Get Fit Fast: Cycle Through Your Monthly Cycle
Know the benefits of cycling when you're on your monthly period!
Hopping on a bike might be the last thing that comes to your mind when you have your period. Guess what: it actually does your health and your bikini-body dreams a whole lot of good! Any physical activity can seem less appealing when you’re dealing with a heavy flow, but sometimes it all boils down to how you prepare for it. Are you wearing the right pad? Are your clothes snug (or loose) enough to fit the occasion? Are you aware of your body’s needs and in which part of your cycle it’s best to, well, do some cycling? Read on to know why your bike can be your period’s next best friend.
Cycling eases cramps.
Experts agree that aerobic exercises – those that increase heart rate – are best for relieving cramps. Cycling falls under this category, as well as brisk walking and swimming. "The important thing is that you do it at least three times a week, for 30 minutes at a time," says Paula Castano, MD, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.
It’s low-impact and doesn’t require great skill!
The last thing that you want when you have your period is to get into an accident. Stationary bikes give you the luxury of safe and easy exercise especially if you feel that your flow is too heavy for you to brave the outdoors. Biking also doesn’t require great skill aside from knowing how to balance and ride, and trusting the fact that sitting on a bike doesn’t harm you or your menstrual cycle!
It tones your whole body and helps get you out of a bad mood.
Having episodes of period pains shouldn’t stop you from going for the bikini body of your dreams. Since you can easily adjust the intensity and length of time of your cycling routine, you can still work on your quads, glutes and calves, as well as sculpt and tone your upper body with the right form on the handlebar. Cycling also burns calories fast and gives your energy levels a lift as it wires your brain to release dopamine, according to lead author Patrick O'Connor, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at the University of Georgia at Athens.
As dopamine and serotonin levels are low during your period, biking can help your brain release more of these feel-good triggers.
Cycling can make you less susceptible to period pains.
Some unique benefits include joint mobility, improved muscle strength and mobility, better posture and stronger bones. This will help your muscles feel less achy over time, especially when your pain threshold is low during or right before your period.
Ready to include cycling into your cycle? Find that old bike or start shopping for a new one and change the way you look at biking and what you can do during your period. Make sure to be prepared for the occasion too with a pad that moves with your groove.