On Your Period? These Are the Exercises You Should Do

Elinor Block
PHOTO:

Outdoor Voices

When it comes to exercise, do you avoid it during your time of the month? Period pain has always been something that I’ve suffered with, and it definitely puts me off working out. I’m not alone, of course—80% of women have period pain. Mine always lasts the first two days of my period, and it usually consists of the following: pain in my lower stomach, my back, the tops of my legs, as well as being a bit shaky.

My usual way of coping with that was to grab a hot water bottle, chuck a few Nurofen down my throat, and eat a lot of chocolate (hi, cliché). But when I was training for 10ks and then a half marathon, the curling-up-and-crying-at-adverts thing wasn’t really an option as it would mess up my training schedule.

However, I wasn’t even sure it was okay to exercise when I was on my period. Turns out it’s totally fine. Dr. Stacy Sims, an exercise physiologist at Stanford University, revealed that, thanks to the drop in certain hormones, it could make you feel more powerful when on your period. Ironic, since you probably don't feel like doing anything at all.

If you want more proof that you can exercise while on your period, during last year’s Olympics, Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui broke taboos and spoke about being on her period when she was competing. After she came fourth place in the heat, in her post-race interview, she revealed the reason she didn’t perform the best was because she had stomach cramps. But while the cramps held Yuanhui back, exercising on your period can have its benefits…

From burning more calories (no, seriously) to reducing your pain (hallelujah), keep scrolling because we’ve found five of the best physical activities to do when you’re on.

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