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What Exercise is Good During Your Period?

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
What Exercise is Good During Your Period?
Yoga can help relieve cramps and back pain. Photo Credit: Motoyuki Kobayashi/Digital Vision/Getty Images

When it's your time of the month, it's tempting to hide under the covers until the cramps, bloating and irritability passes and you can get back to normal. The fatigue that often accompanies your period may make it difficult for you to do anything physical past using the remote. But exercising during your period can actually help reduce symptoms so you feel better. The right type of exercise is a beneficial way to manage your monthly period symptoms so you don't need to put your life on hold.

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Exercise can relieve pain.
Exercise can relieve pain. Photo Credit: Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Exercise might be the last thing on your mind when you have your period, but it can play a vital role in managing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Drinking plenty of water and taking over-the-counter pain medication may help ease the cramps and bloating that accompany your period. Exercise, meanwhile, can help relieve pain, give you energy and ward off depressive symptoms and irritability at that time of the month. By making exercise one of your first defense mechanisms against period symptoms, you may experience less severe PMS each month.


Avoid high-intensity workouts while on your period.
Avoid high-intensity workouts while on your period. Photo Credit: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

In some cases, exercise may not be possible during menstruation. If you suffer from PPMD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, your symptoms may be so severe that they interrupt your daily life. Severe cramps and heavy bleeding may make it simply impossible for you to exercise while on your period and the condition should be monitored and treated through your gynecologist.

Seasoned athletes, meanwhile, are more susceptible to injury during menstruation. Women simply have poorer motor control during the five to seven days of their period, which can result in injury because of muscle strains while exercising. Avoid high-intensity workouts while on your period and practice low-intensity, yet still beneficial methods of exercise.

Light Aerobics

Light aerobic activity can help you keep control over your body while easing some of your period symptoms.
Light aerobic activity can help you keep control over your body while easing some of your period symptoms. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Light aerobic activity can help you keep control over your body while easing some of your period symptoms. Walking is one of the easiest ways to reap those benefits. Walk to work, park farther away from your building or make a point to go for a walk after dinner to help ease cramps and bloating. If you use tampons, swimming can help relieve back pain during your period. The weightlessness of the water also can help you exercise comfortably.


During your period, cramps, muscle fatigue and back pain can all disrupt your day. A yoga class can help remedy some of these conditions by allowing you to slowly stretch out your tired and sore muscles. You can also do movements on an exercise ball to apply pressure to your abdomen for relief. Certain poses, such as the cat pose or the restorative pose, allow you to stretch your back muscles while assuming positions that are comfortable for you while on your period. Take a class or rent a yoga DVD from the library to discover poses that make your period symptoms more bearable.

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