We hear a lot about what’s good to eat during your period – yay dark chocolate! – and which spot treatments to reach for to banish pesky period breakouts. You’ve probably also read that exercise can actually be beneficial on your period for various reasons – as a mood booster, for alleviating stress, and for helping cramps just to name a few. According to medical professionals and Health.com, regular activity during your period can even bring “less cramping and [a] less heavy flow.” When I found out exercise could bring a less heavy flow, I was all in. Then I found out that apparently, “high-intensity interval training” may be the best kind of exercise to do during that time of the month. God. Let’s be honest, exercise isn’t exactly on the top of the list during our periods – let alone anything with the words high-intensity. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find some kind of win-win exercise that gave you these awesome benefits we’re reading about, that actually felt awesome and do-able? Here are 3 exercise ideas to try on your period that do not involve the gym:
Hear me out on this one! Hasn’t swimming been the traditional thing you can’t do on your period? As teenagers, I’m betting that almost all of us had to miss out on a beach day or swimming because of our periods. Or maybe you were traumatized by an unrelenting coach in high school gym class, who insisted your period wasn’t a reason to skip out on the pool unless you had a doctor’s note – seriously?! We often feel bloated, heavy, and less than sexy on our periods. The magical thing about swimming is it makes you feel weightless. Check out your local pool schedule, and find a time that isn’t booked for noisy children. Put on your cutest, most comfy bathing suit, and enjoy swimming about or floating in starfish in weightless bliss… and enjoy soaking in the hot tub afterwards even more. The best part? It’s clean, you can shower right after, and you won’t overheat. Just make sure you put in a fresh tampon right before, and you’re good to go!
Yoga, at the studio or at home
I’m a yoga enthusiast, but on my period I don’t always love leaving my house or putting on my yoga gear. Yoga is a great exercise to do on your period and a great activity because you can do it individually or join a class at the studio. If you’re like me, yoga in your living room is great. I like lighting a candle or turning on a diffuser with my favourite essential oils. Thanks to YouTube, there are tons of amazing channels run by real yoga instructors. One of my go-to channels is Yoga with Adriene. She has videos of every length, from full 1 hour practices to just 5 minutes. She titles them too, so you can find exactly what you feel like doing: Yoga for Mood Swings, Yoga for Bedtime (I’ve done that practice in the middle of the day, there are no rules!), Happiness Boost Yoga, and Detox Yoga are just a few out of many. On top of the endless choices, Adriene is fun, full quirks, and relatable AF. I can’t promise you that you won’t be addicted after just one of her videos, long after your period is over!
The Brunch and Walk
This is perfect for anyone who’s wants to hit the refresh button,. For the brunch-and-walk you’ll need to be craving delicious, unapologetically indulgent food (this is a given for me at all times of the month). Indulge in your favourite foods – hash browns and benedict? Or your sweet tooth – whipped cream and berries atop Belgian waffles? After a delicious meal, digest by taking some time to meander through the park or shops, depending on your location. Grab a cup of soothing, herbal tea to-go, and enjoy some peaceful reflection – or people-watching. Studies show that regular, brisk walking really is an effective form of exercise (Mayo Clinic). Walking also improves your mood, gets you fresh air, and improves mindfulness
And there you have it, three completely different ideas that can get you active on different levels during your period. Let’s change how we feel about exercise on our periods – do something that gets you moving, but more importantly something that makes you feel like the fabulous, empowered person that you are.
Try one or all three, so you don’t have to swing between your usual workout routine or nothing, when your period hits. Or, keep dancing in your underwear to that secret Spotify playlist you don’t show anyone – we won’t tell.
About Emma Larson: Emma is a Business student from Vancouver, BC. She is a yoga enthusiast and avid reader who loves creative writing. She follows politics and current events, and believes that through education and empowerment, girls and women can change the world.