Why-Exercise-Can-Help-You-Have-A-Happy-Period

Why Exercise Can Help You Have A Happy Period

When we’re scouting out ideas to help ourselves feel better during our period, exercise tends to be the last thing on our minds.

Our normal go-to period pain and PMS remedies normally consist of hot water bottles, bars of chocolate, duvet days and crying along to our favourite Disney film.
But there are actually a whole bunch of reasons (science-based ones, too!) why exercise can help you to have a happy period.

In this post, we’ll be covering all of the great results that exercise can have on your body during menstruation, and why you should be putting on those yoga pants…

Reason #1
Exercise will boost your happiness

We all know about the physical impact that exercise can have on your body, but what about the mental impact too?

You’ve probably heard that exercise releases endorphins (happy chemicals) in your body. These happy chemicals are responsible for that buzzing feeling you get after exercise — you know, when you feel energized, motivated, and a whole lot perkier than you did before?

That’s because endorphins (and serotonin, another happy chemical) have a positive impact on your brain.

It works exactly the same when you’re on your period and struggling with mood swings and irritability. Endorphins counteract the hormonal imbalance that your period produces (and the extreme emotional responses as a result). So doing any sort of exercise (big or small, high-impact or low-impact) can help to balance out emotional extremes, and uplift your mood too.

So the next time you’re crying over the latest episode of Jane The Virgin swaddled in your duvet, maybe it’d be a good idea to get outside and go for a gentle jog instead?

Reason #2:
Exercise increases your energy levels

You’d think that doing exercise would make you feel more tired afterwards, wouldn’t you? And yes, it does in the long run — next time you go for a big run or swimming session, notice how well you sleep that night — but the immediate effect is that you

We often suffer from low energy levels and feelings of sluggishness when we’re menstruating. It’s not surprising — after all, there’s a lot happening to your body: painful cramps and sore muscles, not to mention difficulty sleeping and the fact that you’re losing blood for a week.

Adding regular exercise into your routine can counteract these feelings of tiredness, help you to get a better night’s sleep, and tackle feelings of stress that keep you up at night. This great blog post explains how in more detail — check it out.

Reason #3:
Exercise tackles cramps

We often suffer from low energy levels and feelings of sluggishness when we’re menstruating. It’s not surprising — after all, there’s a lot happening to your body: painful cramps and sore muscles, not to mention difficulty sleeping and the fact that you’re losing blood for a week.

This is because exercise increases your heart rate and improves your circulation — which gets plenty of blood to your muscles (like your uterine muscles), and eases cramps and soreness.

Although it might seem like a struggle to get up and get moving when you’re cramping up, it’s not like you have to run a marathon or do a high-intensity workout session to feel the effects of exercise on your poor cramping body. Even doing a short yoga session, swimming or a gentle jog will get the blood flowing around your body and alleviate painful cramps.

Some women and girls do get worried about things like leaking when they’re exercise, but there are plenty of awesome period product options around these days that mean you don’t have to rely on pads for protection (which can be a risky move if you’re moving around a lot, doing something like jogging), or tampons (which can be uncomfortable when you’re doing sports and make you worried about having a string sticking out).

Menstrual cups are a strong option for any type of exercise you want to do, including swimming, because they don’t tend to leak onto your swimming costume or pants. And if you are feeling paranoid about leaking, you can always pair a cup with period proof underwear as a second layer of protection. Sorted.

Reason #4:
Exercise reduces your bloating

Bloating is not a fun side effect of having your period. As well as having to deal with heavy flow days, painful cramps and mood swings, our periods can make us feel the size of a house sometimes — bloated, heavy and puffy.

This is because our hormone levels change while we’re menstruating, which has an impact on how our body retains water. These hormonal changes also affect our digestive system, slowing it down and trapping excess gas (which adds to that bloated feeling).

Exercise counteracts both of these causes of bloating.

By staying active, you’re encouraging your digestive system to keep things moving along, including trapped gas. And exercise shifts the water into cells in your muscles, which makes the cells more turgid and helps you to lose that soft, puffy feeling that water retention causes. Not to mention that sweating while you’re working out means that your body gets rid of excess water in the wrong places.

Just remember to stay hydrated if you’re exercising! You still need plenty of water to function properly, and this isn’t going to make you more bloated — it’s just going to help your body work better!

Reason #5:
Exercise can make your period lighter & more regular

That’s right, doing exercise can even make your periods lighter and regulate your menstrual cycle.

There are all sorts of factors that can affect how regular our cycles are: tiredness, weight gain or loss, and stress are just some of the things that can result in a delayed period or a missing one.

Regular exercise helps out with pretty much all of these: keeping your weight stable, improving your sleeping pattern and quality, and even tackling stress. So it stands to reason that a healthy fitness routine equals a healthy menstrual cycle.

And because exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, it is also thought to lighten — and shorten — periods. The connection between weight and heavier periods is thought to be because of the number of fat cells in our bodies (fat cells produce and contain estrogen). This means increased estrogen production from fat cells, which can make menstruation heavier and longer.

Periods can be a pain — in more ways than one. But, as you can see, exercise is one of the obvious ways that you can tackle everything from cramps to bloating to mood swings.
So the next time you’re due on, don’t forget to maintain your normal fitness routine, rather than hiding out with a hot water bottle for the week. You’d be surprised at the difference it makes to your body and your overall wellbeing!

For you Sporty ladies

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