Ask Shelley: Should I Exercise While On My Period?

"I read you should but sometimes it feels uncomfortable..."


No matter what age we are, there are always common questions about periods. Whatever it is you’re wondering, you can be sure that someone else is in the same boat. Nurse, midwife and all-round puberty expert Shelley is on hand to answer all your burning questions.

Hi, sometimes I read that you should do exercise when you’re on your period but I feel like it might be a bit uncomfortable when I have cramps and am in a bad mood. Would exercise really improve this or make it worse? – Gabi, 14

Shelley says:

“Exercise is beneficial for your physical and mental health, and as a health care professional, I would always encourage exercise which is within your capabilities, at least a couple of times a week. From walking or cycling to school, to partaking in sports and going to the gym, it is very achievable to include exercise into your routine.

Being on your period should not stop that. If you feel well enough to, still exercise as you normally would! If you’re feeling crampy or feel sick, of course, you should rest and take care of yourself. If you’re feeling a little emotional, sometimes a nice walk is exactly what you need, or even a little bit of yoga and stretching. If you find your period symptoms are frequently causing you to miss sports you partake in or leaving you unable to do any form of exercise whatsoever, it may be time to see a doctor. “

Check out more questions from Ask Shelley here. For advice, mental health, family issues or other personal problems, read our Ask Dr Sarah section. 

If you’ve got a question you need help with, you can DM us via Instagram or email editor with the subject line Ask Shelley or Ask Sarah.

*Names may be changed due to reader’s request.