Most women that exercise regularly have heard the term listen to your body. This saying refers to having an ear for any pain associated with strenuous exercise. You don’t want to push yourself too hard and having concerns about overtraining is certainly warranted. As such, it never hurts to seek clarification on the relationship between exercise and the menstrual cycle.
Here is a brief overview that will hopefully clarify some of the controversies surrounding the subject.
Mostly everyone will agree that exercise is important. Exercise makes the physical body strong and resilient, the cardiovascular system more effective, and mood elevated. Of course, there also needs to be a common sense approach taken with exercise as well. You cannot exercise when you are injured or under duress since this can lead to further problem. But, there are also quite a few myths out there surrounding when you should step away from a scheduled exercise session. Many women, in particular, have concerns regarding whether or not it is wise to exercise during menstruation. In some instances, it is widely circulated myths that contribute to these notions.
Again, myths are exactly that – myths. They are not rooted in any legitimate scientific proof. On the contrary, medical studies on the effects of exercising during menstruation reveal that physical activity does not hamper or negatively impact the women performing the exercises. Yet, myths still perpetuate. The common reason for this is that myths will spread from word to mouth rather easily. Scientific study and facts need to be sought out. The average person really would not have an inclination to do this. So, myths are taken as fact due to their prevalence. That is just the nature of how myths and pseudo-science works!
Here is another scientific fact some might not be aware of, regular exercise during menstruation actually brings with it the potential to reduce the pain associated with menstrual cramps. A common reason why many women will opt to avoid exercise during their period is because of fears that exercise could make cramps worse.
Honestly, any form of exercise could lead to discomfort depending upon your current physical condition. Those that do exercise and feel the cramps are worsening would be advised to stop. However, the common result of such exercise would be that the pain of cramps would slowly dissipate. This may vary from person to person but most will report that it is a common response the body is likely to experience. That information alone may prove to be quite interesting to those wishing to exercise during menstruation.
The key here is not to look at menstruation as a sickness. It most certainly is not since it is part of the body’s natural balance. To assume you are sick and unable to exercise when menstruating is a colossal myth because it is based on a false premise. Again, that false premise would be that menstruation is a sickness. It is a natural process of the female body and does not impede the ability to exercise in any way. Just be sure to take the appropriate steps to discontinue your exercise program if you feel any discomfort.