Dr. Shaheen Akhtar

Consultant - Obstetrics And Gynecology

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Dr. Shaheen Akhtar

Consultant - Obstetrics And Gynecology

Manipal Hospitals, Mysuru

Exercising During Your Periods: Is It Really A Good Idea?

Posted On: Nov 03, 2023

blogs read 3 Min Read

Exercising During Your Periods

The menstrual cycle is a monthly occurrence for most women and girls in their reproductive years. This cycle readies the body for potential pregnancy, with its phases often accompanied by a range of symptoms such as discomfort, emotional fluctuations, and tiredness. Though all might not appreciate the idea of exercising during menstruation, it carries many advantages. Exercise during menstrual period promotes overall well-being.

Benefits of Exercise During Menstruation

While it's crucial to adjust your exercise routine according to your body's signals, maintaining a light to moderate activity level can be quite beneficial. Here are the top five advantages of exercising during period:

1. Alleviation of Menstrual Pain

Engaging in low-intensity exercises like walking, swimming, or gentle yoga can significantly ease menstrual cramps and back pain. These activities enhance blood circulation, which, in turn, soothes muscle tension and diminishes discomfort.

2. Mood Enhancement

Exercise induces the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers. This is especially beneficial in countering the mood swings, irritability, or feelings of sadness that many women encounter during their menstrual cycle.

3. Combatting Bloating and Water Retention

Exercising promotes better circulation and lymphatic drainage, which can mitigate water retention and bloating. This is facilitated by the encouragement of excess fluid removal from the body through physical activity.

4. Stress Reduction

Regular exercise is a potent stress buster. By managing the stress and anxiety that often accompany menstruation, exercise fosters a sense of well-being and relaxation.

5. Elevated Energy Levels

Although fatigue is a frequent companion of menstruation, light to moderate exercise can invigorate your energy levels. This occurs as exercise augments the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and brain.

6. Better Sleep

Regular exercise can help regulate sleep patterns disrupted during menstruation. Exercise promotes relaxation and can help alleviate insomnia.

7. Digestive Health

Exercise can alleviate digestive discomfort often associated with menstruation.

Long-Term Benefits of Exercise During Menstruation

Following are the benefits you’ll reap in the long run if you continue exercising during your periods as a routine: 

  • Hormonal Balance: Regular exercise can create a more balanced hormonal environment within the body. By doing so, it can positively influence the regularity and manageability of the menstrual cycle. 

  • Reducing Pain Over Time: Sticking to a regular exercise routine can lead to less painful periods over time. The boost in circulation and the reduction in inflammation and water retention can contribute to lesser menstrual cramps and discomfort.

  • Weight Management: Exercise can play a crucial role in managing cravings, which often spike during menstruation due to hormonal fluctuations. By helping to stabilise mood and energy levels, exercise can make it easier to maintain a balanced diet.

  • Cardiovascular Health: Regular exercise helps in maintaining a healthy weight, reducing blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and enhancing overall heart function

Choosing the Right Type of Exercise

Choosing the right type of exercise during your menstrual cycle can significantly impact your comfort and the benefits you reap. It's crucial to listen to your body and select exercises that do not exacerbate any menstrual discomfort. You can also consult an expert obstetric and gynaecology doctor to help you formulate a personalised routine.

  1. Low to Moderate-Intensity Activities: Exercises like walking, swimming, or gentle yoga are usually well-tolerated during menstruation. These activities are less strenuous on the body yet promote good circulation, alleviate cramps, and help in managing other menstrual symptoms without causing further discomfort or fatigue.

  2. Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercises: Aerobic exercises are generally more comfortable and beneficial during this time.

  3. Yoga and Stretching: Yoga and stretching exercises can be very soothing during menstruation. They help relieve muscle tension, reduce cramps, and promote relaxation. Yoga also offers a mindful practice that can help in managing menstrual-related stress and anxiety.

  4. Strength Training:  Light to moderate strength training can maintain muscle tone and strength without being overly taxing during your period. It’s advisable to lower the weights or the intensity of the exercises to avoid any undue strain, especially if you experience severe cramps or fatigue. 

The benefits of exercise during menstruation contribute to both immediate relief and long-term health benefits. It’s crucial to find a comfortable balance that caters to one's body’s signals during menstruation. Every individual’s experience with menstruation and exercise is unique, underscoring the importance of personalising exercise routines. You can choose to visit Manipal Hospitals, Mysore unit, for personalised guidance and care. 


Q. How does exercise help reduce menstrual pain?

Exercising increases blood circulation, relaxes muscles, and reduces inflammation.

Q. What types of exercise are best during your periods?

Low to moderate-intensity aerobic exercises are best during menstruation. These include walking, swimming, or gentle yoga.

Q. Is it safe to strength train during menstruation?

Yes, it is safe to strength train during menstruation. However, you must listen to your body and reduce the intensity of your workouts if you feel tired or sore.

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