Do you train during periods? Exercising during your period is good for your health, but not all exercises work. Here are 5 exercises you should avoid during your period.
Exercise may be the last thing on your mind during periods, unless you’re a fitness buff. While some women refrain from exercising during their period, others find it important to exercise during their period. But should you or shouldn’t you exercise during your periods? According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a balanced exercise routine during menstruation is vital for a woman to maintain her overall health and well-being.
The importance of exercising during menstruation cannot be understated as it is extremely beneficial for a woman, Dr Parinita Kalita, Senior Consultant Obstetrics and Gynecology, at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj, New Delhi, reports Health Shots.
Benefits of exercising during periods
Did you know that exercising during your period improves mental and physical well-being? Dr. Kalita says engaging in physical activity during this phase of the menstrual cycle stimulates the release of endorphins, reduces mood swings and relieves stress. Together, these help improve mental and physical well-being. Plus, exercise improves blood circulation, potentially relieving menstrual cramps.
Prioritizing exercise during your periods can help women establish a harmonious balance between their bodies and a consistent fitness routine throughout their entire menstrual cycle, she adds. A study published in the journal Women and Health found that women who exercised during periods reported less pain than women who didn’t. However, can you do all kinds of exercises during your periods? While working out during periods is recommended, there are some exercises women should avoid.
Exercises to avoid during menstruation
While exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to be aware that some exercises may not be suitable or comfortable during your period. Dr. Kalita recommends avoiding the following exercises during periods:
1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT training generally includes intense bursts of activity followed by short recovery periods, which may not be ideal during menstruation. The rigorous nature of HIIT exercises can potentially exacerbate cramping and discomfort. Therefore, opting for low-impact exercises that provide gentle movement and promote relaxation is a more suitable choice during this time.
2. Lifting heavy weights
Lifting heavy weights can place excessive strain on the abdominal area, potentially making cramps worse. Adjusting the intensity of weightlifting exercises by opting for lighter weights with higher repetitions or focusing on strengthening exercises for other muscle groups can still provide an effective workout without compromising comfort.
Read also: Sync your workout routine with your periods for best results
3. Inversions and twists in yoga
Recognizing the importance of maintaining balance, it is advisable to avoid poses that involve inversions, such as headstand or shoulderstand, and deep twisting movements during menstruation. These positions can cut off blood flow to the uterus and intensify cramping.
4. High impact cardio
High-impact cardio activities such as running, jumping or intense aerobics classes during menstruation involve repetitive movements that can cause discomfort due to increased pressure on the abdomen. Opting for low-impact exercise like brisk walking, swimming, or biking offers the benefits of cardiovascular activity while minimizing potential discomfort.
5. Abdominal crunches and sit-ups
Crunches and sit-ups during menstruation can strain the pelvic area, exacerbating menstrual cramps. Exploring alternative core-strengthening exercises such as planks, bridges, or pelvic floor exercises allow you to engage your abdominal muscles without putting excessive pressure on your uterus.
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