Yes, You Can Work Out On Your Period (And Here's Why You Probably Should)

Sometimes menstrual cycles suck. Symptoms like cramps, irritability, and cravings flow just as quickly as the blood. Over 90% of women experience some form of PMS (premenstrual symptoms) during their period. To the less than 10% who said you don't experience it, we envy you. Intense PMS can make it impossible to complete routine tasks. Being in bed clutching a hot water bottle to your stomach often brings the most comfort.

However, unlike in a sentence, there are many things your period does not stop. Despite it being the perfect excuse for a week-long vacation — and contrary to what you might think — you can still be physically active during your menstrual cycle. In fact, exercising can actually help your time of the month be a smooth sail. Before you let the gym membership lapse before actually stepping foot into the facility, here's why you should get your workout in, menstruation and all.

Working out doubles as PMS prevention

With an achy uterus and death-con cramps, exercising is likely the last thing you'd want on your itinerary. Even when your eggs aren't shedding, going to the gym is often less than appealing. However, completing a few reps can help you avoid a PMS slump. A 2018 study published in BMC Women's Health found aerobic exercise relieved most premenstrual symptoms. Working out for just 20 minutes three times a week resulted in fewer headaches, hot flashes, and nausea. Pop those brownies in the oven and do jumping jacks until the timer dings. You'll be naturally alleviating your PMS and you'll have a post-workout treat.  

Contrary to many opinions, you can still be a fitness junkie on your period. Best of all, you can swim, too. You won't be leaving a trail for sharks but curing those moody symptoms that come with Aunt Flo. A report issued in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics concluded swimming helped with physical and non-physical ailments. A few laps wash away anxiety, tension, and mood swings. So, there's no need to feel guilty about spending your sick day at the beach.

Period-approved workouts

If hopping in the water isn't your type of workout, we get it. There are plenty of period workout routines you can do at home to ease aches and moodiness. Stretching is an excellent workout during your time of the month. It is beginner-friendly, loosens your muscles, and gets your blood flowing.

The cat-cow yoga pose is a two-in-one stretch great for your back and abs. You'll start on all fours, keeping your wrist in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. For the cow position, tilt your head and butt to the sky while sinking in your back. For the cat position, engage your head and butt downward while arching your back to the ceiling. Any mix of yoga positions works great for stretching. The cat-cow is just too cute not to highlight.

For heart-pumping exercises that can release endorphins try aerobics. Aerobic exercise is cardio training. Walking, jogging, and cycling are popular outdoor drills. However, fun activities like dancing and jumping rope count, too. You can still break a sweat or into a stretch during your time of the month. Don't let Aunt Flo stop you.