Why You Can Smash It On Your Period!
Crazy back pain and dramatic breakouts are just a couple of the woes that can plague women during their monthly cycle. But that oh-so-special time of month does have a silver lining: According to Meg Takacs, a New York City-based CrossFit and Aaptiv trainer, it’s the time when some women might achieve their most goal-crushing workouts.
While your luteal phase (the week before your flow starts) might spell more sluggish sweaty sessions, the week when you’re menstruating comes with the ideal hormonal conditions to kick your usual mileage up a notch. “Schedule races, HIIT workouts, and sprint workouts” during this time, recommends the trainer.
The biological reason behind this supercharged time of month is pretty cool, too. “It’s because at this time in the cycle, the female hormonal cycle is resetting and getting ready for the upcoming month,” explains Adeeti Gupta, MD, founder of Walk In GYN Care in New York City. “The estrogen has started to rise at this point and the other hormones are at a stable baseline. The hormonal symphony is a complicated topic, but essentially a woman’s energy and libido is primed during or just after the period.”
Sure, the symptoms associated with your period can create barrier to entry when it comes to sprinting on the treadmill. But Dr. Gupta points to preliminary evidence that suggests breaking a sweat might help to alleviate even the worst cramps.
“Although there are no clear studies to prove this, the theory for why exercise helps period, which we know by clinical experience that it does, is two-fold. With exercise, the pelvic muscles get warm and relaxed and this relieves the pain happening from the spasm of the pelvic muscle which may be the culprit for many women with painful periods. It also increases blood flow to the pelvic organs,” she explains.
Tia Guster, MD, adds that raising your body temperature and releasing endorphins also helps soothe your uterus. “If you have very heavy periods or have other medical conditions that make your periods very painful and heavy, then just take it easy,” advises Dr. Gupta. You know your body best, but should you feel the need for speed, don’t deny yourself your superwoman-esque time of the month.
Article by Kells McPhillips from Well+Good