At one point or another, we’ve probably all had that unwelcome house guest. You know, that person that comes for just “just a few days” and end up stays for what seems like forever. At first, we don’t mind so much, and then it just starts to get inconvenient. Uncomfortable. Maybe even a tad awkward. And for half the world’s population, that unwelcome guest comes every.single.month.
Hello, Aunt Flo. How nice it is to see you again. *cough*
Let’s be honest, for those first few days of Aunt Flo’s visit, the last thing we want to do is workout. We’re tired, we’re achy, we’re bloated. And as my one of besties says, we’re “bleeding like a stuck pig.”
But we’re women. We suck it up and power on anyways. We’re strong and aren’t going to let a little extra discomfort/mess/awkwardness stop us. Yet, it’s not exactly easy to workout while Shark Week is going on below. However, there are some things we can do to at least make it a little more comfortable.
WORKING OUT ACTUALLY HELPS SYMPTOMS
This one actually blew my brains a little bit. Turns out, increased movement and activity during periods helps relieve cramping, aches, and can even reduce heavy flows. Sweating causes you to shed water, which can help with bloating. And let’s not forget those mood-enhancing endorphins; always a plus when we feel like biting everyone’s head off.
FIND THE “TOOLS” THAT ARE RIGHT FOR YOU
Personally, those extra-duty tampons work well for me and I barely notice them, especially when using the special active style. However, some of my friends are more sensitive and have to use pads. If you do go with pads, spring for the wider style that can handle the increased movement. No matter what you use, tampon, pads, menstrual cup, just make sure it’s fresh and ready to go.
SWITCH UP FOR A DIFFERENT WORKOUT OR TRY MODIFIED
Without fail, I have to to skip or modify the first day. I feel like doing absolutely nothing and can barely walk two steps without having to *ahem* visit the ladies room. Instead of a full workout of burpees and beast mode, I practice PiYo’s modified yoga poses or do some simple walking/stroller gliding. If you can manage the more intense workouts, great! But if you need to switch to low-impact, fine. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and if you can only manage 1/2 a workout because it is begging for rest, do it. Just stay on track. Meanwhile, for the rest of the week, switch out from P90X to PiYo or at least try to the modified and see if that’s more comfortable for you.
DRINK EXTRA WATER
During their period, women lose extra fluids which can lead to feel listless and light-headed. Increase your water consumption by at least 10-20% and be careful when moving or standing up quickly.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT GEAR
This may be Aunt Flo 101, but choose your clothing wisely. Dark, loose fitting pants and shorts tend to be best as they hid any “leaks” and boycuts and high-cuts are better choices then the lacies when it comes to panties.
REALIZE THAT PERIOD = POWER
As irony would have it, during the period week of period your levels of the estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, which means increased sense of power, lower core body temperature, higher pain tolerance, and faster recovery. If you can combat the icky, low energy feeling, the you can actually experience better results from your workouts.
Shark Week, a visit from Aunt Flo, “that time of the month” – regardless of what you call it, with just a few smart changes you can keep up with your workouts, make progress, and deserve that extra bit of chocolate that’s pretty much mandatory.