Fitness and your period: how to fit it all in

Among the many benefits of moving your body, one particular one is the connection formed between your mind and body. There’s just a string that interlinks these two human forces, and it’s truly addictive! 

What may not be so addictive is the continuous efforts and planning, that can serve as an additional obstacle along the way, not the actual physical bit!

This story has been covered countless times by fitness coaches, lifestyle guides, news articles–the foundation is all the same: stick it through.

But go ahead and try telling our hormones that. 

What happens when some factors are entirely out of our control? Especially a certain factor that seems to come around at least once a month, containing an entire rollercoaster of cramps, curve-balls and an entirely different cycle!

Period exercises

How your period affects your exercise

The world knows that exercise not only raises your heart rate, but also releases those remarkable endorphins which relieves stress and pain. This is why many studies have announced that training while on your period can actually help ease your symptoms of period pain and bloating.

While exercising on your period is perfectly safe for you to do, and can ease your cramps and period pain, it’s still not the most comfortable when you’re dealing with the internal scraping of a tampon against your vagina, or chafing from exercising with a pad.

This is exactly the kind of experience that exercise specialist, Vicky Rüger, has highlighted on her personal and shared journey with fitness. 

“When you’re on your period, you can literally do anything and everything–provided that you feel comfortable!”

Physical pain and discomfort caused by your period can seem unavoidable during exercise, which is exactly what led Vicky to putting together her period-friendly workouts–and they’re a hit! (if we do say so ourselves)

Going with the flow with Vicky Rüger

Like many, the results of lockdown disrupted the routine that Vicky was in, with her career as a personal trainer requiring human interaction.

Period-friendly workout with BeYou and Vicky Ruger

In 2018, Vicky acquired a Higher Certificate in Exercise Science and began to balance her online fitness programme with her full-time schedule as a personal trainer at the gym.

Once the effects of lockdown sank in, Vicky decided to continue driving her determination online; sharing her knowledge and opening up to essential conversations that needed to be had.

Vicky cranked up the volume on matters that concern women, menstruation and societal influences.

“I take the ‘personal’ in ‘personal trainer’ really seriously.”

Her natural, transparent and realistic approach as a personal trainer has touched countless women outside of her own fitness community and moves not only individuals, but personal boundaries too. And we’re all for that, here at BeYou!

You can't just pause your period

Since lockdown, Vicky’s rotating 4-week exercise programme has grown immensely among women looking to exercise from home (or in the gym, now) and wanting to be a part of a wide-spread community built on friendship, support and realistic experiences. 

During these routines, Vicky experienced that more and more of her clients would open up to her about the discomfort that exercise brought on while being on their period. 

When working on an average period cycle of 5 days in a month, that works out to almost a full week missed out on your routine. For those who have already committed and invested their time to their routine, this can be frustrating.

“The more common thing I was getting was ‘I’m not training this week, I’m on my period.’ or ‘I don’t know what to do, I’m on my period.’, Vicky says, explaining what brought her to put together a period-friendly workout.

Tried and tested period workouts

The success of Vicky’s period workouts was not only due to the physical and mental results experienced, but also the fact that every single period-friendly workout that she shares, is first tested on herself–on her period.

“Whenever I do a period friendly workout, you will know that I am on my period. I only create them, when I’m on my period. I test them out, before I [share] them.”

The response has been exceptional. “When people actually started to do those workouts on their period, that was the biggest thing.”, she thinks back. 

Clients were sharing that these workouts caused no pain or agitation from period products and helped subside common back pains and period cramps.

What to exercise when you’re on your period

Vicky’s period-friendly workouts are built around combining movement with exercises that avoid aggravating you or any of your period products.

Leg Workout

“Training legs can be tricky, because the minute you break parallel and you get your hips lower than your knees, that is when your blood-flow comes out.”

Which is why she recommends doing a banded workout with your donkey-kicks, glute raise and chair squats, as these exercises will prevent you from going too low and breaking that parallel. You can even try out some lunch, but she advises you make the movements a lot slower.

Arms & Abs

Arm-strength days are great for when you’re on your cycle. Therefore, you can shift your focus on doing bicep-curls, push-ups, any arm exercise, to accommodate your heavy period days, but continue with your routine!

Many people would think to avoid training abs on their cycle, due to cramps and bloating caused by your period, however, the moment you get your blood flowing the pain will start to subside and ease your menstrual cramps. 

Exercises to cut during your cycle

If you’re feeling discomfort while exercising on your cycle, you may want to stay away from jumping. This means avoiding jumping-jacks, high-knees, kick-backs, skipping and jump-squats.

The personal touch on personal training

Along with joining all of the workouts that her clients do, Vicky takes her job and interactions to heart–online and offline.
In fact, 3 out of the 4 bridesmaids at her recent wedding, used to be her clients!

“If you can become someone’s friend through this journey, you will always be able to impact their life.” 

Vicky has decided to focus the rest of this year on her online courses, and helping support her women with any of their goals: fitness, personal or mental!

You can find out more about Vicky, right here! Send her a message with any questions, she absolutely loves to get to know the women around her!

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