5 Exercises For Those With Irregular Menstrual cycles
Periods are often labeled unpredictable. They pop up like uninvited guests at the most despicable times. Like when you're getting ready for a party or about to run a marathon. Don't you hate when that happens? Especially if you are unprepared and nowhere near your date. However, if this happens often to you, there might be a problem, and you might need to know about exercises for regular menstruation.
Read on to know more about regular and irregular periods and how to streamline your cycle so you won't be caught off-guard all the time.
Menstrual cycle: What's a normal one like?
Every woman is unique in her own way. Even the length of a menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. The average cycle is around 28 days; however, a regular cycle anywhere between 21 to 40 days is considered normal as long as you can predict the dates.
Here's what happens in a menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones. In the first half of the cycle, an increase in estrogen levels leads to the development and release of the egg from the ovary, meanwhile, the womb lining also begins to thicken. In the second half, the hormone progesterone begins to prepare the womb for conceiving. If the womb doesn't receive an embryo, the hormone levels fall, and the womb lining sheds away along with blood in the form of our periods.
What does an irregular period mean?
Periods can last for a few days longer or shorter, but after puberty, they mostly arrive at the same time each month. An early or late period once in a while is not always an issue. But if the length of your cycle keeps changing, you have irregular periods. In some cases, it is advisable to see your doctor.
Why are my periods irregular?
Irregular periods could be caused by a lot of reasons. These include:
- If you have just started getting periods. During puberty, it is possible to have irregular periods for the first year or two after which they usually get streamlined.
- If you're nearing menopause. Most women undergo menopause between the ages of 45 to 55, beyond which they stop having periods completely. A few months before a phase known as perimenopause, you may experience irregular periods.
- You could be pregnant. You can take a pregnancy test to rule this out.
- Your birth control. Hormonal birth control pills can cause irregularities in your period. So can Intrauterine systems/devices.
- Disease conditions like PCOS and thyroid problems can also affect your periods.
- Your lifestyle. If you are stressed, lose or gain weight in short periods of time, have a sedentary lifestyle, or exercise too much- all of these factors can affect your periods.
Physical activity and irregular periods
Studies have found that women who exercise regularly are less likely to experience problems with menstruation. Exercises like yoga or pilates can release 'happy' hormones such as serotonin and endorphins, which could be the reason for their beneficial effects on periods. Read on to know more benefits of exercise during periods!
5 easy exercises to get your period back on track 50-60 each
Here are some easy ways to start exercising. As long as you are moving, burning calories, and washing away that stress, anything you do is great!
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get in exercise in your busy schedule. A brisk walk should be enough to get your heart rate up and engage in moderate-level physical activity. Try taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.
Stress and deprivation are the most important psychological factors that cause irregularities in periods. The solution? Relax your mind and body with yoga. Practising asanas like baddakonasana and pranayama(breathing exercises) can help put your mind at ease and improve your menstrual health. In addition, yoga is a great exercise for regular menstruation.
3. Spot Jogs
Spot jogging can get your heart rate up quickly and get the good hormones flowing. This is a great aerobic exercise to regulate the menstrual cycle. Run in place for 10-minute intervals and gradually move up to 15-20 minutes. 2-3 repetitions can be good enough. Alternatively, you can mix this up with other exercises.
4. Squats and crunches
Abdominal strength training exercises like squatting and crunches can give good exercise to your pelvic muscles and is one of the best exercises for regular periods. Try to do 3 sets of 10-12 reps at one time.
5. Aerobics and dance
Who doesn't love to dance? Any kind of dance that gets your heart pumping and makes you break a sweat is good. Dance is a great form of aerobic exercise and doing a 30-minute workout can be a good exercise for getting regular periods. Moreover, dance forms that involve pelvic movement can speed up your periods too.
Whichever form of exercise you choose, as long as you are regular at it, you are good to go. It is vital to remember that everything is best in moderation. Listen to your body and don't overexert yourself by doing high-intensity workouts. Along with exercising, manage your diet and stress, and your periods will fall in line soon. If they don't, it's time to seek help from a professional.
Did you like our Article?
- Periods and fertility in the menstrual cycle. Available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/periods/fertility-in-the-menstrual-cycle/#
- Irregular periods. Available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irregular-periods/
- A FACT SHEET FROM THE OFFICE ON WOMEN'S HEALTH: Top Questions About Fitness and Women. Available at https://owh-wh-d9-dev.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/documents/fact-sheet-fitness-and-women.pdf
- Rani K, Tiwari SC, Kumar S, Singh U, Prakash J, Srivastava N. Psycho-Biological Changes with Add on Yoga Nidra in Patients with Menstrual Disorders: a Randomized Clinical Trial. J Caring Sci. 2016 Mar 1;5(1):1-9.
- Armour M, Ee CC, Naidoo D, Ayati Z, Chalmers KJ, Steel KA, de Manincor MJ, Delshad E. Exercise for dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Sep 20;9(9):CD004142.