How to Stay Healthy on Your Period

July 30, 2015

We've all been there. Your period comes and interrupts your workout flow with sluggishness, cramps, and overall ickiness. When all you want to do is wrap yourself in a blanket and eat chocolate, here are my tips on how to stay healthy and active on your period.

Don’t Go Crazy! 
Your period is stressful for your body, so try to keep your workouts lighter than usual. Try 30 minutes of yoga, bodyweight workouts, Pilates, or something else that will still work you out but won’t put added stress on your body.

Start taking a magnesium supplement daily for 3 days on the day before menstruation starts. Magnesium can help reduce your menstrual cramps and pain. Be careful though, too much magnesium can cause diarrhea and lower blood pressure. If you have digestive problems or heart disease, ask your doctor before taking a supplement.

It is important to stay hydrated during your period. Hydration not only helps your brain and organs function well but also keeps your skin glowing. Staying hydrated will keep headaches and other side effects away. I always (especially when staying active and hitting the gym) drink half my weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 140lbs, you should drink about 70 ounces of water daily. I keep a BPA-free water bottle with me at all times and fill it up almost hourly.

Stretch & Foam Roll 
Stretching and foam rolling should be a part of your workout routine already, but even more so when you have your period. Like acupuncture, foam rolling will release tension throughout your body, releasing endorphins, reducing your cramps, and breaking up the lactic acid in your muscles. You can check out my guide to foam rolling here!

Keep it clean! 
Though we may want to reach for chips or chocolate, keeping a clean diet during your period will not only keep you motivated to exercise but will reduce the pain and bloating a period can bring. Make sure to keep your diet rich in calcium including beans, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. Also, go for lean proteins and berries high in antioxidants. My go-to period helper is peppermint tea in the evening and a mixture of turmeric, warm water, and lemon in the morning.

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