There are experiences in life that every woman shares. One of the most universal (and most notorious) happens at a certain “time of the month”—getting our periods.
It can be inconvenient at best and at worst really affect us from living our lives to the fullest. Our workouts are often one of the biggest casualties, and understandably so; when you’re feeling bloated, achy, and cramped, the prospect of lugging your sluggish self to the gym can be less than appealing.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are a few easy steps you can take to have a more effective workout when Aunt Flo comes to visit, because one week a month is too much time to take away from your training—period.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
If you can successfully ignore the siren call of your couch and make it to the gym, you’ll actually feel better.
“There is this prevailing myth that you can’t work out on your period,” says Donnica Moore, M.D., host of the women’s health podcast In the Ladies’ Room With Dr. Donnica. “Not only can you work out, but you should. Few things can combat that ‘blah’ feeling like a good workout.” The main reason being that exercise is proven to boost energy levels and release endorphins that make you feel good, as well as beta-endorphins that relieve cramps.
It’s important to take note, however, of how your body feels and reacts a