Working Out on Your Cycle – Here’s What You Need to Know.

3 min read

As women, our bodies go through a lot each month. Our menstrual cycles can have an impact on a woman’s body, including energy levels, strength and recovery.   But does that mean we have to put our exercise routines on hold? Absolutely not! In fact, working out during your period can have numerous benefits for both your physical and mental well-being.

So, let’s dive into the topic and answer the question, “What workouts should I do while on my period?” Plus, I’ll share some tips on how to stay active during your menstrual cycle.

Can I Work Out While Menstruating?

The short answer is yes. You can definitely work out while menstruating. Exercise has been proven to help symptoms of menstruation by alleviating cramps, boosting your mood, reducing bloating, and even regulating your menstrual cycle. When you engage in physical activity, your body releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood enhancers. So, working out can actually make you feel better right before and during your period.

If you’re worried about discomfort, there are plenty of ways to stay active during your period. I’ve got some ways you can work out during each phase of your menstrual cycle so you don’t have to put your fitness goals on hold:

How to Stay Active Throughout The Month.

1. Menstruation Phase (Days 1-5): Gentle Movement

During this page, estrogen and progesterone levels are low. Women may experience fatigue and discomfort. It’s essential to listen to your body and choose exercises that soothe and support you. While some may experience severe menstrual cramps, these exercises can help alleviate pain:

  • Walking: A simple and effective aerobic exercise that can boost your mood and help reduce period pain.
  • Yoga: Gentle and calming, yoga focuses on poses that can ease tension and promote relaxation.
  • Stretching: Gentle stretches can help relieve muscle tightness and cramps.
  • Massage and Foam Rolling: Treating yourself to a massage or using a foam roller can help ease muscle soreness and tension.

2. Follicular Phase (Days 6-14): Embrace Your Inner Strength

As your period ends and your estrogen levels rise, so will your energy and stamina, so it’s time to amp up your workout routine. During the follicular phase, try these exercises to build strength and stamina:

  • Bodyweight Workouts: Incorporate bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups for a great full-body workout.
  • Running: Enjoy the outdoors while pushing your body to run farther and faster
  • Yoga: A flow practice that moves through poses to help increase flexibility and strength.
  • Dancing: Dance your heart out to your favorite tunes and get your heart rate up in a fun way.

3. Ovulation Phase (Day 14): High Energy Workouts

During and leading up to ovulation, you may (will) experience a surge in energy levels, so take advantage of it with higher-intensity workouts:

  • HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training): Short bursts of intense cardio followed strength training, repeat!
  • Power Yoga: A more vigorous form of yoga that combines strength and flexibility.
  • Spin (Indoor Cycling): Get your heart pumping and legs moving in a spin class.

4. Luteal Phase (Day 15-28): Balance and Rest

As your menstrual cycle nears its end, progesterone rises and some women might experience bloating or mood swings, it’s essential to prioritize balance and recovery:

  • Strength Training: Continue to build strength with resistance exercises and weight training.
  • Pilates: Improve core strength, flexibility, and posture with small muscle movements.
  • Yoga: A calming and grounding practice to help ease any premenstrual symptoms – mental or physical.

Don’t Let Your Period Stand in the Way of Achieving Your Fitness Goals.

Remember, ladies, every woman’s body is different, and what works for one may not work for another. The key is to listen to your body, be kind to yourself, and choose exercises that make you feel good. It’s entirely normal to experience fluctuations in energy levels and exercise preferences throughout your menstrual cycle. I polled my female clients about how they feel during the month in relation to their cycle and many said they feel like “a beast” in the days after their period and definitely struggle with motivation to workout right before their period begins. 

At McClure Fitness, we’re all about empowering you to overcome obstacles, achieve your fitness goals, and show you the incredible power of hard work. Don’t let your menstrual cycle hold you back; instead, let it be a reminder of the strength and resilience within you. We offer a variety of different workouts, so whether you want to go beast-mode in a Bootcamp class while you’re ovulating, take it easy with Barre or PiYo during the Luteal phase, or dance it out with Hip-hop cardio during the Follicular phase, you’re sure to find a workout that works for you, no matter what phase of the menstruation cycle you’re in.

Stay positive, stay confident, and remember that you’ve got this! Let’s continue to strive for a healthier and more balanced life and keep crushing those fitness goals together!


P.S. One workout was recommended during each phase: YOGA! Try to get in at least three yoga classes this month and see how it helps you in your other workouts.