By Tania Tarafdar
Period bloat can be the worst. It is estimated that close to 70 percent women experience bloating during periods. You can blame the fluctuations in estrogen levels and the sharp drop in progesterone levels before the Aunt Flo for all the bloating. However, the good news is that when you are two to three days into your period your ovaries start producing balanced levels of supporting hormones again. This causes the bloating to subside. But what do you do in the meantime? Can you exercise to reduce the ballooning in your belly? Let us get the answer from Sheenu Arora, Group Exercise Manager at Fitness First.
Exercise may be the last thing on your mind during those days of the month but exercise can be excellent to alleviate PMS symptoms including bloating. There’s no harm in exercising during your periods. This is because, when you exercise, your body releases a hormone called endorphin which helps reduce stress, cramps, headaches and the pain associated with periods. If you have a more sedentary lifestyle, you tend to have a more sluggish digestive system and sweating it out can help beat both bloating and constipation. Here’s what you should eat during periods to avoid weakness and pain.
Exercises to perform and avoid during periods
Low-intensity workouts light stretching and yoga can be your best bet. That being said, you should not overexert yourself during periods. The limits vary from person to person. During periods, the level of discomfort/uneasiness felt differs from one woman to the other, so you should work out to a manageable extent. Do not perform very intense core workouts and some yoga poses like headstands, shoulder stands and any other inverted poses Remember to avoid high-intensity workouts like Crossfit at any cost as they can promote inflammation and add to the bloat.
Make sure that you perform your fitness workouts under supervision or guidance for proper posture, form and motivation to avoid any injury. Do regular breathing exercises and don’t miss out on your sleep and rest. Find out the best workout for each stage of your menstrual cycle.