You’ve probably already heard that a healthy body equals a healthy mind, and that statement remains true with or without your period. In fact, doing some exercise when you’re on your period can reduce stress and pain levels, as well as send some much needed endorphins your way. Although exercise can benefit you during your period, it can also have the opposite effect if you push yourself too far. Furthermore, choosing when to do certain exercises during your period can prove them to be less or more effective.¹
Should I stick to or alternate my exercise routine while on my period?
Many women find no problem sticking to their usual exercise routine, they might even prefer keeping things as consistent as possible to keep their sanity.
Where it’s recommended not to push yourself too hard during this time, some women feel their strongest at this point.² The reason behind this could be because your estrogen levels are lower than usual at the beginning of your period. When estrogen levels are lower, you can access energy in your body more easily.¹ So, if you want to try adding in a couple more strength exercises or laps to your routine, then this would be the best time to do so.
However, as you also lose a lot of iron when you have your period, it’s pretty normal not to feel at your strongest or most energetic - and that’s also okay.³
Exercises to add or avoid
Whether you are feeling like the queen of your castle, or like you’ve tripped and fallen into the moat, a little exercise can go a long way during your period. Moderate, low-intensity exercises are generally the best form of exercise during your period.¹ Pushing yourself too hard can result in muscle pain and even more cramping, so you might want to avoid high-intensity workouts as far as possible.
Furthermore, there’s probably a far greater chance that you’ll feel motivated to exercise during your period if there’s less pressure on you. You could try switching it up during your period by going to a muscle-relaxing yoga class to reduce your pain and ease your body and mind. Or, catch some fresh air and take a short, daily walk outside.²
Can I go running on my period?
If you do wish to run during your period, opt for something relaxing like a light jog over a heavy sprint.²
You might even find that you’ll benefit more than you would from powering through, because you won’t experience any added pain the next day. Also, remember to change your preferred sanitary option as soon as you’re finished, to avoid any bacterial infections.
Which sanitary option is best for working out?
The best sanitary options for you really depend on what you wish to gain from using them. For example, if you are a swimmer, you’d probably be best off opting for a tampon or a menstrual cup, because you shouldn’t swim with a pad. When you’re doing any form of exercise where you might be wearing tight-fitting pants, you might also prefer something more discreet like a tampon. This is because wearing pads might stand out more and feel uncomfortable when wearing tighter fitting active gear.
Another thing to bear in mind when exercising on your period is that pads might move around, causing some friction and discomfort. For this reason, if you prefer using pads during exercise you might want to consider one that’s ultra-thin, shaped to fit your body and move as you go, or one that’s made from cloth.
Pantyliners or period panties
Whether you choose tampons, cups or pads, you’ll want to have a leak-proof backup plan intact. Because you move around a lot more when you’re active than when you are more stationary, you might want to consider adding a pantyliner or a pair of period panties into the mix. This way, you’ll have double the protection. This can be especially to your advantage when the duration of your exercise is over a longer period, or when there simply isn’t a time or place to check in on the situation.
When it comes to choosing the best sanitary option to use when working out, you might want to keep a few different options with you, instead of relying on just one. You don’t want to land up in a situation where you feel like your period is holding you back, and exercise during your period should add to your well-being, not be stressful. In this case, you’ll be best prepared, so you can relax, enjoy and go with the flow.
-  https://www.health.com/condition/menstruation/5-things-to-know-about-exercising-during-your-period
-  https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-during-period
-  https://www.healthline.com/health/anemia-period