What Workout to Do When You’re on Your Period

It’s that time of the month again and you’re feeling crampy, bloated, and just generally not like yourself. But you still want to stay active and get a good workout in. So what’s the best workout to do when you’re on your period?

Pre-Period Workouts

Working out when you’re on your period can be a great way to relieve cramps and boost your mood. But it can also be challenging to figure out what type of workout to do. If you’re looking for the best workouts to do before your period, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss the types of workouts that are best to do before your menstrual cycle begins.

Low-impact exercises

Low-impact exercises are a popular choice for people with busy schedules and sensitive bodies. Exercising while on your period can help to reduce cramping and bloating, increase your energy levels, and promote overall health and wellbeing. Low-impact exercises include activities that involve minimal strain on your joints, like walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, tai chi and pilates. These type of exercise are low intensity but require more focus on breathing patterns which can help to ease tension associated with the menstrual cycle.

Low-impact workouts also offer some major benefits such as improved muscle tone without the risk of over-exertion which makes them well suited for women who are usually low on energy during their periods due to hormone fluctuations. Another benefit of low impact exercise is that it is often easier to maintain consistency as it does not require a high level of commitment or intensity like other forms of exercise.

Finally, low-impact exercise is beneficial for mental health since it allows for a time out from day to day stressors that may contribute further to premenstrual symptoms. Finding time for mindful exercise in periods can have profound long-term effects on overall wellbeing so consider incorporating any of these exercises into your regular routine.

Pre-period nutrition tips

Nutrition plays an important role in helping to ease menstrual cycle symptoms and optimize overall health. Eating a diet centered around whole foods can be beneficial for women during their pre-period time. Certain dietary choices may help reduce symptoms like cramps, food cravings, bloating, and fatigue. Incorporating certain nutrient-rich foods into your diet prior to your period starting may help reduce menstrual intensity and make it more bearable.

Here are some nutrition tips to help you prepare for the arrival of your period:
-Increase intake of fiber and complex carbohydrates: Eating fiber-rich foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats like nuts or avocado can help reduce water retention, which may contribute to bloating. Additionally, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains can help provide sustained energy throughout the day.
-Consume adequate amounts of protein: Protein is an important nutrient to support hormone balance and it may help regulate blood sugar levels during periods when cravings are high. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and plant proteins like beans or quinoa.
-Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is always important for health but drinking a sufficient amount of water leading up to your period can be beneficial in helping relieve bloating caused by dehydration or water retention due to fluctuation in hormones. Additionally staying hydrated helps support your workout performance and replenish moisture lost through sweat after exercise.
-Limit refined sugars: Refined sugars may contribute to worsening premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms such as fatigue or mood swings due its drastic effect on blood sugar levels which could increase irritability or fatigue associated with PMS. Therefore limiting refined sugars from processed snacks during this time is suggested.

During-Period Workouts

When you are on your period, the last thing you might want to do is exercise or even leave the couch. However, it is beneficial for your mental and physical health to keep up an exercise routine even when you are on your period. With that said, there are certain types of workouts that you can do during your period that will help to reduce cramping, bloating, and fatigue while still providing you with the overall benefits of exercise. Let’s explore some of those during-period workouts.

High-intensity interval training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to burn calories and build muscle strength regardless of the time of the month. This type of workout combines bursts of high-intensity aerobic activity with short rest periods. It typically consists of exercises that target all major muscle groups in the body, such as squats, burpees, push-ups, and lunges. HIIT workouts are often recommended during menstrual periods due to their ability to help elevate mood and reduce cramps by increasing blood circulation and releasing endorphins.

HIIT workouts can be tailored to individual goals and fitness levels, so they are suitable for both beginner and advanced exercisers. For example, if you’re a beginner looking to start a regular exercise regimen during your period, try starting off with low-intensity intervals that build up over time. As your fitness level increases you can add more intensity and decrease recovery time between sets for higher calorie burn potential. Additionally, HIIT can be done indoors or outdoors at the gym or at home with very little equipment – perfect for a low impact workout when you feel like hitting the gym but don’t have access to a lot of space or equipment!

Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and pilates are both excellent during-period workouts for two key reasons: improving relaxation and reducing discomfort. During menstruation, circulating hormones can lead to cramps, fatigue, stress, and low energy levels. By practicing yoga or pilates on your period, you can help combat these symptoms.

Yoga is a low-impact form of exercise that improves flexibility and movement while providing an opportunity to restore your body’s balance. The deep breathing exercises completed during yoga help to regulate hormones in the body, while gentle stretching poses help reduce pain in the abdomen and back muscles. Flow-style classes are ideal as they will incorporate more vigorous poses with meditation techniques and restorative poses for a balanced approach to healing your body.

Pilates is another great option that focuses on the strength of your core through postures that emphasize your abdominal muscles (which can be helpful if you’re suffering from abdominal cramps). Pilates helps to improve posture by focusing on special breathing and spine alignment techniques which can also help decrease discomfort associated with back pain or tension headaches often experienced during periods. Additionally, Pilates classes often utilize special props like magic circles or resistance bands which are easy enough even for beginners. Both yoga and pilates classes should be done at a slow pace so as not to strain the body too much while the uterus lining is being shed.


Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for when you are on your period. It is a low-impact exerciser that can help to improve your mood, reduce bloating, and control cramps. Avoiding intense swimming workouts can help decrease the risk of abdominal pain and discomfort, but general lap swimming does offer many benefits. Swimming during your period can improve flexibility, strength-building, and endurance as well as give you a chance to take a break from more impactful fitness activities like running or CrossFit.

If you have severe cramps that are putting you in too much pain for robust exercise, swimming is still an option. Laps in the pool offer just enough physical activity to benefit your body without intensifying any cramping or discomfort. Either long-distance swimming or shorter lap sessions at a slower pace will do the trick--but no matter what pace you choose it’s important to keep hydrated while in the pool. This mild workout should not raise your heart rate too high and should take much less energy than normal exercising.

Feel free to mix up strokes while at the pool! While backstroke is often considered one of the easier strokes on your joints and body, it can be more challenging when transitioning between freestyle and breaststroke--so those looking for even more gentle swimming workouts may consider focusing on freestyle laps only during their period time. Maintaining proper technique during this time will not only guarantee safety but also help ensure increased endurance building over time!

Post-Period Workouts

Your body needs special care when you’re on your period. If you want to continue to maintain a healthy fitness routine, knowing which exercises to do and which ones to avoid is essential. Post-period workouts are a great way to get back into a regular fitness routine while providing your body with the extra rest it needs. Let’s learn more about the best exercises to do when you’re on your period.

Strength training

Strength training is a popular choice of exercise to follow during your period. It is important to select a type of strength training that maintains your body’s stamina and avoids excessive strain or fatigue. Exercises such as resistance bands, body weight exercises, yoga and free weights are some examples that can be done while on your period. During this time, the focus should be on maintaining regular strength exercises with reduced repitition and moderate intensity. This not only helps maintain muscle tone but also reduces water retention associated with hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. Additionally, moderate weight-bearing exercises may also reduce cramping by increasing blood circulation in the area. For individuals considering weight training activities, lighter weights during this time can be beneficial to prevent overtraining of any particular muscle groups and reduce chances of injury or strain. Strength training alone is not enough for optimal physical health; so using other aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging or cycling can help maximize overall fitness benefits during menstruation.


If you’re on your period and looking for an effective workout, consider adding some low-intensity cardio exercises to your routine. During the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle (the time between ovulation and your period), it may be helpful to focus on activities with milder impacts like swimming, walking or jogging. These exercises will help you increase blood flow without overstressing your body, making them a great option for period-related discomfort.

Other activities like moderate biking or skipping rope can also be beneficial. However, it’s important to read the cues from your body and take any needed breaks if things become too intense. It is always better to listen to what your body needs instead of trying to push through a challenging workout at all costs.

It is also equally important not to forget about strength training during this time! Incorporating more light weights into a routine during one’s post-period phase can help build strength as well as muscle tone – two important components of a well-rounded workout regimen. Make sure that the reps are low and that the weight is manageable and feel free add any accessory exercises like reverse crunches or light squats in order to keep things interesting!


Stretching and light movement can be helpful for relieving some of the discomforts associated with menstruation and keeping your body loose and relaxed.
Stretching can also improve blood circulation which is vital when it comes to alleviating menstrual cramps. Give yourself some extra time to indulge in some relaxing stretching by focusing on areas like your back, hips, shoulders and neck.
Lightly stretch these areas before bedtime to reduce physical stress throughout the day and encourage good posture, which can help ease menstrual pain. Gentle stretching may also help relieve headaches, backaches and swelling that often accompany menstruation cycles. Be sure not to over-exert yourself; instead aim for light stretches that do not require an intense effort but still loosen up muscle tension in your body.
Yoga is another great practice that helps to strengthen your core while also stretching out tight muscles – a great way to release energy prior to bedtime or after a long day at work! Incorporate breathing exercises as well in order to truly relax and reflect upon any feelings you might be having during this time.

General Guidelines

The most important thing to keep in mind when deciding which workout to do during your period is to listen to your body and its needs. Every woman has different needs and limitations when it comes to exercise during menstruation. While there are some general guidelines to follow, it’s important to take into account your individual situation and preferences when choosing a workout. Let’s take a look at some of the guidelines you should keep in mind when exercising during your period.

Listen to your body

When it comes to working out during your period, the most important thing to keep in mind is to listen to your body. Every woman is different and you have to find out what works best for you. It’s important to do what feels good and not push yourself too hard since your body is undergoing physical and hormonal changes.

If you feel extra energetic, go for a light run or hit up a yoga class. You could also try doing some strength training for a few sets of squats and arm exercises. Pilates or light stretching are other good activities during this time as they can help alleviate discomfort, especially if you’re suffering from cramps.

If you’re feeling exhausted and would rather rest, don’t worry – it’s totally fine! It’s acceptable (and even recommended) to take it easy on especially hard workout days as heavy physical activity can increase inflammation and discomfort during periods. Try walking around the park instead of power running or perform gentle stretching exercises instead of high-intensity workouts. Doing low impact movements like swimming or cycling can also be beneficial for women who are on their periods since it’s still possible to get some form of exercise without putting too much strain on the body.

Don’t overdo it

It is important for women to stay active even when they are on their period. However, it is also important to be aware of what your body needs and listen to it. While it is okay to continue your regular fitness routine during your period, be sure not to overexert yourself and allow time for rest.

If you find that you don’t have much energy, scale back your workouts a bit. This may include taking shorter walks or reducing the amount of time spent at the gym, instead focusing on low impact exercises such as yoga or Pilates during this time. If a particular workout seems too straining, opt for an alternative activity that is better-suited for your physical state in order to prevent any injuries.

It can be beneficial and more enjoyable to switch up your routine by introducing various forms of exercise over the course of the month such as swimming or cycling as these are activities that tend to place less strain on the body compared to high-intensity workouts like running. Additionally, take it slow and go at a pace that fits you best – focus on staying mindful and present throughout the duration of each exercise session.

Most importantly, give yourself enough rest days throughout the week and make sure you are getting adequate sleep in order for your body to recuperate adequately – by doing so you can help prevent overtraining or burnout from occurring due to excessive physical exertion during this time in particular.

Stay hydrated

In order to ensure that you are able to make the most of your workouts and reduce unpleasant symptoms, it is important to stay hydrated when on your period. During your menstrual cycle, water is essential for flushing out toxins from the body and aiding in digestion. Not only will drinking plenty of water help with bloating and other physical discomforts associated with menstruation, it will also give you the energy needed to perform at your best during exercise.

It is recommended that women drink 12-16 fl. oz (354-474 mL) of fluids within two hours before exercising, 7 – 10 fl. oz (207-295 mL) every 15 minutes during their workout and 8-16 fl. oz (237-451 mL) for every pound (0.5 kg) lost through sweat after their workout. To ensure adequate hydration levels it is suggested to opt for drinks such as mineral water, fruit juices or diluted vegetable juices which contain electrolytes like sodium and magnesium that are essential for keeping the body hydrated during and after exercise sessions.

Eat healthy

It can be challenging to eat a balanced diet when you’re experiencing the hormonal changes of your menstrual cycle. Eating unhealthy foods such as processed snacks and fast food can lead to bloating and water retention, and may make your period more uncomfortable.

To keep your body in tip-top shape during your period, try to focus on eating a nutrient-rich diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and plenty of water. This will help to keep your energy levels up and reduce bloating. Avoid foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat as these can cause cravings that you may find difficult to resist. If you do eat anything unhealthy during this time stick with smaller portions or take smaller bites so you don’t overindulge.

Another great tip is to stock up on snacks that are packed with nutrients so you have them handy for whenever hunger or cravings strike. Some examples include almonds, apples dipped in nut butter, carrots sticks with hummus or banana “boats” – slices of banana rolled or stuffed with nuts or other healthy fillings like nut butter or coconut flakes. Taking care of yourself nutritionally will enable you to have the energy you need to get through any form of exercise during this time!

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