The 4 exercises to do on your period – and the 1 to always avoid

In pain and discomfort during your time of the month? Did you know it’s a good idea to switch up your exercise routine?

“Move simply to feel good, get the endorphins flowing and enhance your mood, rather than push your body to the point where it's uncomfortable,” advises fitness influencer, app founder and personal trainer Courtney Black.

“Movement during your time of the month needn’t cause you extra stress or pain. Simply focus on less intense exercise and activity that helps you feel better, positive and more comfortable.”

You can also try orgasming (yes, you read that right) to ease cramps and even shorten periods, according to one study.

Of course unusual period pains should never be ignored, but here are Courtney's suggestions for four activities when training on your period – and what you should most definitely avoid…

1. Use lighter weights

“During your menstrual cycle your hormones have a significant part to play. On the few days before your period and day one of your period, your oestrogen levels are at their lowest. This means you’re more likely to feel flat and fatigued and at higher risk of injury. There’s no need to stop lifting weights altogether. Simply lower the weight and focus on form, technique, reducing the intensity and getting adequate rest.”

2. Switch HIIT for LIIS

“The rapid decrease of progesterone during the days leading up to and day of your period can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Your body is at its most vulnerable at this stage so it’s important to protect yourself. If you’re feeling some discomfort switch the burpees and tuck jumps for a LISS – i.e. Low Intensity Steady State training (walking, cycling, swimming, yoga and so on).”

3. Prioritise upper body exercise

“While I do not recommend going heavy on the weights, you can still focus on working your upper body (mainly back and shoulders). Focus on slow, controlled, low volume and low intensity movements.”

4. Switch to yoga or pilates/ stretching

“Exercise can be very beneficial during your time of the month, as long as the intensity is carefully considered and adapted towards yourself and your body. Yoga, pilates and stretching are all great ways to get moving without causing too much stress and strain on the body.”

AVOID – Hip thrusts or pressure on the lower abdominals

“The first few days of your period might leave you feeling bloated and in some discomfort. Avoid putting any weight on your lower abdominal area or overworking this part of your body during those few days. This will ensure no added stress or pressure to an already potentially sore area.”

Courtney’s golden rule is: “The best exercise to do on your period is literally the one you feel like doing. " Sounds good to us!

"There’s no point pounding the pavements on a 10k run or attempting a sweaty HIIT session when you’re not feeling your best. This can not only make you feel worse, but can actually lead to injury and of course, lack of motivation.”

Start your fitness journey today with Courtney's FREE 14-Day FULL trial of her app now.


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