First off: Yes, you can workout during your period, 2nd It’s OK if you don’t and legit feel like you can't. Even during the RED TIDE you don’t have to be banished to a hut or sent into the woods for a week, in fact, some women find that they can be even more physically active and at higher intensity at certain times of the month than at other times.
Now, I said just some….if you are like me, your period kicks you so hard in the butt that you end up wondering if you will be able to function the next day. Every single female body is different and reacts to our monthly visit from AUNT FLOW differently
Why do each of us deal with our monthly UNWELCOME VISITOR differently?
Well, we each respond to the hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle differently. For many women, when we start our period our estrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest. As our visitor extends their stay these levels begin to rise, slowly giving us more and more energy. Until the day you wake up and the RED ARMY has moved on leaving our body and boy do you have some energy. Our estrogen levels start to rise quickly in preparation for ovulation. Once our Estrogen levels finally peak around the time of ovulation, telling us we only have about two weeks until CODE RED!
And what goes up folks must come down and as our estrogen levels fall quickly after ovulation and progesterone levels begin to rise, we start to feel more tired or sluggish than usual. It's those days you wonder how you are going to get out of bed let alone make it to the gym. I know the couch and a glass of wine sound like all you can do, but really if you just push yourself and go for a quick workout, you will not only boost your mood but increase your energy. Let's get real ladies, we not only work full time, but many of us also have kids and a family that we take care of on top of that. If we can juggle and manage all that, let's get real, we can sort 20-30 min into our day to get a quick workout. Especially if it is going to make doing our other 2 or 3 jobs easier ------ IE GIVE US MORE ENERGY! Which by damn I KNOW we all need.
Then BANG….SHARK WEEK! OMG does it feel like the last few days of low energy was a joke cuz boy are our estrogen and progesterone level back on the bottom. Sure for some of us, Physical activity helps our PMS & Cramps, but for others, it's just a dream because BLOODY MARY and her friends are keeping you from being able to find the strength. However, according to some, “Working out can actually help relieve some period symptoms,” says Lori Shemek, Ph.D., “Exercise can help reduce cramps and boost your mood.” Now a lot of things are easier said than done, I for 1 and 2 know, especially when it comes to this topic!!! This is when all the BS of LADY TIME happens, the mood changes, depression, anxiety, bloating, food cravings, headaches, breast tenderness, severe cramps.need I go on, for real.
Honestly, do you really need more, would you want to deal with more...happening all at once…while you are trying to bang out a new PR on the rack?? Heck No, you feel like that at the gym any other time, you go home cuz you wonder WTF is wrong with you. If you are dealing with all this and you just can’t workout, don’t let that affect your drive, your motivation. Remember, we all deal with our cycle differently, but learning how your cycle works you can work your fitness schedule around it.
How do you do that, well A: keep a journal about your cycle, heck a lot of health apps already have that option available, so you are not sitting there wondering why you have no energy but you feel 100%. Decide for yourself what work, when do you have the most energy, when are you at your lowest? Can you workout during your lowest? Can you workout extra on the week you have more energy? What do you crave? When do you crave it? How can you adjust your caloric intake before or after to accommodate that?
Not only doesn’t that sound easy, but depending on how much you do, it may not be, but it doesn’t have to happen overnight. We have the honor of living with our bodies for the rest of our lives so we have time to listen and learn, just like any good relationship.
Remember: Taking birth control can affect everything since your body is adding in hormones. Everyone is different so talk to your doctor to make sure you find the best birth control option for you.