How Your Menstrual Cycle Affects Your Workouts

A recent article about the ways to make your workouts 'easier' focused on some excellent health tips like better sleep, a few nutrition tips, and some tips about warm up. Here are a few focused tips specifically for women who have menstrual periods, beyond making sure you hydrate especially well, make sure you are consistent with your Kegal's exercises, and don't skip exercising when you are on your menstrual period. Exercise has long been shown to be a helpful preventative of dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramping. and the way the menstrual cycle hormones are, apparently strength building is extra good during the menstrual cycle, relative to training on non-period days! Although aerobic exercise is critically important as part of any lifestyle, even stretching exercises have been shown to reduce menstrual cramps. We also think that estrogen protects the heart, and in fact there are healthier heart rate patterns around ovulation, and not much overall heart rate effects from actually being on your menstrual period. Women need to be mindful of safety when it comes to their joints: proper technique, good warm up, attention to balance, and proper shoes helps prevent ligament injuries. There actually is some data to say that ligaments are slightly looser during the menstrual cycle, but the effect is small.Asthmatics may find that the whole second half, the progesterone half of their cycle is worse for their performance due to more lung compromise. Asthmatics are even encouraged to adjust their workouts during that phase.

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