Does Menstruation affect your Workout Routine?

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A woman experiences frequent changes in her hormone levels during the month. The surging and diminishing levels of testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen govern the energy levels and are the reason why you sometimes feel like running for miles and at other times, feel completely “wiped out,” five minutes into your routine. However, here’s how understanding your periods and working accordingly can help you make the most of your workout.

Challenge Yourself

During the periods, the female hormones are at the lowest, resulting in an increase in the body’s ability to tolerate pain and recover muscle quickly. This is the time to challenge yourself and try a new routine or a new level in your existing routine. It is also the time to try high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which alternates high-intensity short workout periods with low-intensity rest periods.


Relieves cramps

Though exercising during the periods may seem to be a mundane idea, according to Dr. Trina Rowe, a physical therapist, it can actually help to relieve the discomfort caused by cramps and pains in the lower part of the legs and the lower back. Regular exercising also helps to regulate periods and the menstrual flow. A further case in point was made by past studies which proved that exercising released mood-boosting endorphins, which help to improve your mood by distracting the person from the pain and the discomfort.


Cools you down

During periods, the body temperature tends to fall. This means that the body can tolerate more heat and takes more time to get tired. Therefore, during this time, maximum gains can be garnered from a high-intensity workout.


Take a break

All said and done, only strenuous workouts do not count as exercise, even light strolls or walks count. If you do not feel up to it or feel completely ambushed, it is perfectly fine to take a break and skip your exercise routine for a day or two.


Making the most of your periods

While exercising during periods is a good idea, using this guide to plan out your workout schedule can give you the desired results faster. Here’s how you can plan your exercise month, keeping your periods in mind, in order to gain the maximum benefit.


Week 1


Just after your periods finish, testosterone and estrogen levels start increasing. As testosterone and estrogen help to build muscles and connective tissue, this is the best time to start toning your body.


Week 2


Testosterone and oestrogen levels peak during this week, thereby allowing you to use your energy more efficiently. This is the best time to try endurance sports.


Week 3


You ovulate during this week and the estrogen and serotonin levels dip, making you feel weak and not-so-happy. Additionally, progesterone and insulin increase, owing to which you start suffering from hunger pangs.


Week 4


Your periods have arrived and your muscle strength is back. Though, your mood might be crappy, exercising during your periods can be extremely beneficial to you. 

Being aware of the way the periods affect the body will help you control the way it affects you. Awareness can also help you control how your periods influence your workout so that you do not lose out on the physical gains that you have already achieved.

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