Whether you sob through a rom-com or head to a boxing class to let off steam, your period (and the days before and after it) can affect your mood and body in different ways. The good news is that you can find balance and take charge. Women’s Health asked readers to share their tips for staying in control.
Chase the Blues Away—With a Run
Feeling lethargic and lazy is par for the course for many women. Still, even when she feels sluggish, Lisa exercises to maintain her energy. “I make sure to hit the gym regardless of how tired I’m feeling,” she says. “The endorphin rush after my workout lessens all the discomfort and side effects of my period.”
The takeaway: Instead of letting your period get you down, your monthly cycle could actually give you an edge at the gym. Hormonal changes that cause cravings and cramps can also trigger pain tolerance and muscle recovery. You might even feel more powerful during your workout!
Maybe you’re in tears over a movie trailer or super annoyed with your partner. Emotional outbursts can throw even the most levelheaded women off their game. “I try to be aware that my moodiness is temporary and focus on not letting my mood affect how I talk or work with people,” says Heather.
The takeaway: Your period can throw your mood—and your vaginal pH—out of whack. To get back into balance, RepHresh™ Vaginal Gel is clinically shown to maintain healthy vaginal pH, helping to eliminate feminine odor and relieve feminine discomfort for up to three days.
Pamper and Recover
Runner Brinkley gives 100 percent to her workouts, but taking “me” time is also important to her. “I know I’m going to have a migraine on day 1 of my period, so I always try to make that a pamper day. I buy nice Epsom salts or a bath bomb, a new magazine to read and maybe a treat. It’s my day to take care of myself,” she says.
The takeaway: Listen to your body and take downtime if that’s what you need. Rest and recovery days are part of what keeps your body from burning out—and help prevent injuries. On your R&R days, you can still do low-intensity workouts like swimming or body-weight exercises that might help with bloating.
Go With the Flow
To keep cramps from slowing her down, Shannon relies on “stretching and a heating pad.” A heating pad soothes cramp-causing muscles and yoga can alleviate bloating, PMS, and cramps. Try an hour-long yoga class once a week that specifically incorporates yoga nidra, which is a relaxation-based practice with meditation.
The takeaway: Many yoga nidra classes start with sun salutation and then move into a sequence of cat, cobra, and fish poses followed by an extended savasana session lasting around a half hour. This restorative style releases tension and can help lessen period-related aches.
Practice Good Nutrition
You might be tempted to binge on cookies and chips, but too much sugar or salt could actually make symptoms worse—especially since too much sodium is a major culprit behind bloating. “I continue to eat clean,” says Marsha, who blends up healthy shakes for a yummy way to stay healthy. After all, potassium-filled bananas or iron-rich spinach could actually improve how you feel.
The takeaway: Indulging every now and then is OK, of course, but maintaining a healthy diet and drinking ample water will prevent a nutritional roller coaster. Probiotics have been linked to promoting digestion, but did you know that RepHresh™ Pro-B™ Probiotic Feminine Supplement is specifically designed for vaginal health? Taking it daily can help balance yeast and bacteria.*