, or by crying. But not all menstruators can cope with period pain the same way.



Some of my friends are athelets, there are a few womxn I know who are driven by fitness and it's always been a debate whether it is okay to exercise during periods or not. Guess what? It is absolutely okay! Dr. Stacy Sims, an exercise physiologist at Stanford University, revealed that, you could actually feel more powerful when on your periods, all thanks to drop in some hormones. Ironic, isn't it?


From burning your calories to reducing the pain, exercising during periods can be really helpful.

Keep reading and find out which are the best physical activities to do while period-ing.



Walking

A simple walk in the park while listening to music can take your mind off the pain and help you feel better. Walking is an easy exercise, which you can incorporate on your way to office, supermarket, or you can walk in your living room (if not in the park). Walking is also considered to help with cardiovascular and general health. And the best thing about walking is that, it doesn't take a lot of time.







Light Cardio and Aerobics

The key word here is "light". If you experience intense cramps, it's not very likely that you'll have the physical and mental strength to engage in an hardcore workout session. Do it for a shorter amount of time than usual. It can help you combat mood swings and fatigue and ease the menstrual cramps. Remember, this is not supposed to stress you out.






Yoga and Pilates

Those two to three intense days of your period is a great time to engage in yoga and pilates. These activities can really help you relax your body and mind and decrease the cramps and pain. Although, you might want to stick to the simple and effortless yoga positions and be mindful of the adjustments your body makes during your period. Suryanamaskar is my personal favourite. It helps ease the cramps and make me feel refreshed and alive. I totally recommend!






THINGS TO AVOID

There is no scientific reason you should skip out on your workouts during your period, but if you are feeling extremely tired or weak, you may want to take a day off from exercising. Exercising during period should not cause you additional pain or put additional stress on your body.


Exercise light and for a shorter amount of time than usual. Intense or prolonged workout can be harmful for your body while menstruating.


Inversion yoga poses are to be avoided.


And lastly and most importantly, listen to your body!

If you are feeling dizzy, nautious, or if the cramps and pain get too intense, stop! This is not the time for "perform or perish".



PS: I am not a doctor or health professional. The purpose of this article is to create awareness, educate and help my fellow menstruators. You know your bodies very well so, take a call accordingly. Thank you! :)




Written by Neha Khandekar

Artwork by : Dorothy Guya


Please help us find the artists behind the rest of the artworks, thank you! ;)


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