11 Exercises You Can Do To Make Periods Less Painful

If you are anything like me, and you have ever had a menstrual period before, chances are good that, when you are on said menstrual period, the last thing you want to do is exercise. Despite the fact that most tampon commercials tend to feature smiling models doing activities that range from soccer to volleyball to, like, deep sea diving (all while wearing a pristine white outfit, of course) the typical human period experience tends to be, uh, a lot different. Like, staying-at-home-in-your-sweatpants-on-the-couch different.

But (fortunately? Unfortunately?) there actually is some benefit to exercising when you’re on your period. Doing so has been shown to ease cramps, since it releases endorphins, which can act as a natural painkiller. Of course, you should never force yourself to work out if you really aren’t feeling it (sometimes, you rally do just need to lay down and do nothing when you’re on your period) but it could be worth trying every now and then. The best part? You don’t even have to get off the couch for some period exercises. So, check out these exercises you can do to make your period less painful:

1. Make sure you stretch out the front of your body:

You don’t have to be outside when you do it. But you can be! Up to you, boo.


2. Try out some yoga poses, too:



Basically, anything that eases tension on your back and encourages detoxification will be super helpful.


3. Seriously, there are a lot of different yoga sequences you can try:




4. So many!




5. If you want yoga that feels a little bit more like a workout, try this sequence:



This way, you’ll get to engage your core and legs while getting the benefits of the stretch.


6. If yoga isn’t your thing, you can try this strengthening set:



It ends with a stretch, so you won’t feel stiff and achy afterwards.


7. Know which type of exercise to do for every part of your cycle:



Obviously, everyone is different, so your exercise plan will differ based on your own preferences. But it’s important to remember that you’ll feel different at each part of your cycle, so it could be beneficial to try varying workouts based on how you feel.


8. Know how to eat and sleep for each part of your cycle, too:



Again, your own individual preferences will probably differ in some way from what’s on this chart. But it’s still good to know about!


9. Anyway, here’s some more yoga to try:



Camel pose is very effective, apparently.


10.  No matter what you do, if you have really bad cramps, you can give yourself some relief by putting on Icy Hot before your workout:



Or, you know, before you do anything, tbh.


11. Don’t feel up to leaving your bed at all? No problem:



This is a great one to do before bed, too, since it’ll relax you and make it easier to sleep.


Do you like to exercise when you’re on your period? Do you have any tips for doing it? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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