Take what you have and use it to create what you want to become. There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.​

A woman goes through a lot of pain, discomfort but yet she can reach the highest levels with a strong determination. I never spoke about the menstruation cycle in my posts or in public. And this is because I was uncomfortable due to some things that happened in the past. Being a coach who is training with a bunch of women I should be open about it and sharing the knowledge.

Menstruation is not a taboo or a punishment to us. It’s just a normal metabolic activity like sweating. It keeps hormone levels in check, removes the toxins out of the body. Think of it as a natural cleansing system of the body.​

A lot of women ask if it’s normal to work out or run during menstruation.​

Yes of course you can run. If you do not have pain or cramps and the pain is tolerable then head out for an easy jog, get on with the daily workouts and activities.​

There are not only physical but also mental benefits of exercising during menstruation – and we owe this to our hormones. It can also help ease some of the common complaints we experience during this time of the month. Exercise-induced endorphins can elevate your mood and provide relief from painful cramps.​

Some of the exercise and related tips I suggest are:​

  • Go for easy walks or runs if you don’t feel like doing hard workouts or speed workouts. ​
  • Low volume strength training along with some cardio movements can help because of the low levels of female hormone during this time.​
  • Workout with a buddy to keep the session interesting and not make it stressful. ​
  • Keep yourself hydrated, not just with water, instead include electrolytes and tender coconut water. Also, include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in your meals. 
  • Practice some breathing exercises, yoga, and stretches. This will help you calm the mind and ease the cramps.​

There is no scientific reason and no need of skipping the exercise during the periods. More than anything and anybody, just listen to your body. Depending on the energy levels, pain and overall health conditions, reduce the intensity of the exercise or use varied methods of exercise. 

I have run many races during the periods and those turned out to be the best ones. Let me share my recent experience with everyone. A few days ago, I started with my long run at race according to the training plan. The body had already given few signals about the cycle. At the 4th km, I could feel yes it has started. I continued my run though without thinking about the pain and cramps. Guess what!! I could do my best half marathon with a time of 1:38:22 (My HM personal best by 4 minutes). Did not take any gel, had only 3 sips of plain water. Moral of the story – The right attitude and staying positive can make you achieve your best in every condition.​

Deepa Nayak
Deepa Nayak | ASICS Running Coach | 9 years Ex. | 3rd Rank In PROCAM SLAM 2019-2020
Deepa Nayak, transformed her journey quite starkly. With her childhood witnessing no or very little trace of running to becoming a thriving running coach after growing up, it has been a long and incredible journey for her. She continues fuelling her love for the sport by coaching her fellow budding runners.
  • 6 years of running experience with 3 years of coaching experience
  • 2-time qualified runner for Boston Marathon
  • ACE certified personal trainer
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