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Image Source: Felix Wong

What Working Out on Your Period Is Really Like

Why I Love Working Out on Day 1 of My Cycle

It's easy to veg out during that time of the month. We partnered with Stayfree® to show you how to focus on what truly matters.
Image Source: Felix Wong

Why is it as soon as we get our periods, we lose the desire to work out? You know the feeling; it's almost trancelike. The couch is calling your name, beckoning you to come cozy up in its wondrous embrace. Oh, and while you're at it, you should grab a pint of ice cream, cookies, and some potato chips and nestle in for a binge-watching session. The temptation is strong, my friends.

Our bodies and minds are screaming, "Sit on the couch and be lazy!," but you may want to resist the urge to veg. The truth is, during that time of the month, our fat-burning potential is actually at an all-time high!

"When your period starts, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop," said Stacy Sims, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist for USA Cycling Women's Track Endurance Program and cofounder of Osmo Nutrition. "Because of this, women can access carbohydrate/glycogen easily, as compared to high-estrogen time periods [when we] rely more on the slow breakdown of fat." In short: this hormone shift makes fuel more accessible to your body, enabling you to push harder and get more out of these intense workouts than when your estrogen levels are higher. Crazy, right? Let the fat-burning party ensue!

Image Source: Felix Wong
To take full advantage of this magical estrogen window, I use day one of my cycle to get intense and try out a new HIIT workout I discovered on Pinterest or head to a boxing class — my personal favorite. I am able to let out all my frustrations and hormonal mood swing aggressions on my weighted punching bag. Poor thing never saw it coming. At the end of an hour, I end up completing a killer workout, getting the added benefit of those awesome endorphins that come with it. And thanks to this new gem of information, I know my body worked overtime burning fat.
Image Source: Felix Wong

Ladies, don't let Aunt Flo prevent you from your regular workouts. Take back your power, and get excited about fitness when it's that time of the month! I can honestly say some of my best workouts have been during my cycle when I "haven't felt like it." And trust me, I am all for finding a good excuse to get out of things, like parking tickets, jury duty, watching my neighbor's cat . . . but getting your period should not be an excuse to put off your fitness routine. I also arm myself with Stayfree® Ultra-Thin® Regular with Wings. These pads are inspired by athletic fabrics for protection that keeps you dry and comfortable. It's a product I know I can trust to move with me through any workout!

Each month, I am amazed at how I'm able to work harder and push myself at the gym when I'm on my period. Dr. Sims is not lying; there is something to her research. So take on a new class or look for a challenging HIIT workout you can do from the comfort of your living room. You've got this!

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