Sport and menstruation: How do they go together?
Chances are that you are one of those women who often have the feeling during their period that everything is too much for them and therefore would prefer to be left alone. Sport is probably the last thing you want to do in this situation. In the following we will explain why it can still be worthwhile to get up and do some sport.
Sport during your period - the most important things at a glance
- Sport is not something you have to do without during your period.
- In many cases, a moderate exercise programme can help reduce period pains.
- Although, contrary to subjective impressions, many women's performance suffers only slightly, it's okay to take it a little easier during your period.
- Great sports for women during their period are, for example, yoga, Pilates or jogging.
- With a tampon or menstrual cup, swimming pool visits during menstruation are no problem.
- Period underwear is ideal to protect you during exercise in addition to your tampon or menstrual cup.
- If you don't feel like exercising at all during your period, you don't have to force yourself to do it, despite the benefits it brings.
- In addition to exercise, you should also try to eat a balanced diet before and during your period.
Can you do sport during your period?
The short answer to the question of whether you can do sport during your period is yes. After all, menstruation is not a disease. From a purely physical point of view, there is nothing to stop you from being active and exercising regularly during your period.
Sport during your period is best done at a moderate intensity.
Although, contrary to subjective impressions, athletic performance does not usually suffer significantly, many women feel exhausted and tired during their period. The period is therefore generally the wrong time to do particularly intensive sport, such as high-intensity interval training or trying to achieve personal bests.
This doesn't mean that you should completely give up exercise just because you feel a little tired during your period. Simply reduce the intensity of your workouts during your period and find sports that don't over-exert you.
Does exercise help with period pain?
You may have your doubts at first. However, for many women, exercise is actually a very effective way to reduce period pain. If you are one of those women who prefer to retire to the couch or bed with a hot water bottle during your period, you should definitely give it a try and get active despite menstruation.
Exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor are particularly effective in this regard. As you may have read, a strong pelvic floor can contribute to a normal cycle and reduce period pain and excessive bleeding. If you have been suffering from abdominal cramps and back pain on a regular basis, exercising during your period is definitely a good choice.
Sporting performance during menstruation
Most women are just as fit during their period as they are the rest of the month. Only about one third of women experience a decrease in athletic performance during menstruation. But even in this case, the actual loss of performance is manageable in most cases. As a rule, you don't have to worry that you can hardly move during training because of your period and that this will lead to additional frustration for you.
All in all, you should be at your best and most motivated during your follicular phase. This is the second phase of your menstrual cycle, which immediately follows your period. This is also the ideal time to strive for new personal bests in training.
What sports can I do during my period?
Basically, you are largely free to choose your sports programme during your period. Suitable sports that most women do well during their period include Pilates, yoga or moderate endurance training in the form of jogging or cycling.
Ultimately, of course, it all depends on your personal preferences. After all, training should be fun for you and not a huge ordeal. It's best to try out a few things. This way you will quickly find out what you feel comfortable with and which sports work well for you during your period.
Start exercising slowly during your period
If you've always avoided exercise during your period, it's best to start slowly. Start with a light and short workout and see how you get on. Chances are that you will quickly find that exercise during your period is very good for you.
In this case, you can then take it up a notch the next time and gradually increase the intensity. What this means in practice and how hard you should train cannot be said in general terms and depends on your current fitness level. So try out what works for you and what you can handle.
Can you go swimming during menstruation?
Whether it's for school sports, in a club or simply as a leisure activity - when it comes to swimming, many women have reservations and prefer not to swim at all during their period. In principle, however, there is nothing to stop you going swimming despite your period. However, in this case it is of course important that you use the right menstrual products.
A sanitary pad or period knickers is not a good choice for this purpose. Both would soak up water within a few seconds, so that protection would no longer be guaranteed. A tampon or menstrual cup, on the other hand, is no less protective in the water than on land.
So you don't have to worry about leaving a trail of blood behind you when you swim because of your menstruation and getting annoyed looks from the other bathers. If you like swimming, don't be shy and plan a trip or two to the local pool during your period.
Is exercise a must during menstruation?
Although from a medical point of view there is nothing wrong with exercising during your period and experience has shown that exercise will actually do you a lot of good, exercising during your period is of course not a must. If you don't feel like it at all and would rather take it easy, you don't have to feel bad about it.
Ultimately, of course, it is entirely up to you whether you want to exercise during your period or not. Of course, the advantages we've listed in this article won't change that.
Period panties for a safe feeling during sports
Especially during your heavier days, you may feel insecure and be afraid that your menstrual products such as tampons do not protect you sufficiently. To be on the safe side, we recommend that you wear a menstrual slip in addition to your tampon or menstrual cup.
These provide additional protection and ensure that nothing goes wrong during training if your tampon is not enough. This way you can concentrate on your workout without having to worry about anything. Plus, period pants are washable, so they can help you avoid unnecessary waste from disposable products like pads and help the environment.
Eat a balanced diet
In addition to exercise, eating a balanced diet before and during your period can help reduce period pain and improve your overall well-being. Ideally, you should not only exercise regularly, but also pay more attention to what you eat.
By eating more foods with anti-inflammatory properties in the week before your period, you can reduce the likelihood of uncomfortable cramps during your period. Good foods in this regard include bananas, soft fruits and citrus fruits, as well as peppers, broccoli and pulses, or turmeric and ginger. Avoid white flour products, cold meats and foods high in sugar as much as possible.
Following these dietary rules may sound exhausting at first. However, you will be surprised at the difference a healthy diet, combined with regular exercise, can make to your well-being during your period. So just try it out and see for yourself.
Sport and menstruation - our conclusion
As you can see, it can be worthwhile to do sports even during your period. Of course, it doesn't have to be competitive sport at the highest level. But at least moderate exercise can even help you feel better during your period and relieve existing symptoms.
If things like jogging and yoga aren't for you, at least try normal walks to start with. You'll be surprised how much exercise in the fresh air will do you good once you get up the nerve to leave the bed or couch.