When you’re on your period, it’s easy to tap out of your workout sesh—either because of cramps (we can’t blame you!) or simply because you think you shouldn’t engage in movement. But FYI, there’s nothing wrong with being active on your red days! In fact, doing so is said to help lessen PMS, reduce period pain, and even make you feel more empowered!
That said, we asked different fitness instructors how they usually work out when they’re on their period, so you could maybe pick up a thing or two from their practices. Plus, they also shared some of the things that help them pull through during this time of the month.
Celine Encarnacion, Plana Forma Teacher, Lagree Trainer, and Yoga Instructor
With so many titles under her belt, Celine is no stranger to working out. In fact, she works out five to six days a week for around an hour each day (on top of teaching!). And that includes days when she's on her period. "And when I say I 'workout,' I mean I move. It can be as simple as taking a walk or a light jog to doing household chores like cooking, sweeping or vacuuming to more complex full-body compound strength movements," she shares. "I see these monthly periods as something that can give you invaluable feedback about your own body."
Some of the most invaluable items she uses in her movement practice when she's on her period? "Props like blocks and bolsters (or huge pillows) are welcome treats when I do yin or slow-flow type yoga practices. I gravitate more towards strength training during my flow since estrogen levels are at their lowest during menstruation, so dumbbells are also a must for me during this time of the month," she shares. Another thing she can't go without is the Modess Body Adapt Longs. "Modess Body Adapt Longs help you feel secure while you move—my period becomes the least of my worries as I go on about my daily work and workout schedule. I love efficiency even in my self-care practices. I think they're musts in my life."
And finally, her advice for workout beginners who want to work on when they're on their periods: "Listen and trust your bodies. They're amazing and resilient! Don't shy away from working out even on your period. Modify if you need to as long as you move. Our bodies are meant to move."
Hannah Bacani, The Movement Studio Teacher
Twice a week, Hannah teaches HIIT (high-intensity interval training) classes that combine cardio and strength training. Outside of this, she does her own weight training four days every week, which is on top of her non-negotiable goal of 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. There’s also no stopping her even during her period! “I find that working out during my period reduces menstrual cramps and keeps me mentally focused. On days when I’m feeling fatigued or tired, I would modify my exercises by lowering my training load [like] reducing volume, sets, or reps,” she shares. “I’m very fortunate to still be able to move while on my period—so I use barbells, plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, and a cable machine just like on regular days.“
Still, it’s a must to adapt to the demands of the body during this time. “Being comfortable and at ease is key during my period. To ensure that I’m free to move, run, jump, and sprint without the fear of leaks, I use Modess Body Adapt Longs. Its unique shape adapts to your movement!” She adds, “I [also] try to recover well by sleeping longer and integrating myofascial release using a foam roller, massage gun, or lacrosse ball for recovery.”
Then again, Hannah stresses that at the end of the day, it’s still up to you if you want to continue working out during your period or just skip it for the time being. “Always listen to your body and take a rest if needed. If [you] still want to keep moving, you can always modify your workouts or just go for a walk or light jog.”
Sam Corrales, 808 Studio Teacher
Focused on building strength and muscle, Sam’s personal fitness routine involves lifting and doing cardio exercises at least four to five times a week. She also teaches dance fitness, which adds up to her overall workout sesh. “I try to keep my body moving even when I’m on my period! My mood is also a lot lighter when I get a workout in,” she says. Even so, it can’t be helped for her routine to fall short of the usual during her period. “I listen to my body and see how I’m feeling [on a particular] day. Some days, I would just go for a light jog to get my steps in or do a few stretches.” Her yoga mat and dumbbells keep her company during these days. But wearing Modess Body Adapt Longs helps her power through just a bit further. “It’s useful because it still keeps me moving even during my period. Although my training load is not as heavy during this time, it still pays off to do some light work.”
“We all have different bodies which are all capable and beautiful in their own way!” Sam points out. “You know your body best, so scale down the intensity of certain exercises if you feel any discomfort. Make sure you’re executing each movement with proper form and breathing, too! If you’re feeling energized and strong, make the most of your workout and you’ll thank yourself for sweating it out that day.” But, as she notes, “Remember that it’s also okay to rest so our bodies can recover!”
Pia Lopa, Electric Studio Teacher
When Pia isn’t busy teaching indoor cycling and rhythm boxing or filming electric-on-demand workouts, her typical routine includes running for 20 to 30 minutes or doing bodyweight exercises before lunch or dinner. Yes, even on her red days! “I encourage myself to push through with my classes [whenever I have period], and to be honest, the adrenaline rush during class does help mask the cramps or that heavy feeling, so I’m still able to do the class how I normally would,” she shares. “But in terms of my personal workouts, I usually just stick to low impact cardio workouts or any workout that will help me mentally and physically.”
To prevent leaks during her high-intensity workouts, she uses the Modess Body Adapt Longs. “Thanks to the material and length, it actually absorbs [well] and I don’t experience [leaking]. Plus, it’s thin enough for you not to get distracted by it.” Eating green apples and drinking apple or lemon juice mixed with apple cider vinegar also help Pia get rid of the bloated feeling we’re all familiar with!
More than anything, Pia sees the *fitness journey* as a lifestyle. “So for my advice, ask yourself: Why are you starting in the first place? Once you have an answer, consider that as your goal.” She adds, “Don’t rush the process. You will definitely have your highs and lows—for this instance, your period—[but] you can always take a step back or give yourself time to rest. There will come a point that you will feel like you’ve made it and then later feel like you’re back to day one. So just go back to the question: Why did I start?”
Things indeed work differently for everyone. The kind of exercises that work for these women may not work for you, and it’s all up to you to find the best fit. Just make sure you have a reliable pad like the Modess Body Adapt Longs, so should you continue to work out on your period, you don’t have to worry about any form of leaking or that uncomfy feeling down there!