Sick of being told to rest during your monthly periods? Experts say that a moderate amount of exercise and the practice of specific yoga postures may help alleviate your discomfort and anxiety during this time.
Many women are concerned about whether or not to exercise when “Aunty Flo” comes visiting every month. Studies undertaken on the subject of menstruation and exercise reveal findings that are diametrically opposite in nature.
Some experts suggest that exercise helps keep your mind off the discomfort, cramps, and pain, while others argue that it’s important to relax. The simple underlying truth is: Listen to your body.
Stay active based on your energy levels. If you are cramping more than normal, take a day or two off.
Walk, swim or do yoga
Many women alleviate the discomfort they experience during menstruation, through simple forms of movement. For instance, walking, swimming, and yoga are popular choices. These are the best kind of exercises to tackle hormonal fluctuations and boost energy levels, strength, and stamina.
While some Yoga postures can help soothe your symptoms, the extreme and inverted postures are a strict no-no at this time. Wait until the seventh day to resume these.
Eat iron-rich foods
Cut short your workout based on your energy level during this time. And make sure you eat foods rich in iron to make up for the blood loss.
Some iron-rich foods are lean meat, poultry, lentils, spinach, and almonds. Caffeine- and tannin-rich foods, such as coffee and caffeinated beverages should be avoided, as they decrease iron absorption.
Yoga Postures that provide relief
#1 The Supine Twist or SuptaJatharaParivartasana
Lie down in the supine position, raise and bend your right knee in the opposite direction, crossing it outside your body.
Benefits: Stretches the lower and middle back regions, stimulates the urinary bladder, intestines, pelvic muscles and kidneys, strengthening them and releasing stress.
#2 Reclining Bound Angle Pose or SuptaBaddhaKonasana
Sit with your feet joined together, knees opening out like wings. Lie down on the floor behind.
Benefits: Rejuvenates the pelvis as well as supports and cushions the lower back, thus alleviating your symptoms
#3 Head-to-Knee Pose or JanuSirsasana
From the above posture, stretch out one leg keeping the other bent and its foot touching the knee of the outstretched leg. Hold the foot of the outstretched leg with both hands, with forehead touching the knee.
Benefits: Stretches the back, arms and the thighs. This posture releases all the stress and relieves pressure too.
#4 Seated Forward Bend or Paschimottasana
Sit on the mat with feet extended outwards. Bend forward touching your feet. You can place a cushion on your legs for further comfort.
Benefits: Stretches the spine, relieves menstrual discomfort, improves digestion and stimulates liver, kidneys, ovaries and uterus.
A few more postures that may help you during this time are Seated Wide Angle Pose or Upavistha Konasana, Bow Pose or Dhanurasana and lastly, Savasana or Corpse Pose.
#5 All Deep Breathing Exercises are helpful. So sit with your back propped comfortably on some pillows, and get on with it!