Exercising During Period: What You Should Do and Avoid

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Menstrual periods are a part of woman’s life from the time of onset of puberty till she approaches the age of menopause. For some women it’s not a time of much concern, while for some it could be an extremely horrifying time of a month. It’s a time for some of the women when they undergo extreme physiological as well as emotional ups and downs, all owes to hormonal changes occurring in this period of time.There are various symptoms observed in different women while being on their periods. To list a few of them.

  • Tenderness and swelling in breasts,
  • Feeling of being bloated,
  • Irritation and mood swings,
  • Depression and anxiety,
  • Losing interest in sexual activity,
  • Feeling fatigued, weak and lethargic…

To deal with the symptoms observed during periods or as a part of PMS, women tend to apply different measures. Some would simply take rest and use a hot water bag to feel somewhat relief in pain, while others have to consume pain relieving medicines as well.

The women who are involved in some sports or any forms of exercise have always some doubts and questions regarding the effects of such physical activities on their health while performed during their menstrual periods.

There are no evident researches backed by science which advise to stop exercising while being on periods. On the contrary, it may be helpful to remain physically active in a moderate manner. Ultimately menstruation is a complex process which involves many hormonal shifts and exercising is one of the best ways to alleviate the symptoms of periods.

While being on periods, a woman experiences the lowest levels of oestrogen and progesterone and would lead to dwindling levels of energy during such times. Keeping this point in mind, one can avoid such exercises which are extremely strenuous and draws a plenty of energy while performing them. However, it might not be the same for all women out there, as many women continue following their normal work life and even workout schedules.

Endorphin is a natural pain killer hormone that is released while exercising. This helps to reduce the anxiety, depression and mood swings. Link 1

Exercises which can be included in your workout schedule while on periods:

  1. Walking

2. Yoga and Pilates

3. Low to moderate intensity cardio exercises

4. Low to moderate intensity strength training exercises

5. Combination of moderate intensity strength and cardio workouts

Some women are strong willed and they perform even hard-core workouts during their periods.

Benefits of exercising during menstrual periods:

There is a positive side of exercising during periods.


studies have shown that exercise releases beta endorphin which acts like a pain killer and eases the cramps and abdominal pain,  normally experienced by women during menstruation. It helps to improve blood circulation and causes reduction in cramps.


Irregular monthly periods is a sign of poor reproductive health and hormonal imbalances. It also keeps a woman anxious about awaited periods and at times disrupts different kinds of  social and work-related engagements.


Before some days of commencement of monthly periods, it becomes really a  bothersome  issue for a girl or a woman to deal with PMS. PMS includes bloating, mood swings, irritability, disturbed sleep, emotional instabilities and special food cravings.

Regular workouts can help one to handle most of these issues with ease and make one stronger physically and mentally stronger to manage them. Some exercises like walking, cycling, swimming or playing light sports can help by comforting in pain.


Exercising increases our breathing rate for a stipulated spell of physical activity, thereby facilitating more oxygen supply to muscles and release more energy. Cortisol is known as a stress hormone and its level elevated during periods, making a woman feel stressed, ratty and gives mood swings. Exercising during periods will control extreme rise in cortisol level.


The physical and mental benefits of exercises are not taken away by menstrual periods. On the other hand, science supports various sorts of physical activities and exercises during this time to improve PMS and other associated health issues. It’s an individual’s choice whether to exercise during periods or not. One should be inclined to exercise even during monthly periods by picking preferred mode of exercise.

 Let us just give a serious thought about the female athletes who continue their training sessions and workout practices even while they are on their periods. They can’t afford to sit back in a couch with a bag of hot water to feel relieved. No female athletes are reported to be harmed by doing vigorous training sessions and no nationwide or global sports events are organized keeping in mind any female athlete’s menstrual cycle calendar.

So, every so often  it  is all about changing our mindsets and think scientifically, not blindly believing just a hearsay. A girl or a woman can surely exercise while being on her periods, with the mode of exercise suitable for her during that time.