Work Out on Your Period | Tips for Women's Health Month

Work Out on Your Period | Tips for Women's Health Month

A Guide to Working Out During Your Period

Women are not miniature replicas of men, especially when it comes to exercise. Our workout routines differ, and contrary to common myths, getting strong doesn't equate to becoming bulky. However, many of us may not be consuming enough nutrition to support our active lifestyles. Furthermore, our menstrual cycles play a significant role in our health and fitness journey. It's essential to recognize that not only are we distinct from men, but we also vary greatly from one another.

Can You Exercise On Your Period?

Yes, you absolutely can. The myth that exercising during your period is harmful comes from an antiquated combination of cultural taboos and a lack of female-focused sports research. But times—and data—have changed. A growing body of evidence reveals not only the safety but the benefits of staying active during your period.

While the idea that your performance will nosedive once the period starts persists in some corners, recent studies have shown that the hormonal shifts throughout the menstrual cycle do not significantly affect strength or stamina. You might need to modify the intensity on days when fatigue hits harder, but there's no strict no-exercise decree for those days of the month.

Benefits of Exercising During Your Period

Working out during your period isn't just a 'there-goes-your-excuse' moment; it's backed by a horde of health benefits. Regular exercise can lead to a more regular cycle and even reduced flow. It boosts your mood and energy levels, making PMS more manageable. Plus, those endorphins released during exercise are natural painkillers, which means bye-bye, cramps, or at least a friendly dulling of their edge.

Your menstrual cycle's ebb flow doesn't have to dictate your life. Rather, consider it a rhythmic guide for tuning into your body's needs—like complimenting your cycle rather than combating it.

Aligning Exercise With Your Menstrual Cycle

Understanding how your menstrual cycle intersects with your fitness routine can be a game-changer. Whether your period affects your workouts significantly or barely at all, the impact is highly individual. Hormone fluctuations throughout your cycle can influence everything from your energy levels to your workout preferences and nutritional needs.

Let's further explore the intricacies of syncing your fitness journey with your menstrual cycle by examining the four phases of menstruation and their implications for nutrition and exercise

Menstruation Phase

  • Duration: Typically 3 to 8 days
  • Hormonal Shift: Estrogen levels rise
  • Exercise Impact: High-intensity training may feel more challenging
  • Nutrition Tip: Increase carbohydrate intake to counteract challenges
  • Performance: Generally, exercise performance remains unaffected or slightly decreased
  • Safety: Engaging in physical activity during menstruation is generally safe.

Follicular Phase

  • Duration: Around 10 to 16 days
  • Hormonal Shift: Estrogen levels increase, peak before ovulation, then decline
  • Exercise Impact: High-intensity training may feel challenging initially
  • Nutrition Tip: Consider increasing carbohydrate intake
  • Metabolism: Body conserves glycogen and relies more on fat for fuel.


  • Timing: Midpoint of the menstrual cycle
  • Performance: Peak performance in workouts may vary among individuals
  • Risk: Some argue heightened injury risks during this phase

Luteal Phase

  • Duration: Typically around 14 days
  • Hormonal Shift: Progesterone dominates, estrogen increases
  • Symptoms: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms may arise
  • Nutrition Focus: Proper nutrition and recovery are crucial
  • Protein Intake: Consume moderate amounts every few hours for satiety
  • Balance: Maintain a balance between carbohydrates and fats
  • Fat Intake: Increase healthy fat intake before menstruation
  • Hydration: Adequate hydration is vital, especially during workouts
  • Body Signals: Pay attention to bodily signals and adjust habits accordingly.

Workouts to Do While On Your Period

Light cardio — think swimming or brisk walking — could be your menstrual phase MVP. These activities get the blood flowing without overly taxing your system.

Low-volume strength training gets a green light, too. Going for lower weights and higher reps helps maintain muscle tone without overly stressing the body. And if you crave intensity, power-based activities, yoga and Pilates can be incredibly grounding during this time, providing both physical benefits and mental relief.

For days when you're dealing with PMS, lighter, low-impact exercises like stretching and foam rolling can be particularly comforting. Activities such as gentle yoga or Tai Chi not only maintain your fitness routine but also double as methods for easing menstrual discomfort.

Our Final Tips

It's important to absorb the information provided; if you feel uncertain or need further clarification, consult with a healthcare professional. It's advised by experts to utilize such guidance as part of a comprehensive approach to prioritize your body's well-being.

Consider the following additional tips:

1. Ensure adequate nutrition

Under-eating is prevalent among many women, particularly those engaging in strenuous exercise. It's crucial to consume enough calories and stay hydrated, especially with high-demand activities. This forms the foundation of optimal health.

2. Moderate high-intensity workouts

While beneficial for cardiovascular health and body composition, it's important to temper high-intensity workouts. Recovery is essential, and diversifying your exercise routine yields better overall fitness outcomes.

3. Incorporate strength training

Contrary to common fears of bulking up, women possess the capability to become stronger without significant muscle mass gain. It's essential to embrace strength training as a fundamental aspect of fitness, comparable to men's potential for strength gains.


Free Intro Class*

Experience our workout for free. Please fill out the form and a member of the team will be in touch.
All fields are mandatory unless indicated as optional.
*Certain restrictions apply. See full Promotion Terms.