Author Disclaimer: I am not a professional nutritionist, doctor, nor a personal trainer.
This post is overdue. I meant to do it back in August, and not it is the middle of September. The next part of the period blog is exercising. Working out and getting in some form of exercise can feel like a chore when your menstruating between the cramps and bloating, overall you just want to stay home and eat. But, exercising can do so much more. However, too much can be bad.
I have a personal story to go with this. When I was in high school I HATED gym class with a passion. I absolutely HATED it. I was always the kid who got picked last for sports teams. I guess you can say I was never the athletic one. Well, on the second day of my period one day I had gym class.
I absolutely dreaded going to this class as I felt uneasy about having to wear a pad under my gym clothes. I was dealing with cramps that made me feel sick. Even though, I had taken Advil, they were worse than ever. The last class of the day I had was gym. It was the final stretch before I could get on the bus and go home. I guess you can say the class was a long eighty minutes.
Well anyway, for this particular class we were learning Tae Bo as it had been added into the Phys. Ed curriculum. I wasn’t the fast moving one. I felt self conscious among my classmates as the teacher put in the DVD that we would be watching for the workout. As soon as the video started I followed along with my class to the fast moving workout.
As the sweat poured down my face I started to feel different than I had before. I started to realize that my menstrual cramps were gone. I started to notice that I didn’t feel sick and bloated as I did as I felt that whole day. When the video ended my cramps were gone. The teacher sent us to the locker room to get ready to go home. Shortly after the class slowed down I started to feel the cramps again. I had to catch the bus to go home, so it would be a little bit before I could get home.
For the first time in my life I had been upset that gym class had ended. I wanted to go back in and continue on. When I got home I went on the treadmill to help cut the period cramps down. I didn’t want to stop exercising.
But, too much exercising can be bad for you. Because I wasn’t used to putting my body through a work out like that I ended up having sore muscles with pain in my arms and legs the next day. I still had to get through the next few days of menstruating with cramps, so Advil could only do so much. I learned that I needed to pace myself with keeping up with routine, so the next time I had my period I wasn’t in pain the next day.
Also, I found myself starving more than usual because I had burned more calories than I had eaten that day. I felt weak the next day because I didn’t keep up with a healthy diet to counteract the amount of exercise I had just put my body through. I guess you can say the next day I felt completely miserable.
I learned from that experience that you have to maintain a healthy diet while working out. I learned that you can’t just throw yourself into exercising like crazy just when the period cramps start getting bad. I didn’t consult a physiologist, personal trainer, and/or a nutritionist to assist with this. But, then I remembered my dance teacher talking to me after I had first menstruated. I remember her encouraging me to partake in the class, while reminding me to eat. I don’t remember exactly quote she told me, but I remembered in that moment.
In the end, this post was supposed to happen in August to go along with the food post I did in July. But, the month of August got away from me. Anyway, exercising is a wonderful thing that I found to help counteract the pain that comes with a period. But, I also learned that doing too much too soon can be bad. Keeping up with exercising while menstruating can feel like a chore. Most of the time I don’t want to exercise, I just want to go home and eat cheese puffs. But, I give myself a pep talk and continue on only to feel better afterwards.