We get it: There’s a time each month when the idea of heading to the gym just feels like the worst. This is caused by the hormones progesterone and estrogen being at their lowest levels of your cycle. The result is some of your least favorite side effects: fatigue and low energy.1
And while your cycle can affect your workout, experts say that exercising during your period may actually reduce your PMS symptoms, such as painful cramps, fatigue, muscle aches and bloating.2 These tips can help you feel better — and give you the power to thrive even on period days.
Of course, every woman — and every period — is different, so it’s important to listen to your body before trying any new exercises.
Before Your Period Starts
The days leading up to your period are probably going to be the toughest for getting in a good workout. Progesterone levels are dropping, which can lead to fatigue.1,2
- Exercise in the morning, when your energy levels are at their peak.2
- Try a gentler workout, like yoga. You’ll want to avoid inverted positions though, which can actually increase your flow — and not the vinyasa one.3
- A meditation-based practice like yoga nidra is a great option for relaxing both the body and mind and easing your whole self into that time of the month.4
On Your Period
Hello period — goodbye estrogen and progesterone. The good news? These hormones start rebounding this week, and so does your energy.2
- A trip to the gym or a HIIT workout is your best fitness friend this week. You just might surprise yourself with how hard you can push it!
- In fact, you may find that you can up your physical activity and push the intensity while on your period.2
- Exercises like yoga, tai chi and Pilates can help to stretch and extend muscles that may feel especially tense while you’re on your period.5
- If you’re working up a sweat, be sure to stay hydrated. Drink some water every 15 minutes while working out.5
After Your Period Ends
This is the time of the month when you’re at your best. The aches and pains of your period are gone, and estrogen levels are rising.1
- The window between your period and ovulation (about two weeks later) is the sweet spot for strong workouts.
- Try an outdoor workout, like a run, hike, bike or mountain climb.
- If you’re more of an indoor cardio queen, head to your gym for your favorite group class.
Exercise is just one way to feel better as your body changes throughout the month. Check out our other tips for feeling better on your period, or try Midol® for relief of your period symptoms.
Unlike general pain relievers, Midol® has the strength to relieve more of women's period symptoms, including bloating, fatigue, water-weight gain and pain, so women can get back to being and feeling like themselves.
- "Can You Exercise on Your Period?" Healthline. Accessed April 8, 2020.
- "Physical activity and your menstrual cycle." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women's Health. Accessed March 24, 2020.
- "What Exercises Should You Avoid During Your Period?" Women's Health Magazine. Accessed April 7, 2020.
- Rani K, Tiwari S C, Singh U, Agrawal G G, Ghildiyal A, Srivastava N. "Impact of Yoga Nidra on psychological general wellbeing in patients with menstrual irregularities: A randomized controlled trial." Int J Yoga [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Apr 8];4:20-5.
- "Should you exercise during your period?" Medical News Today. Accessed April 8, 2020.