Sport during menstruation: what activities can I do?
Can I play sports if I have my period? Will it make my menstrual cramps worse? Contrary to what you might think, having a daily sport routine is a very good idea throughout your cycle and during your period! We give you some advice and tips in our dedicated article.
Can I practice a sport during my period?
Even though one might think the opposite, sport is actually very good during menstruation. In fact, practicing sports releases endorphins, the happiness hormone. In addition to boosting your mood, it can also help activate your blood circulation, relax your pelvic area and better oxygenate your body. During menstruation, the menstrual flow will release prostaglandins, unsaturated fatty acid molecules. Prostaglandins play different roles in our body, especially one that is the contraction of the muscles of our uterus. And the energy expenditure will help improve blood circulation, relax and regulate weight.
However, it is important to choose the right sanitary protection while practicing a sport. We recommend menstrual panties, adapted to blood loss up to the heaviest flows, but also capable of absorbing perspiration. As for your clothes, choose them in breathable cotton! Appropriate intimate hygiene, with regular but non-aggressive washing of your genitals, will also make your activities more pleasant during this period.
In which cases is sport not recommended during menstruation?
It is not really inadvisable during menstrual periods. You can even go to the pool and swim! But don't force yourself if you don't feel like it or if you are in too much pain. The goal is not to cause additional pain,increase your stress or change your cycle. Besides, during this period, it is better to practice in a non-violent and positive way. The main thing is to listen to yourself.
What are the benefits of exercising during my period?
In reality, working on your mobility during your period has many advantages.
Limiting painful periods and contractions
When you practice physical activity on a regular basis in your life, hormonal changes take place in your body. Exercise increases blood circulation, especially in the lower abdomen. Improved blood flow helps oxygenate muscle tissue to reduce contractions.
Reduce the abundance of menstrual flow
By exercising, you reduce yourestrogen levels with the loss of body fat. The more body fat you have, the more estrogen you produce. Too much hormone thickens your uterine lining, which results in increased blood pooling during the first part of your cycle. With the loss of body fat and the decrease in estrogen, the uterine wall is thinner and the blood flow is lighter.
If you exercise during your period, you may lose more blood at the time. When you move, it speeds up the flow of blood. Don't worry, this is normal. This can reduce the length of your period. But don't forget to stay well hydrated and drink plenty of water!
Improve your physical and mental condition
Finally, sports are very good for your mind! During your period, your production of progesterone and estrogen is at a minimum, which can cause fatigue and loss of energy. But when you do, you release endorphins: thefeel-good hormone. After 30 minutes of physical activity, the production of endorphins will reduce your anxiety and stress and alleviate the energy deficit that your period or premenstrual syndrome can create.
Physical activity really does have a positive effect on your morale, whether during your period or at any other time of the cycle!
What sports activities should I choose during my period?
The ideal sport during your period is one that makes you feel good. Only you can decide what you want to do. Above all, you should not force yourself and listen to yourself!
Moderate walking or running
This is an easy activity to do because, apart from sneakers, you don 't need any special equipment. Walking or running will put a lot of stress on your body, such as your back muscles, but also your joints.
Cardio or fitness
Exercises that train your cardiovascular system are very interesting. This helps to stimulate the production of endorphins and blood circulation. Same principle: your discomfort will be reduced.
Dancing is a sport but also an artistic practice, it can help you escape mentally as well as physically. It's up to you to decide whether you prefer energetic or gentle dances.
Swimming is a complete workout that works the entire body in depth. At the end of your period, when the flow is less abundant, it can be ideal. We also offer menstrual swimsuits! Otherwise, for heavier flows, internal protection such as menstrual cups or tampons are recommended.
Yoga and pilates
These practices are very often recommended during the flow. It is recognized that the effects of yoga on menstruation are beneficial, allowing, among other things, to relax the muscular tissues and reduce discomfort. Some types of positions are more suitable during blood loss. For example, it is not recommended to practice inversion postures since during these postures your uterus is pulled towards the head which can cause a stretch of the large ligaments that support the uterus. This can lead to increased bleeding.
What is the impact of high-level sports on menstruation?
High-levelsports can indeed have an impact on the menstrual cycle. In fact, with a very low BMI, there is not enough body fat. And since estrogen levels are linked to body fat levels, athletes with low body fat levels may experience irregular periods or evenamenorrhea.
If this happens to you, you may want to see your doctor. Amenorrhea affects 10 to 40% of women.
Pelvic pain is in most cases put aside by the great concentration required! For some practices, theaggressiveness that can be felt at this time of the cycle is even a driving force for the athlete. Nevertheless, some women who practice intense training may notice a drop in performance. Although this is not abnormal, it can be harmful on competition days, because you are not on an equal footing with your competitors. It is still a taboo that is just beginning to be lifted, especially in the world of tennis.
If this clearly impacts your sports career and you wish to avoid it, an appointment with your gynecologist or health professional to set up a hormonal contraceptive or a pill that suppresses menstruation can be considered.
The FAQ of sports and menstruation
Is it okay to play sports during my period?
Exercise is not inadvisable during your period, on the contrary! It can really help to reduce pelvic pain because when you do sport, you release endorphins, the well-being hormone. Moreover, it will activate the blood circulation which will allow to better oxygenate the muscles and thus to relieve the pains.
Why does sport stop the period?
In some cases, especially among high-level sportswomen, physical activity can cause amenorrhea, i.e. a stop in menstrual bleeding. In fact, the percentage of fat mass and the level of estrogen are so low in some sportswomen that their periods become irregular, and in some cases, stop.
What sports can I do when I have my period?
There are no activities to be avoided during menstruation. Each person should do according to her feelings and listen to herself. If you feel comfortable running for 10 km, there is no particular problem. If you prefer to take a gentler approach like yoga, that's fine too. And if you prefer not to do sports at all, that's up to you! The important thing is to listen to yourself.
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