Push ups and periods, here are a few things to consider as you hit the gym throughout your cycle
One of the hardest things to do when you're on your period is finding the motivation to do almost anything. When we go between cramps, varying levels of energy and general desire to eat nothing but cookies, the last thing most of us are wanting to do is work out.
Should you workout on your period?
Working out - yoga too! - are absolute winners for reducing cramps, increasing your brain power (bye bye foggy brain!), and boosting your mood. This means that you should absolutely still be working out. As well, there's increasing well-reviewed research science backing this up, so why not give it a try! I'll include some workout tips at the bottom to get you started if you're new.
There is even advice out there on what to do when throughout your cycle - pretty cool. Of course, always listen to your body first and foremost, but here's a bit of info on the topic so you're prepped for your next month's workout flow.
Here we go - day one of your period! You feel more like a whale than a human, but everyday gets a little better. Your estrogen and progesterone levels are lower than any other point in your cycle. You're almost over this month's period woes and it’s a great time to start stepping back into your exercise routine at near-full force or to begin it for the first time!
This is a good week. Your period is done and your energy levels are going up as your estrogen levels start increasing, quickly! They're doing this in preparation for your upcoming egg release. Overall, estrogen is at it's peak and so are you!
With your estrogen rocking during week 2, week 3 brings it shooting back down as your progesterone levels start rising. This means you might be feel a bit more tired and sluggish than the previous weeks. If you were to ever kick up the work out motivation, now is the time. I personally find getting up and going right away in the morning leads to success for these types of mornings. If you need a snack before working out, I personally find a few bites of a banana or some nuts are enough, and definitely make sure you've had some water first.
As the estrogen and progesterone dance coming to their lowest point as we repeat the cycle, you may be feeling even less energy, bloated, and crampy (amongst the many other symptoms of PMS. And this is where it is hardest to exercise but also the most important because it will help you feel better. Anything is better than nothing - dancing in your bedroom while crying and in your pajamas counts, as long as your heart rate is up for a few minutes it counts. Going for a brisk walk, doing ten minutes of push ups and sit ups, or being ambitious and hitting up a HIIT class (a personal fav) are all great ways to help reduce your PMS symptoms and help you feel great!
Try to keep track of this stuff! Write it in your agenda, get a menstruation app if you don't already use one or use a piece of paper on a board in your room. You'll learn so much about your body through keeping track of your cycle and keeping your body healthy!
Good luck, I believe in you!
P.s If you're not super into going to the gym, there are so many great free workout resources out there! I am a fan of @kailaitsnis and @blogilates for free workout ideas.
Office on Women's Health. (2018). Physical Activity and your Menstrual Cycle. Retrieved from: https://www.womenshealth.gov/getting-active/physical-activity-menstrual-cycle
Popular reads on YPC
How to Talk About Your Period With Men
Talking about periods with male friends and co-workers doesn’t have to feel like unleashing landmines.Read more
Why and When Did Menstruation Become Taboo?
From the Yukon to Greece, taboos around menstruation have been around for ages and still…Read more
Social Media’s Important Role in Reducing Period Stigma
From the explosion of period art, to serving as an activist platform in the menstrual…Read more