Exercising during their period may affect people in different ways. It may help to reduce some of the symptoms they experience during this time.

Exercise also provides other health benefits, such as improved mood, reduced menstrual cramps, and less fatigue. Although people may need to adjust their usual exercise routine while on their period, staying active can be helpful.

Read more about the benefits of exercise during menstruation, tips for doing so, and any risks.

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There are many benefits to exercising during a person’s menstrual period, and using some simple tips can make physical activity enjoyable and comfortable.

Incorporate stretching and yoga

Gentle stretching exercises — such as yoga and tai chi — can reduce tension, improve blood flow, and help a person feel better during their period.

A 2016 study found that people who took regular yoga classes experienced fewer premenstrual (PMS) symptoms and reported less period pain. There were also notable reductions in breast tenderness and abdominal swelling.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration can increase the likelihood a person will experience unpleasant side effects, such as bloating and constipation.

Drinking water may also reduce menstrual pain, which can make exercise more enjoyable. A 2021 study compared people who drank 54–68 ounces (about 8 glasses) of water per day to those who only drank when thirsty. Researchers found that those who drank more water had less severe menstrual pain during the first three days of their periods.

Try over-the-counter pain relievers

Back pain and cramping can initially deter someone from exercising while on their period.

Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol), can reduce cramping before an exercise session.

Applying ice or a cloth-covered heating pad after exercising can also help.

Keep period protection with you

Exercise can make a person feel like their flow is increasing. This usually happens because physical activity can help blood exit the uterus faster.

It is important that a person prepares by wearing a tampon, pad, or menstrual cup designed for a heavier flow.

Some people may wear dark pants in case of leaking. They may also want to bring a spare pair of underwear or clothes to the gym to change into after exercise.

Here are some of the potential benefits a person may experience while exercising during their period:

Improves mood

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, exercise can help reduce feelings of depression. Therefore, exercising may help to improve mood when a person has feelings of sadness, irritability, or anger during their period.

Reduces fatigue

Hormonal changes in the body can increase sensations of fatigue in people during their period. Physical activity can boost energy levels instead of lower them during a period, according to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH).

Reduces menstrual pain

A 2018 study found people who exercised for 30 minutes, 3 days per week, for 8 weeks had less menstrual pain than those who did not. They concluded that exercising during and before a period may reduce symptoms.

Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or for an extended time. Even two 15-minute walks a day can offer benefits. Exercise is also a healthful choice in general. It helps a person maintain their weight and helps to keep their heart and lungs healthy.

Exercising is a beneficial choice when a person is on their period and when they are not.

According to the OWH, there are no restrictions on what exercises people do while on their periods.

A person should always take measures to exercise safely. This may include wearing protective equipment and refraining from lifting excessively heavy weights without a spotter or support.

Overall, it is best that people listen to their bodies during menstruation. If a person feels very fatigued, they could reduce the intensity of their exercise routine to prevent excessive tiredness.

There is no scientific data to prove people should restrict specific exercises or that they cannot exercise to their fullest ability during their period.

It is important to be aware that excessive exercise can cause a person to miss their period.

Endurance and high-performance athletes may skip or stop periods due to hormonal and body changes. If a person has started an intense exercise routine and starts missing periods, they should talk to their doctor.

Having a regular menstrual cycle is usually a sign of good health. Starting to miss periods could signal a person is overdoing it when it comes to exercise.

Exercise during menstruation may help relieve symptoms and is also beneficial for overall health.

People do not need to restrict any particular physical activities while on their periods unless they experience pain or discomfort, which suggests they should slow down.