Sunday, August 11, 2013

Working Out While Aunt Flow is Around

Why is talking about our period taboo?
It shouldn't be. Half of the world's population are/will go through it!

I just got a burst of motivation and thennn I started my period last night. Ughhh.
I told my husband "But this was going to be my week! I was going to eat so clean and work out so hard!" My husband said "Why are you saying this WAS going to be your week? You can still do it." 
Oh, silly, silly husband of mine. You can't possibly understand that one week out of the month is the equivalent of a werewolf coming out on the full moon (In my case it's usually the week before). We turn into crazy, hot and/or cold, chocolate-craving monsters whose insides are hurting and can find one spot to lay down on the bed that makes my cramps go away and if you move me, all hell will break loose. 

But it dawned on me. Why can't I work out? Normally, I workout to the max, burning about 700-1200 calories a day, not including my BMR. Instead of sitting around, feeling terribly about myself for a few days and feeling even worse that I didn't work out OR eat healthy, why can't I do SOMETHING?! 

And then the research started.

According to Women's Health "When you have your period (and the week after), your body is more like a man's. During this part of your cycle, your levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, making you a little more dudelike—at least metabolically, says Stacy Sims, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at Stanford University and a leading researcher on the impact of menstruation on athletic performance.

"It's a subtle hormonal shift, but it's enough that it could make you feel more powerful during exercise," says Sims, who began her investigation out of personal curiosity (she suspected her hormones affected her performance in a triathlon).

Her research shows that during this low-hormone phase, women also recover faster and have a higher pain tolerance. Why? "A probable theory is that your body isn't preoccupied with preparing for a possible pregnancy," she says. "Your baseline is reset into a more relaxed mode, so these other systems operate optimally." 
Exercise can relieve the discomfort of cramps and an aching lower back, says Trina Rowe, a doctor of physical therapy at Bauerfeind Performance Center in Los Angeles. It will also burn calories, a boon if you're a hormonal Count Chocula."

hmmm... interesting. I never really tested this out. 
So here's our first tip for working out whilst on your beloved period: GO TO THE GYM.
Try your hardest at your normal routine. Plus, there's a bonus of cramp relief! 
If you feel you can't do it, then go for a jog instead of an intense run, heck, just go for a walk. Do some relaxing yoga. Go for a relaxing bike ride with a friend!

Kotex (Link HERE) even has some advise and even poses we can do to help us out and even suggests swimming as a way to exercise when your Aunt Flow is around. 

Some women always seems to get confused when swimming is suggested. This is what I, personally, do.
I swear by tampons. I do use pads on the first day (Found out when I was 18 that I have big blood clots, apparently. Nurse told me to use pads for the first couple of days instead of tampons.) but then after I'm clear, I use tampons. When you swim, like RIGHT BEFORE, change your tampon. MAKE SURE IT IS.... UP THERE... Once I didn't insert all the way and the tampon soaked up nearly the whole pool. It was very painful, very embarrassing and very heavy. (I will say this, Tampax Pearl can hold a lot!) and swim like normal!

She Knows Health and Wellness suggests 7 exercises while on your period. 
1. Walking
2. Running
3. Yoga
4. Aerobics
5. Dancing
6. Planking
7. Working out from home

All of the above sound great! Especially yoga. I feel like yoga helps the flow and relieves cramps just doing a simple Sun Salutation flow. If you don't know how to do Sun Salutation, it's simple!

Start from the left (regular standing position) and continue the cycle as many times as you like!

And last tip, from me:
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

'They' say to drink 64 oz daily. Yes, this is true for some people. But you should drink half of your body weight in oz. So I'm 170 lbs I have to drink 85 oz of water. And most days I actually do it! Plus, I feel so light and energetic!

People ask me "Don't you have to pee a lot?"
At first I did. But then my body got so used to drinking so much, uhh I don't know the science behind it, but after a few days I only had to pee like every other hour or so.

So, ladies. Put down that chunky monkey and go out there and show the other half of the population that a simple week can't bring us down. It actually empowers us more!

Any questions or comments?
Leave them below!