We know you don’t want to hear this but you really need to move your body on your periods. Yes, yes we know we are asking you to do the impossible because who really wants to move when they are bleeding out of their vagina for days. But believe it or not exercising on your periods actually has many benefits. And you are already one step closer if you have willingly made your way to this article, so kudos to that at least.

Let us see how exercise can help us more than a heat pad and a box of chocolates.

Why Exercise?

“Both progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest during the entire length of the period phase of the menstrual cycle, which can make people feel tired and less energetic.”

Dr. Christopher Holligsworth

While lying in a fetal position cradling our emotions with a tub of ice cream seems so much more enticing, exercising might actually be the better option. This is all thanks to one thing – endorphins. If you are not aware, endorphins are a type of brain chemical that work to relive pain and induce pleasure in our body. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins which then increases the production of dopamine (a feel-good chemical) and decreases our pain. Bet-endorphins, for instance, are better at reliving pain than morphine even. It is crazy what are body can do for us. These are “happy” hormones and help to distract you from your period discomforts. When we are on our periods, it is not just about the blood and the cramps. There is also fatigue, mental weakness, bloating, low energy, irritability, etc. With exercise we can work on many of the symptoms. In fact, exercise or movement of any kind helps to regulate your menstrual cycle and improves your blood flow. This can reduce the amount of cramps and even lead to lighter periods.

There are many ways exercising works to help your body. For example, sweating removes excess water from your body which reduces body bloat. The biggest pro of exercising on your periods is that it combats moodiness. The constant fatigue and exhaustion can mess with our moods, but we can work on this through exercise. Exercise here acts like a stress toy that soothes your mind and body.

Benefits of excising on your periods:

  • Improve PMS symptoms
  • Increase production of endorphins and dopamine
  • Relive mental and physical stress
  • Decrease period cramps
  • Massage your muscles
  • Control mood swings
  • balance hormones

What Types of Exercises Should You Do?

If you already exercise on a regular basis, continue with your routine. Try to avoid super sweat sessions such as CrossFit of HIIT if you don’t think your body can handle it. Do what works for you, but just move your body.

“Anything that gets you moving also gets your blood flowing and your endorphins popping. When it comes to physical activity, something is always better than nothing.”

Ash Fisher, Healthline writer

Hers are some quick workout ideas to get you started:

Light Walk

The main purpose is to get your body moving and your blood flowing well, and a walk will do just that. Physical activity during your periods does not have to be strenuous by any means. A short walk around your neighborhood or in the park will not only get you off the couch but it will also improve your mood. Sometimes a breathe of fresh air can be the only medicine you need after cooping up in your room for days.


On the days were you have very little energy but are motivated enough to still move your body, you can do some light stretching for as little as five minutes. No need to go too strong, just simple back and leg stretches will suffice. The main goal is for you to move your muscles and hopefully alleviate your pain as much as possible.

Light to Moderate Cardio

A short jog or run, a hike, biking, swimming, or any other form of an aerobic exercise can be another option for you. Not only will it get your blood flowing, but it will also help relive some of that cramping.


If you have ever been told by anyone that you should not practice yoga while on your periods, we recommend that you kindly ignore them. There is a false belief within the yogi community that any form of inversion or heavy yoga poses are not good for women on their periods. For inversions specifically, they believe that inverting your uterus during your periods can slow down the cleansing process, cause retrograde menstruation, and even lead to endometriosis. But extensive studies and research by the medical community has debunked this myth. As for the period blood flowing in the wrong direction in such poses, it is important to know that uterine contractions dictate the flow of your menstrual blood. Even regularly, our body pumps blood in both directions. Just because your body is upside down, it doesn’t mean that the flow will be disrupted.

“But also remember that menstruation is a normal physiological process, and practicing yoga or other physical activities are even recommended during periods.”


The hormonal changes we go through during our periods impact us and those around us greatly. So, if you are tired of constantly feeling angry, irritated, anxious, stressed, etc. then you can practice some simple yoga poses daily to keep your hormones in control. One of the best yoga channels on Youtube with helpful yoga videos, especially for when you are periods, is Yoga With Adriene. Be sure to check her out the next time you are doing yoga.

High Intensity Exercises

When you are not menstruating, the levels of estrogen in your body are higher and your body is relying more on fat breakdown for its energy. But due to the hormonal changes in our bodies during our periods, certain fuel sources like carbohydrates and glycogen are more easily accessible. So, you might actually have more energy and endurance to perform high intensity interval workouts. If your body allows you to get in a good sweat session, try out some HIIT workouts.


As always, these are just our recommendations. If your body is telling you that it cannot get up and move at all, then take a rest day. Sit in a warm bath or just sit outside in nature if you can. If you can’t move your body, just change your surrounding. If doing any workout somehow increases your period pains, please see an OB/GYN immediately to discuss your symptoms.

It is time to switch out that heat pad for a yoga mat. Take it easy, take it slow, but make sure to give your body the movement it needs.

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