By Justine Bailleul, naturopath
Can you exercise while on your period?
Yes of course ! I would say first of all that it is important to listen to yourself during this period and to play sports if it makes you happy and if you feel in good shape.
Many studies have shown that playing sports during menstruation helps reduce pain such as uterine contractions and helps reduce stress and compensate for lack of energy.
What are the benefits of sport on PMS and during menstruation?
Playing sports allows your body to secrete beta-endorphin, a hormone that boosts your well-being and reduces the feeling of pain. This is particularly interesting in times of PMS and menstruation.
However, it is important to exercise gently. Why ? Because during menstruation, the body is stressed enough.
First of all, the hormones progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest during your period, which can make you more tired and much less energetic.
We often also feel sadness, we can have a stomach ache, a headache. Sport in a moderate way during the menstrual period helps to relax, to release negative energies, to create a void around oneself, to take time for oneself...
Then, prostaglandins which are anti-inflammatory substances restrict blood flow to the uterus. It is these hormones that can be responsible for the muscle cramps felt during menstruation. So exercising during your period can increase blood flow to your uterus, which will relieve your pain.
As for premenstrual syndrome, sport can help reduce them. Often, it can be observed that PMS pain is due to excess estrogen and/or lack of progesterone, but also due to being overweight.
So playing sports can help regulate your hormones and therefore relieve your PMS.
Are there any particular sports you prefer?
During the first days of your period, I recommend doing some gentle physical activity like yoga, Pilates, dancing, stretching, swimming, or walking. There are not really any contraindications concerning the sports to be practiced.
That said, the goal is not to increase your stress, cause additional pain, or interfere with your normal cycle process.
During this period, it is important to practice your sports activity in a positive and non-violent way for your body. The main thing is to listen to your body, and your feelings because they will be able to sound the alarm if you go too far.
If you practice high-intensity sports during your period and this makes you more tired, it will be unproductive on your workouts.
It is also important to pay attention to your sports practice during your period if you are prone to anemia. During intensive sport, a lot of iron is used and menstruation also, which could worsen your state of health.
How to prepare well to play sports when you have your period?
Whether you wear a cup, period panties, tampon or sanitary napkin, it is important to take a few precautions.
Indeed, by playing sports, the movements of the body can make the menstrual flow more abundant and therefore the menstrual protection can fill up more quickly. So remember to change your protection just before the session to be quiet during your sports session.
If I can also give some advice from my point of view as an athlete, choose a dark-colored outfit (black) and one that does not tighten your stomach in order to be more comfortable.
Throughout your period, remember to eat well and stay hydrated. If you notice a reduction in menstrual flow, there may be an imbalance between your nutrient intake and calorie expenditure.
I also recommend the week before menstruation during painful PMS and during menstruation to opt for an anti-inflammatory diet, to reduce theine and caffeine intake to reduce the pain associated with PMS.
To alleviate menstrual pain, we have designed Le Féminin , in the form of adaptogenic drops. Thanks to the combination of 3 plants: Shatavari, Cohosh and Red Clover, you find your hormonal balance.