The Best Workouts to Do When You’re on Your Period

In this episode, I share the best workouts and forms of movement to do when you’re on your period. And with this conversation, I also want to speak to the root of why it can be so hard for us as women to slow down and honor our bodies. It’s really easy to beat ourselves up, especially when we feel tired or emotional. So I’m also going to share a few tips that have helped me create space for myself and honor my emotions and body without beating myself up. I hope this episode is helpful and empowering to you!

listen to the full episode on:
Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher

In this episode, I share:

  • The best workouts to do when you’re on your period
  • How to release guilt and hold space for yourself
  • Tips to slow down and honor your body’s energy levels

What are the best workouts to do when you’re on your period?

I get asked this question a lot from my clients and actually they never ask it as a question. Usually it comes up in our coaching calls like this: Madison, I’ve done so bad at my movement this week. I feel unmotivated and tired and I’ve been feeling so anxious and overwhelmed. I haven’t been sticking to my workouts plus, I’m on my period and…

That’s were I stop them!! I’m like, friend! You’re on your period? And we end up having a really freeing conversation around the pressure we put on ourselves to go “all in” all the time or feel like a workout only counts if we workout at a high intensity.

The realty is, when you’re on your period, this is a perfect time to slow down and turn inward. This is a time to show yourself grace and compassion and trust your body and move in sync with your body. This is not a time to punish yourself, push yourself, or beat yourself up for not doing more.

Maybe we think that if we take our foot off the gas, we’ll lose all of our progress and go backwards. Maybe we think that we’ll let the people around us down if we slow down. Or maybe we feel like we’re only worthy if we keep creating, achieving, and doing more. 

Unfortunately, I think the fitness industry has done a really good job in making us believe that there should be no off days. Mantras like, “never miss a Monday” are embedded in our minds and if we do miss a Monday, we feel guilty and ashamed. 

Releasing Guilt & Shame around Working Out

But truthfully, when we betray our body’s natural rhythm – our body’s natural cycle – we put our body into  a deeper state of stress, which results in an imbalance of our hormones and adrenals. This can lead to burnout, adrenal fatigue, acne, gut issues, brain fog, painful period cramps, and weight gain. On an even deeper level, we stop trusting our gut intuitions and ignore the signals our body is giving us.

As women, we are meant to flow with life. We create life. We have the power to be so in sync with the ebbs and flows that come with life. There are so many things in life we can’t control. And isn’t that special? Not everything is meant to be controlled or forced. Rather, we can allow ourselves to take a deep breath, pause where we need to, and come back home to our body. It only takes a few moments and a few deep breaths to ground back into yourself.

When you are on your period, this is the perfect time to listen to your body’s true needs. Listen to your food cravings – they are revealing the nutrients that your  body is craving at a cellular level. If you’re tired, allow yourself to get to bed at a good time. Turn off your phone if you can or just minimize your screen time 2 hours before bed. The scrolling can wait. If your body is craving self-care, take a warm bubble bath to help you feel rested. Throw your legs up the wall for one of my favorite pre-bedtime stretches, legs up the wall! Maybe you can even fit 5 minutes of meditation or breath into your work day or lunch break. It’s always the small things we do consistently that add up the most over time.

Control the controllables! There are so many things in a day that we can’t control. But you can always choose how you show up, how you respond, and what you do with your time in-between meetings, errands, appointments, work, and family time.

Swapping High Intensity Workouts for Low-Impact Movement

The best workouts to do on your period are the ones that honor your body and your body’s capacity the week of your period. We tend to be lower on energy the week of our period and our body craves slower movements.

Walking, stretching, breathwork, guided meditations, mobility flows, yoga, and pilates are the perfect forms of movement to lean into when you’re on your period.

When I’m on my period, I slow down the pace of my daily walk. I swap my HIIT and strength workouts for mobility flows, 15-minutes of pilates, or a soothing guided meditation. I ground outside or at the beach and spend more time tuning into my thoughts and food cravings.

When I’m on my period, I take the pressure off myself to do more and allow myself to lean into movements that help me feel rejuvenated, restored, and renewed.

And since we’re all about trusting your gut here at The Fit Flamingo, I’ll ask you, “What forms of movement does your body crave when you’re on your period?”

If you happen to be on your period at the time your listening to this episode, I encourage you to get really still for a moment. Place one hand on your heart and take a deep breath. Ask yourself that question: What forms of movement does my body crave right now? Notice what comes up. Intuitively, you’ll know what you need. If you feel like you don’t know what your body needs, this is just an indicator that it’s time to re-build trust with yourself.

How to Trust Your Gut and Pick The Best Workout for YOU

We re-build trust in ourself by spending time with ourself. Like any great friendship, we can get really good at anticipating each other’s needs and can even get to a place with our best friends where we finish each other’s sentences. But this isn’t something we know how do to after meeting someone for the first time. Our deepest friendships have been forged over time. We know someone because we’ve asked them questions and have spent time getting to know who they are at their core. We know their stories and have shared experiences together. We build trust and depth with our best friends over time.

The relationship we have with our body is a lot like the best friend relationships we have in life. We learn how to trust ourself more and more over time after asking questions, listening, and forming a bond.

When you’re on your period, this is an incredible time to come home to yourself, to ask questions, and to see what comes up. This is your time to slow down, tune in, and become aware of how you’re really doing. It’s a time to honor your energy levels without pushing yourself to go harder or do more. It’s a time to move slower and ground deeper.

You don’t have to punish yourself or beat yourself up if your body is craving rest or if you feel sad, heavy, or overwhelmed. Your emotions are worth honoring and listening to. It is safe for you to come home to yourself. It is safe for you to see yourself. It is safe for you to rest.

Friend, there is so much magic to be found when you hold space for yourself. You don’t have to be on all the time. You are allowed to rest. And as you allow rest, your body will thrive. You’ll feel more energized, you’ll sleep better at night, you’ll feel more confident in your own skin, and you’ll feel in sync with your natural rhythm. Take a deep breath, friend. You are doing a really good job. You are enough.

Have a specific question? Send me a DM on Instagram!

Friendly reminder: You are enough.

With love + light,
Madison | The Fit Flamingo

Hi, I’m Madison Deaton. As a personal trainer, nutrition and self-love coach, I focus on the inside first, helping you get to the root of why you think and feel the way you do. Then I use things like functional fitness, holistic nutrition, mindset and self-love tools to help you connect with yourself on a deeper level, see things from a new perspective, and unlearn habits that no longer serve you so you can take up space, step into your power, and become the woman of your dreams (friendly reminder: she has been YOU all along). Welcome to The Fit Flamingo! I’m so glad you’re here.

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