Can you exercise when you have your period?
The answer is yes, girls can train during their period. Lutein and estrogen production decreases during menstruation, making the body prone to edema, lower abdominal pain, poor skin tone, diarrhea, irritability and other symptoms.
If you don’t have obvious symptoms during your period, it’s okay to follow a training program. If you are troubled by menstrual pain, appropriate stretching or yoga can not only relieve the body of uncomfortable feelings, but also take this time to relax the overly stiff muscles! After the peak of your period, you can start to do some upper body training. In addition, according to my past experience in teaching classes, girls should avoid high-intensity core training during their periods to avoid additional stimulation when the lower abdomen is swollen.
I’m going to take a week off from exercising because my period is coming! You shouldn’t exercise during your menstrual period ～～～～～
I’m having my period and my stomach hurts, what exercises can I do? Many girls, when they start to set up their own fitness program, the first question they often encounter is “Should I train when I’m on my period? Or should I schedule a rest day?”
The answer is yes, girls can train during their physiological period, but how to arrange suitable training?
First of all, we must first understand the effect of female hormones on the body.
The four periods of female hormones
When menstruation comes (about 4~5 days)
The secretion of lutein and estrogen will decrease, causing the body to easily produce symptoms such as edema, lower abdominal pain, skin deterioration, diarrhea, and irritability.
After the menstrual period leaves, the proliferation period (about 10 days) begins
Female hormones gradually increase, and this is the most radiant time for women, when edema disappears, mood is happy, and skin is more radiant.
The luteinizing hormone gradually rises, and some women may feel a slight pain in their lower abdomen for 1~2 days during this period.
Luteal phase (secretory phase)
Women often experience premenstrual syndrome: swelling, hunger, swollen nipples, irritability, acne, and other symptoms.
The effect of hormones can be clearly felt in the graph above, which shows the difference between the swelling of the abdomen 10 days before and 1 day after menstruation. After mastering the hormonal changes and physiological reactions, we can plan the most suitable exercise methods according to the body state at different times!
How to match the menstrual cycle and plan different fitness programs
From the scientific literature to understand the menstrual cycle training
In 2017, an academic research for women’s menstrual cycle training designed a very interesting experiment, all participants in the study into two groups, the two groups of people to perform the exact same leg training (weight, number of groups, frequency, movement the same), lasting four months. The difference between the two groups was in the duration of the training.
Group A: during the week of menstruation and the first week after menstruation
Group B: during the third week and near the end of the period (luteal phase)
Which group had better training results? The results of the study showed that group A was more effective than group B!
In other words, the results of the experiment mentioned that if you want to break the weight and increase the total number of training sessions, you can do it during the week of your period and the first week after your period, while the luteal phase is more suitable for reduced training. However, the results of the study do not mean that they are applicable to all girls. If you don’t have menstrual pain, you can try the methods mentioned in the experiment to implement the training program!
If you suffer from menstrual pain, how should you organize your menstrual training program?
If you ask me to do heavy weight training on those days, I should just pass out …. So I have to stop exercising completely when my period comes.
So, there is a very important concept, every day training, will not progress faster, the body needs to arrange “rest days”, do not blame yourself for a few days off! Because, fitness and work the same, proper rest, are very good! Should be in accordance with their own physical condition to do training adjustments.
When menstruation comes (about 4~5 days): arrange rest days, stretching training, yoga training
During menstruation, appropriate stretching or yoga can not only relieve the body’s discomfort, but also take advantage of this time to relax the overly stiff muscles! After the peak of menstruation, you can start to do some upper body training. In addition, according to my past experience in teaching classes, girls should avoid high-intensity core training during menstruation to avoid additional stimulation when the lower abdomen swells. Below is one of my personal yoga training schedules during menstruation. I will choose a high or medium intensity class according to my body’s condition, and will try to avoid core training.
At the end of my period (day 3 or 4) I will start some non-cardio plyometrics to warm up for the intense workouts after my period!
After the menstrual period, we entered the hypertrophy period (about 10 days): training from the lower extremities, high-intensity training schedule
Combining the results of research and my personal experience, the first day I can resume normal training after menstrual walking, I usually start with lower body training, and I will use large weights and low sets to stimulate the muscle groups that have been resting for a week. But I personally feel that it is also the best time to feel the training!
Start resuming your normal training schedule until your period comes again.
In addition, some people will increase the “aerobic training frequency” during the luteal phase to reduce the phenomenon of edema!
Dietary advice during the menstrual period
As for the diet part, we can adjust the diet according to the cycle of the physiological period.
The week of menstruation, the first week after the end
Because the luteinizing hormone is lower, usually appetite is affected, so this period to carry out a more stringent dietary control, physiologically and psychologically can be faster to adapt. This is a good time to lose fat, but this period should never go to measure body fat, because during the menstrual period, body fat, body weight is usually a little higher!
The week before the period
Luteal phase, the body will be particularly easy to feel hungry, especially want to eat sweets or junk food. So it would be a bit inhumane to lower your calorie intake at this time! Of course, this is not a reason for you to burst your diet, but if you want to start a new diet, it is recommended that you do not start the week before your period!
So how can I avoid eating indiscriminately during the luteal phase to blow up the calories?
My experience is to increase your total caloric intake. But choose “calories with nutritional value” such as good quality protein, low-calorie foods with a sense of satiety, and more prototype foods! During the week of your period and the week after your period, you should be on a more strict diet, and it is okay to increase your caloric intake a little in the last two weeks. Sometimes we don’t have to be so calculating in “daily” calorie intake, we can enlarge the time perspective into weekly or monthly!
Last but not least, I would like to give you a reference number of protein intake to match your menstrual period
The week of your period and the first week after your period: daily protein intake of at least 100 grams for a body weight of 50 kg x 2. ex.
The week before your period: You can take at least BW(kg)x2.3~2.7 to increase your feeling of fullness. ex. For a body weight of 50 kg, you can take 115-135 grams.
The next time your period comes, you may want to seriously feel the changes in your body and find the most suitable training program!