Oh, what a week!! This may not be the most appealing blog for a few of you, but the struggle is real, so I know lots of you ladies will relate.
“I have cramps”, “I feel bloated”, “I have a headache”. Yes! We’ve all used those excuses to get out of working out or doing anything. I know because I have used them too. It is almost that time of the month for me, so it has been a struggle getting to the gym or even getting up from my bed. Yes…. It can be that bad.
Our cycle can be a drag and interfere with our social life, workouts and even our healthy eating routine. I feel your pain. Actually, most women tend to ditch the gym during that time of the month. But many studies show that, in fact, women feel better when they get moving during their cycle. I know! I know! The last thing you want to do when on your period is workout. But working out can actually help relieve the cramping, bloating and also helps regulate the flow. Not only that, but it can help combat those mood swings and get you in a better mood.
First, let’s understand a little bit more about what happens during our cycle.
During Week 1, you’re in a low hormone phase, and you tend to channel more carbs for energy instead of fat, so hard and fast workouts may feel easier to do around this time. A workout recommendation is to do HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). The hormones shifts make fuel more accessible to your body, so it helps you push harder and get more out of this short but intense workout.
On Weeks 2 & 3, you’re starting to ovulate, so you need to listen to your body. You are probably bloated or feeling lazy. You’re feeling more sensitive, so be kind to yourself and try not to do any exercise that would bother your knee, and make sure to not skip your warm-up.
During Week 4 you may feel even more sluggish and with a lack of motivation, so plan ahead for it. During this time, muscle breakdown increases so try less stressful routines and schedule them ahead of time. Also, battle your cravings by adding healthy carbs to your diet, like sweet potatoes.
Something I also try to do is take some pain relievers and my Herbalife Women’s Choice tabbies a few days ahead of time, this way I can beat the cramps before they get to me and keep me from going to the gym. Of course, if the cramps are intolerable, it is recommended you visit your doctor.
So, how does working out help? When you workout you release endorphins which can trigger a positive feeling in the body and reduce the perception of pain. It helps reduce the levels of stress and anxiety, which reduces the severity of your cramps and helps your circulation. It beats fatigue and headaches as it activates your heart muscles and increases energy levels.
Now, if you’re really not feeling it, listen to your body and just take a rest day or don’t go as hard at the gym. But as long as you get moving, it will help you feel better overall. Working out during your period can help you feel more powerful, stronger and even increase muscle mass.
So, now you know. Don’t let a little bleeding slow you down from your routine and the results you’re already getting.
Pay attention to your cycle so you know how to work with it, put on your workout clothes and go get it in!
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