There has been many women speculating on the thought of exercising during their menstrual cycle, wondering is it a good thing to try to push the body or just let it rest. Is there a reason why we as women are so fatigue during menstruation that we are considered "lazy" if we don't engage in physical activity or exercise? Or is it okay to rest during menstruation and pick back up on normal exercise routine once it has ended? The answers to these questions will help ease the anxiety of body-conscience women who feel inadequate during this time of hormone changes that's really working them out.
Learn not to go against what your body is telling you. You have to understand that we can only do so much before we cause any injury or mistreatment to the body. For example, if you were to lift weights 2-3 days in a row, what will happen to the muscles? The muscles are overworked, and the micro tears that were produced each day from the weight lifting have prolonged the healing process. Think of this when it comes to your body during your menstrual cycle- let the body rest!
Research has shown that during menstruation, both the estrogen and progesterone levels are low during day 1-7 (Dowdle). At this time, you should let the body rest and do informal activities such as walking to get some fresh air, gardening, or even yoga (Dowdle). Yoga is good for stretching the uterine muscles to ease menstrual cramps.
During the course of ovulation, estrogen levels rises while progesterone levels fall; this is a great time for training. For women who are on a normal workout routine or even an advance routine, you feel your best for engaging in high-intensity exercises such as kickboxing or strength training, so get the most out of it and the adequate amount of rest in between.
For up to 14 days after ovulation, progesterone levels rises, thus, causing the body's metabolism to lower (Dowdle). During this phase, it's best to utilize cardiovascular exercise to keep the metabolism up, especially if weight-loss is the main goal because this is the time where women will become more insulin-resistant "in order to increase the availability of blood sugar to the assumed unborn fetus" (Dowdle).
Back to the initial questions, is it okay to rest during menstruation or push through the fatigue and tiredness and workout? The answer to both questions is listening to your body by resting. You should not feel guilty about not being able to get up to perform high-intensity exercises during your menstrual cycle. The body needs to replenish itself like a bear that goes into hibernation during the winter, so they can become strong enough for the hunting and mating seasons. Remember during the course of 28 days when it comes to exercise: less is best (during menstruation), motivate to elevate (during ovulation), and cardio for the fat to go (after ovulation).
Dowdle, Hillari. "Sync with your cycle: harness the power of your hormones
to get the best workout." Natural Health Apr.-May 2010:40+. Sciences in
Context. Web. 8 Sept. 2013.