Welcome to P.volve Unfiltered—your space for real talk, not girl talk. Throughout the month and beyond, we’ll talk all things female body: orgasms, periods, boobs, the pelvic floor and so much more. Best part is we’re doing it in the most honest, raw way so that you can get the answers to your burning questions (we can talk burning, too!) to better understand your body and your health with a team of experts on our side.
That time of the month. Crimson tide. Code red.
No matter what you call your period, you know that it comes with ups and downs, unexpected surprises and a whole 'lot of unanswered questions.
P.volve trainer and Integrative Health Coach Alexia has a wealth of knowledge to share when it comes to menstruation and movement. She, like most of us, understands the dread and lack of motivation that often arrives with your period. She also knows, however, that we have the power to turn it all around with our workouts. Learn more below:
How can working out during your period help alleviate cramps and pains?
"This may come as a shock but it all boils down to blood flow! Exercising during your period increases circulation and gets things moving that would otherwise remain stagnant and exacerbate those dreaded, painful PMS symptoms so many women experience. It's all an inflammatory response (and why you've been popping Midol and other pain relievers all these years....) but low-impact movement can be a great tool in bringing that inflammation back to baseline without introducing anything potentially harmful into your body. Also, when you’re moving in a way that feels good to you, it can change your perception of pain, so work with your body rather than against it!"
How can working out during your period help with bloating?
"Like painful PMS symptoms, bloating can turn our world upside down as soon as it makes the grand entrance. You can’t button your jeans, nothing looks appetizing, and you feel like you have truly hooked yourself up to the garden hose at full power and it isn’t stopping anytime soon. (Maybe that’s dramatic, but there are many points on this spectrum!) Like its power to help alleviate pain, working out can help with bloating as well. Getting things moving is the name of the game but our minds also play a part.
Some say when you feel good, you look good—so get a little sweaty, detoxify the body, boost endorphins, and kiss that bloat goodbye. Another little hack here is to be sure to hydrate like crazy during your period and avoid processed foods high in sodium that can exacerbate bloating. Exercise and nutrition working hand-in-hand are the best weapon against unwanted PMS symptoms."
How can working out during your period help with PMS or moodiness?
"ENDORPHINS, ENDORPHINS, ENDORPHINS! The literature on positive moods as a result of exercise is extensive and we can all attest to that post-P.volve high. So, take advantage of our PMS prescriptions (looking at you, p.sit and 6 o'clock catch.) In simple terms, just move your body!
Why is P.volve’s method, in particular, beneficial in treating these issues?
"P.volve is beneficial in alleviating these dreaded monthly visitors because it works with your body instead of against it. We’ve all been through seasons of time where stress has been a factor in our lives and our period (and its accessories) are affected because of that stress. If you stress the body in how you approach your workouts, you could potentially have similar, negative effects on your period.
By engaging in high-intensity, low-impact exercise, you get to BOLSTER the body, move in a way that comes naturally, build mind-body connection, and maybe even move toward your goals at the same time. P.volve also offers so many options from recovery to cardio so that you can listen to your body, what kind of movement it's craving, and then satisfy that movement, rather than sticking to a 'go hard or go home' mentality when that may be the exact opposite of what your body needs (which has the potential to not only wreak havoc on your hormones but stunt progress toward your goals.) We as women have held ourselves to a standard that doesn't make sense for far too long. It’s time to connect the mind and body, and LIVE in the beautiful cyclical nature with which we’ve been endowed."
Talking about periods is often seen as taboo, or a dreadful time. How can we feel empowered during this time of the month instead?
"It's important that we look at this time with excitement and pride. Your period is a time of release, renewal, and rebirth. During this phase of your cycle, hormone levels drop to their lowest and the left brain gets quiet, so you're primed for communication between the hemispheres.
Stay with me... Because of this, it’s a perfect time to reflect on what you really want, where you are, who you are, who you spend time with. Yes, move your body in a way that feels good, hydrate, and replenish the nutrients lost during your bleed, but to truly celebrate everything beautifully and wonderfully female during this week, turn inward and spend time with yourself. Release the old and prepare for the new. You have this opportunity every single month. How amazing is that?"
Alexia Acebo is a professional dancer, creator, P.volve Trainer, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who is passionate about helping people fully step into their truth through movement, food, and lifestyle choices.
Alexia has reaped the benefits of functional movement training in her own life, recovering from a recurring performance injury and maintaining the strength and mobility needed when she steps on stage and through life.