Most women would agree that during your menstrual cycle, you feel like you might be dying. I realize that, that’s a bit dramatic but.. it’s true. It could also be dramatic because I’m currently in mine 🙂 You want to eat whatever, you want to be sad that you ate it, you want to lie in bed in the fetal position, you want to binge watch Netflix, you want your kids to find and cook their own meals, you want your significant other to cater on you hand and foot, you want your significant other to disappear.. It’s a really confusing time in our lives. Every single month. So, the last thing you want to do, is work out. But here’s why you should bite the bullet and just do it.
• When you sweat, water leaves the body, which can relieve uncomfortable belly bloat.
• Exercise also releases mood-boosting endorphins, which evidence suggests might at least take your mind off discomfort or pain. We all need a shot of happy once in awhile 🙂
• When your period starts, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop. And because of this, women can access carbs easily, as compared to high-estrogen time periods when we rely more on slow breakdown of fat.
• Research suggests your lungs work better later on in your cycle, so you’ll have more stamina for endurance exercise.
• When your period lets up, your testosterone and estrogen levels begin to rise. Because testosterone can help you sculpt lean muscle mass and estrogen builds connective tissue that bind your muscle to your bones, this is the ideal time for you to tone up, according to Dr. Robert Kominiarek, an Ohio-based physician.
• Long term studies show that over time, regular exercise can decrease menstrual symptoms via it’s stabilizing effects on blood sugars. The more stable your blood sugars, the less likely you are to feel cravings for sweet and starchy foods.
• Repeatedly taking 1 week off out of 4, will stall your progress in the gym. Remember how hard it is to get back into the gym after a holiday? How quickly you lost cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength?
Key note: Women with heavy periods lose extra fluids, which can make you feel light-headed when you stand up quickly. So make sure to drink a little extra water!
All this said, if you’re really just not feeling the gym, it’s okay to skip it and give yourself a break. Taking a walk outside counts as exercise too and it may help you feel better.