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Cataleya   

So when it's that TOM (time of month) I find myself not wanting to do anything, but I tend to be fine when I'm not on my period. Other people I know suffer during PMS but are fine when it's actually go time. What about you all? What are your favorite workouts, routines, stretches, and self-care strategies to make that time period (lolololol) less stressful?

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navis   

Interesting... My lifting routine is not affected, though I'll do better with intensity over volume.  In terms of self-care, I don't do much except ensure my lower back is always nice and warm.  Really the thing that changes is my food (cookies, Chinese takeout...) but I couldn't tell you whether it's because I crave it or use my period as an excuse to indulge.

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I'd say that the main self-care thing I do during or just before shark week is a strict 'no judgement' policy. I know that I'm going to have 1 or 2 days where I can barely manage lifting light weights. Frustrating, but no big deal. I also try to eat my usual healthy foods, and not sweat the extra carbs of a bowl of oatmeal if that's all I feel like my stomach will handle. I try to keep as much to my regular schedule as possible because I usually feel better after a workout, even if it's not pleasant at the time. But, some months simply require a bit of a break, so I'll just do yoga/ foam rolling and go for a short walk on a particularly bad day. (And drink lots of ginger tea those 1st couple of days to help with nausea, etc.)

 

Not sure if that actually answers your question but that's my survival guide anyway :)

 

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Guzzi   

Ugh! I'm like you, I just want to sit on my ass and eat carbs like they're going out of fashion when it's that TOM. I can't say I suffer any pre-menstral problems, I just feel a bit listless and hungry when it's "that time"

 

I know that in the past my overall performance at the gym was never as strong when I was on my period but my training was so varied that I never really figured out what worked for me and what didn't. 

 

I don't really have any survival techniques either, unless you count snuggling up on the sofa with a blanket, a book and a mug of tea? :) 

 

It will be interesting to hear what strategies the rest of you girls use. 

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Ibuprofen... https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexisnedd/thoughts-you-have-while-waiting-for-your-ipubrofin-to-kic?utm_term=.ymg44DYmr#.ctBddZWlQ

OK, it's not a coping technique but there are times that is a necessity otherwise I'll lose 1-2 days of my life (not from the gym, in general).

 

Lifting routine doesn't change unless I'm in too much pain and have to postpone it for a day. The only other thing that might happen is that my mind is too scattered and my form breaks down more (or/and I accidentally hit myself in the face with a barbell, stumble upon clearly visible objects, forget stuff I'd need with me at the gym at home etc).

 

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12 hours ago, AugustaAdaByron said:

(or/and I accidentally hit myself in the face with a barbell, stumble upon clearly visible objects, forget stuff I'd need with me at the gym at home etc).

 

I'm glad I'm not the only person who gives herself a facial with the bar knurling while I'm on my period. Also, I second your recommendation of ibuprofen! Unfortunately, I can't take it on an empty stomach... if I'm being healthy, that means greek yogurt. If I'm being a bum, that means cookies! 

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3 minutes ago, IslandGirl_Becks said:

Unfortunately, I can't take it on an empty stomach... if I'm being healthy, that means greek yogurt. If I'm being a bum, that means cookies! 

 

I think, in general, ibuprofen should be taken after a meal (unless I'm not fast enough and I'm in danger of not keeping any food down until I take ibuprofen). Paracetamol is fine on an empty stomach but I haven't found it helpful at all.

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Violetta   

Jessica Smith's YouTube workouts (mostly walking but some cardio or light weights) work well for me in most circumstances when I'm not up for a beast-mode workout.

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My survival guide is indulging in it.  My body is going through a hormone shit storm, I'm not going to mess with it by avoiding more carbs and trying to grow muscle tissue.  I will still work out, but it's a lighter version, I'll ride low cadence on my bike, walk with my dogs, maybe just do calisthenics just to keep the blood pumping.  But honestly I just go by how I feel for the day.

 

One of my favorite quotes is "our bodies know what to do, we just have to get out of it's way"  If your feeling you just want to sit, do it. If you feel like your going to rip someone's head off, put that into a work out. There our times on my TOM I want to just punch a hole through the wall, so I will hop on my bike and ride through my anger.  It always calms me down. (I really wish I had a punching bag)

 

But I'm also like @Guzzi I'm carb crazy!  So I just indulge in fruit or I might have a bowl of oat bran (or I'll make ice cream with frozen bananas) .  I avoid baking cookies, desserts, or buying chocolate that week because again, I will not stop eating. 

 

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Guzzi   

 

On 23/01/2017 at 9:33 AM, AugustaAdaByron said:

The only other thing that might happen is that my mind is too scattered and my form breaks down more (or/and I accidentally hit myself in the face with a barbell, stumble upon clearly visible objects, forget stuff I'd need with me at the gym at home etc).

 

 

@Machete shared a podcast recently that was quite interesting and one of the things that was actually discussed was that many women will actually lose a good degree of their coordination at that point of their cycle. I'd never really thought about it until then but I'm (even more of) a klutz (than usual) round that time too. I just didn't realise that it was a thing. 

 

It's all about pushing the guys new book on the subject, naturally, but it was a really interesting podcast for you ladies that strength train.

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Leigh   

I always just feel physically revolting right before and during TOM. My body temp ramps up a billion degrees, which is shitty and terrible because I already run hotter than anyone around me damn near all the time, so I get this insane urge to clean everything in sight. Like I want my environment to be clean because I feel gross, even if I'm not actually gross. Although I can thankfully say that I've yet to need to take more than one single dose of any kind of pain killer during any instance of TOM and I don't get carb crazy which is lucky I guess. Although I freely admit to doing zero workouts during the entire TOM, since I don't have physical space at home to work out (not kidding, we are so short on bed rooms where I live that my bedroom is the living room and my building has the heat set to simmer during the winter) and the walk to my gym when my internal heat setting is set to 'boil me alive' is actually dangerous for me.

 

Getting heat stroke in winter while only wearing yoga pants, a decent hoodie and a knit hat is just foolish. Which sucks, because the AC at my gym is heavenly.

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Koaladle   
On 1/25/2017 at 9:43 AM, bea_minor3rd said:

But how do you even get motivated to try anything? I'm cramping hard today and I just can't!!

Sometimes it's a mind game--I had a run scheduled during Day Two this week. What started as a "can't wear pants, not gonna do it" turned into a glorious personal best.

 

Sometimes, it's not a mind game--the bridge is on red alert for a good reason and you need to stay in bed. The only way you're going to find out is to try it anyway. I sometimes manage to accomplish this by throwing a tantrum and stomping my feet a lot, saying how I'm not going to do it while putting on my shoes and filling up my water bottle.

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I usually have to make day #1 of my TOM a rest day; sitting upright is a big enough challenge, much less doing exercise. But by the end of day #2 I’m well enough to go for a walk or do body-weight exercises. Right before my TOM I can’t do any running though, my boobs hurt way too much.

I don’t get cravings thankfully, in fact during my TOM unhealthy food disgusts me. I want to eat nothing but steamed veggies and salad.

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Treva   
On 1/23/2017 at 4:33 AM, AugustaAdaByron said:

The only other thing that might happen is that my mind is too scattered and my form breaks down more (or/and I accidentally hit myself in the face with a barbell, stumble upon clearly visible objects, forget stuff I'd need with me at the gym at home etc).

 

On 1/23/2017 at 5:21 PM, IslandGirl_Becks said:

 

I'm glad I'm not the only person who gives herself a facial with the bar knurling while I'm on my period.

 

I feel so much better better knowing I'm not the only one who gets super clumsy and uncoordinated too.  Yesterday I was stumbling around during music practice completely confused as to why I couldn't get my limbs to coordinate properly.

 

I sort of take what my body needs at the time, but I also plan my month around it too; keep refined sugars to a minimum/high protein, the basic stuff.  Also trying to not give into the hungries is...a challenge.  It usually depends on the month, it changes all the time.  Definitely up the yoga and make sure I get plenty of sleep.  Regular pilates, yoga, and meditation has done wonders for reducing cramps--I don't feel like I'm going to pass out anymore. 

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I'm lucky that I don't (usually) cramp or bleed much, but my energy plummets.  I try to go to the gym, but I figure on just modifying the heck out of whatever it is that I'm doing.  Planks, burpees, etc are OUT. Just gonna nope my way to something else.  Also running (like I need an excuse to slack on that, heh.)

But walking/light jogging I'll do.  Arms and other upper-body.  Yoga stretches.

And the sauna, because a good fire-bath will burn away many things.

 

TL;DR - Modifications are life, and I love them.

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animuse   

OMG. I am the COMPLETE TOTAL OPPOSITE. o_O

 

I basically feel the overwhelming need to attack my uterus back, and I've noticed that working out reduces the number of days I have my period. Specifically doing weighted hip thrusters helps a ton so I make sure to add them to my workout once I start Shark Week, having pressure where the cramping is feels super helpful, I'm wondering if curling up around a foam roller would also help? Also the endorphins from working out make me feel way better for the rest of the day. Cardio can go be elsewhere though thanks XD

 

Mind, I also have to take a lot of pain meds, so it's also likely that my tolerance for working out is much higher during as well. And everyone's going to work a little differently. I wind up on a nearly 3 week cycle so I'm sure my hormone cycle is probably not normal :P

 

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Cataleya   
2 minutes ago, animuse said:

I wind up on a nearly 3 week cycle so I'm sure my hormone cycle is probably not normal :P

PCOS? (If you don't mind me asking that is.)

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animuse   
2 minutes ago, Cataleya said:

PCOS? (If you don't mind me asking that is.)

 

Not at all! I've never been tested for it before. TBH I'm leaning more fibroid/endometriosis but trying to get my doctors to look into anything is like pulling teeth, and I'm not a very assertive person (telling them "Hey, I take 4 naproxen every 6 hours for 3 days and still get breakthrough pain" apparently isn't concerning? :/ ). I'd say I have half the symptoms of endo/PCOS either way. Whatever it is, it's on the right side. Also mittelschmerz is no fun :P 

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Cataleya   
4 minutes ago, animuse said:

Not at all! I've never been tested for it before. TBH I'm leaning more fibroid/endometriosis but trying to get my doctors to look into anything is like pulling teeth, and I'm not a very assertive person (telling them "Hey, I take 4 naproxen every 6 hours for 3 days and still get breakthrough pain" apparently isn't concerning? :/ ). I'd say I have half the symptoms of endo/PCOS either way. Whatever it is, it's on the right side. Also mittelschmerz is no fun :P 

Ugh. I feel on the doctors. My unwarranted advice: keep pushing. Get a different doctor if you need to and can. It took me two years but things are a lot better with the PCOS diagnosis than they ever were without it. My friend who had fibroids had a hell of a time but is better now that the grapefruit sized fibroid was taken out. 

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animuse   
Just now, Cataleya said:

Ugh. I feel on the doctors. My unwarranted advice: keep pushing. Get a different doctor if you need to and can. It took me two years but things are a lot better with the PCOS diagnosis than they ever were without it. My friend who had fibroids had a hell of a time but is better now that the grapefruit sized fibroid was taken out. 

 

Thanks ^_^ I have a close friend with PCOS and she's also mentioned that things are getting much better!

 

TBH I'm contemplating switching my primary for the cattle drive effect at that office and that they are only interested in current symptoms rather than the problem, but I'm not sure I'll find much better (possible autoimmune, looking into someone that focuses on rheumatology/immunology).  I've only seen my gyno once last year and she was alright, I'm just horrible at making appointments XD

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Cataleya   

I see an internal medicine and diabetes specialist. I don't have diabetes but because PCOS often comes with insulin resistance, its nice to have her around.

 

Now if only she would shut up about my weight...

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chemgeek   

For me, I need to work out or I will end up bedridden and sick all my TOM. Feverish, sore, swollen muscles, nauseous, etc. Not crampy, just sick.

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