Sometimes when you’re on your period, all you really feel like doing is lying on the couch with a blanket and a good movie. But what your body needs may be the exact opposite. Women who exercise regularly during their periods may be less troubled by cramps and PMS. If you have mild cramps or moodiness, working up a sweat can improve your state of body and mind.
So what exercise should you do? Anything you like and feel comfortable doing. Mild cramps respond well to exercise; just don’t push yourself if you’re nauseated or having severe cramps.
Swimming is great exercise during your period because the water lifts you up and takes the pressure off your back. A brisk walk on a nice day is also uplifting. Or stretch and relax your entire body with yoga. Since you’re focused on slowness of motion, precision and deep breathing, you’re forced to take your mind off your cramps.
To get you started, here are a few simple yoga poses. Print this page and give them a try.
Sit on the floor, on carpet or a folded blanket. Put the soles of your feet together against each other and bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you can. Keep your knees level. Then lie back, close your eyes and put your arms out from your sides on the floor at a 45-degree angle with your palms facing up. Relax completely. This pose diffuses the tension in your abdomen and eases cramps.
Lying on your back, hold your shins and pull your knees to your chest. Hug your shins tightly if it feels good. Hold them there and breathe deeply as long as it takes to ease cramps.
The Cat Pose
Get down on your hands and knees. Your back is flat, and your legs are slightly apart, with your toes on the floor and heels up. Inhale and let your spine drop as you lift your head and face upward. Then exhale while rounding your spine up toward the ceiling and your pelvis toward your belly button, bringing your chin to your chest. Repeat this movement 10 times.