The difference between pre-period boobs and rest-of-the-month boobs is pretty remarkable. It truly seems like you wake up, and overnight, your chesticles have transformed into much larger and more painful body parts you wish you could just remove like an old pair of socks. Of course, this makes working out on your period a total pain in the ass (or boobs, I guess), what with all the awkward, and sometimes even obnoxious bouncing that goes on.
Yes, it is yet another rather pesky detail of the female body. But just because your tatas have swollen up to twice their normal size doesn't mean you have to avoid exercising altogether during that time of the month. While sometimes I just make muffins, pop on the kettle, and put on my slippers, there are other times I definitely need to get my yayas out and sweat a little.
Luckily, 2017 isn't totally the dark ages, so it's (hopefully) common knowledge now that working out, having sex, and generally being a functioning, sane human being is duh-level possible during your menstrual cycle.
But these things can all come with very real discomforts. You are shedding a uterus lining after all, and that ain't no joke.
So when it comes to getting your jog or yoga on, you may want a few tips and tricks to keep your boobies taken care of.
First, you're going to need a nice, supportive sports bra.
Of course, this is the number one priority when you really want to work out, but your girls are screaming in pain. There are plenty of options out there, but I'm personally a huge fan of the high-impact sports bras you can get at Target.
Oh, and pro tip: Sometimes I'll also choose a size that's slightly too small for me to provide a little extra support, or I'll wear a tank top that has built-in support over my bra.
Once you've got the perfect sports bra, find a way to work out that feels best for you and your aching boobs.
So, yes, this might mean opting for a more low-impact sweat sesh for those five days or so that you're on your period.
And hey, there's nothing wrong at all with taking it easy. Listening to your body and its needs should always be your top priority when it comes to a fitness routine. There's really no need for you to go all Barry's Bootcamp on your body when your boobs have temporarily relocated to Brutal Achesville.
If you're itching to move, why not just do some gentle yoga or take a walk around your neighborhood?
Know how to fuel your body during this time of the month.
Maybe opt for something else instead of your usual double espresso in the morning or that salty bag of chips for your afternoon pick-me-up. Avoiding caffeine and salt helps decrease boob bloat a bit, as these foods can increase water retention.
Find a soothing herbal tea you can sip on the night before your workout so your body is ready to go by the next day.
Avoid the urge to pop any pain-relieving pills.
While the occasional NSAID certainly won't kill you, taking these over-the-counter meds too often -- especially if you regularly exercise -- isn't always great for your body.
So, if you want to go the natural route, regularly taking an evening primrose oil can help decrease breast pain and swelling because of an active ingredient called gamolenic acid, which is a fatty acid that helps the body respond to hormonal changes.
Treat yourself to a soothing breast massage.
Maybe this seems a little weird, but trust me, it feels great, and it's a lovely act of self-care. You can even give it a try before your boobs start to bloat. Massaging your breasts can help keep breast tissue healthy, reduce inflammation, and keep the lymphatic system going strong.
And, of course, never forget the power of a cold, mushy ice pack when it comes to PMS aches and pains. Use a cold compress over your shirt after a workout to help your body wind down.
All in all, listen to your body and give yourself what you need to feel your best. And pat yourself on the back while you're at it, because you and I both know it is not easy to work out on your period. Kudos, girl.