Periods and Exercise: How to Stay Active During Menstruation

 How to Stay Active During Menstruation
Team ujaas

Many women ask a frequent question: “Can we do exercise during periods?” And the answer is an overwhelming “yes.” You may eventually find that you can be physically active on most days of the month.

Ujaas, a menstrual health and menstrual hygiene initiative by Aditya Birla Education Trust (ABET), is on a mission to empower women by spreading awareness regarding all things periods.


It is quite common for some women to be bothered by menstrual cramps and the resulting pain each month. If you find yourself in bed the entire day, giving work a miss, or merely curling up on your couch in severe pain, you are surely not alone. If you have prominent levels of toleration, you must certainly exercise during periods.

All About Exercise in Period Time

Many women consider exercise during periods a strict “no-no.” However, several studies have proven that exercise in period time helps in relieving pain and improving mood. The release of endorphins within your body while performing exercise also helps in relieving stress.

Here are top 5 Reasons to Workout on Periods i.e. The Benefits of Workout During Periods

There are myriad benefits when it comes to working out or even gyming during periods.

  1. 1.Staying Active During Periods & Reduction in Period Cramps

  2. Period exercise can help in reducing pain as well as menstrual cramps through improvement in blood circulation. Studies have indicated that exercise helps in releasing beta-endorphins in the body that function like internal opioids to relieve pain and cramps. In addition, prostaglandin is a chemical that is released in your body during menstruation, which eventually causes cramps. Period exercise helps in reducing this chemical and relieving pain.

    Ujaas, the menstrual health and menstrual hygiene initiative by ABET, aims to dispel the stigma surrounding periods by educating adolescent girls in rural India about the facts of menstruation.

  3. 2.Period Exercise Helps with PMS

  4. Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome can be quite bothersome each month before your period. It can hamper your normal life and everyday routine by causing mood swings, emotional disturbances, sleep problems, and concentration issues. Exercise for periods helps combat these problems, besides reducing pain during menstruation. Furthermore, exercise helps in reducing excess retention of water and bloating, which is quite common and bothersome.

  5. 3.Exercise in Period Time is a Source of Energy

  6. It is extremely common to feel low during your periods and to find excuses to remain in bed. Exercise for a period helps in keeping you energised the entire day. Thus, you may not miss a vital day at your workplace. Exercise will surely improve circulation to all muscles of the body by enriching them with oxygen as well as nutrients.

  7. 4.Exercise in Period works as Mood Enhancer

  8. The level of cortisol (a stress hormone) increases during menstruation because of exertion. Exercising during your periods can help in reducing the level of this hormone in the blood and improving mood. Moreover, it can help in controlling mood problems such as crankiness, agitation, and period blues.

    Best Exercises to Perform on Your Period

    The initial days of your period may be quite uncomfortable, especially if the menstrual flow is quite heavy during this time. Hence, there should be a focus on mild, gentle movements as well as exercises.

    Often, the best exercise during menstruation is the one you want to perform. In addition, varying your workouts is crucial during this week. Periods are an optimum time to reduce the intensity of your workouts. That said, mentioned below are a few ideas for exercise for a period.

    Light Walking or Light Cardio to Stay Active In Periods

    Keep your aerobic or cardiovascular workout at a lower intensity or reduce the amount of time spent doing these. You may opt for walking, light cardio, or shorter bouts of aerobic exercise. There is research that supports the idea that your lungs work optimally later in your cycle; hence, you must keep such a form of training for the end of your period.

    Power-based Activities and Low-Volume Strength Training

    Because there exists immense potential for increasing your physical strength during this time, incorporating low-volume strength training as well as power-based activities is surely a smart move. Some researchers have gone on to say that menstruation is a great time to indulge in longer flow sessions that involve a healthy mix of strictly cardio and strength work. Hence, gyming during periods may be performed with caution and should be done under the supervision of a trainer.

    Be Active in Period with Yoga and Pilates

    The 2-3 days that lead up to your period is an ideal time to engage in activities such as yoga, which can help in relaxing your body and potentially reducing symptoms such as cramping , muscular fatigue, soreness, and breast tenderness.

    If you are not experiencing any sort of discomfort during your period, you may continue with your regular exercise schedule. All you need to do is be mindful of the bodily adjustments during this time. If you feel that your body is not performing at its peak, you may take a break and ease up on the levels of intensity.

    Exercises to Avoid

    Just like specific activities may be highly appropriate to participate in during your menstrual cycle, there are some exercises that you must avoid. That said, numerous women will be still able to continue their normal exercise routine with some minor tweaks. Some researchers have suggested that there should be a reduction in training stress and volume during this phase. That said, it does not mean putting a stop to training. It just means cutting back a bit. If you are feeling unusually fatigued or tired, you may cut back on highly intense cardio workouts or endurance-type training. In addition, you would want to eliminate skill as well as precision training during the few days of your menstruation.

    The Bottomline

    The answer to the commonly asked question, “Can we exercise during periods?” is a definite yes. Regular exercise is highly beneficial for both the body and mind. There is growing evidence that exercise can be extremely helpful during your menstruation. The thing to note is that you must continue with your exercise routine, but just cut back on the intensity, especially if you feel tired soon. Vary your exercises, take additional time to recover, and honour what you are capable of.