Exercise and Your Period
Since my TOM arrived today, thought this was a fitting article to wrap up my challenge assignment. Ironically, I read this article back when I joined SP in 2008. However, it is a good refresher to remind ourselves that even though when TOM is present and do not feel like exercising, it actually improves the adverse symptoms that occur during that time of the month. It also provides some helpful hints of things to avoid as well (see below).
The following suggestions will help you develop a synergy between menstruation and exercise, so you can optimize your workouts, and your periods:
- If you are just beginning an exercise program, and you suffer from cramps and other period-related issues, then start out slowly. Make sure you're listening to your body and not overdoing it.
- Increase exercise around your period, which will improve oxygen circulation throughout the body.
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
- Avoid lots of salt (but use spices, especially spicy ones, liberally).
- Avoid refined sugars and fried foods.
- Avoid caffeine—it can make cramps worse.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Use heat to relieve cramps so you can get to the gym and stick to your workouts.
And the best for last -
By exercising consistently, you may be able to achieve a lighter and shorter menstrual flow, a lower incidence of mood swings, and a stronger pelvic floor, which can better support your reproductive organs.