Playing sports during your period: 6 tips and an outfit

If you are asked what are the success factors in sport, what do you say? Maybe you are thinking of:

  • physical and mental condition
  • The equipment and the right techniques
  • Good gestures and regularity
  • A protein diet and good hydration
  • Warming up and stretching 

And you are right ! These are important aspects for success. Do you see anything else?

Well, there is yet another factor, and not the least important, that will allow you to get the most out of your sports activity: your clothes.

The right choice of sports clothing and shoes plays a role in performance during practice and ensures the necessary comfort before, during and after physical exercise. 

And this is even more true when additional conditions arise such as menstruation, white discharge or occasional urinary leakage. 

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Playing sports during menstruation: Is it possible?

How to exercise during menstruation

But can you really have a physical activity during the blood loss of your menstrual cycle?

Yes quite !

Each woman experiences physiological changes that are unique to her. This article is not intended to deal with each type of cycle or premenstrual syndrome, but to address generalities which could be useful for keep physically active during this particular period of menstruation.  

Results of many studies

A quiz (in English), submitted to 241 female athletes, concludes that, although most report feeling less well before menstruation, 62 % say that their cycle does not affect their physical performance and 63 % that their menstrual contractions decrease during menstruation. 'physical training. If it's true for high-level sport, it's true for you 😉

Another american study Recent research also goes in this direction and demonstrates that moderate-intensity exercise is beneficial and helps to alleviate symptoms related to the menstrual cycle.

What are the reasons ?

First of all thanks to the endorphin, a feel-good hormone, released during exercise. This can help you be in a good mood and, as it is a natural pain reliever, it can also ease menstrual pain.

Additionally, exercising during your menstrual period will increase the blood flow towards the uterus, further reducing muscle cramps.

Then because during this period the level of female hormones weakens and that of testosterone increases. So your strength is generally greater.

NOTE : A small caveat is in order. In fact, women are up to 10 times more likely to suffer anterior cruciate ligament injuries than men. This risk seems to be caused by hormonal factors, factors accentuated during the period of menstruation.

In general, it is therefore strongly advised to spare those cruciate ligaments during your menstrual cycle if you practice physical exercises that require them, such as skiing or football. 

A big challenge

In the face of the rules, there are many challenges. The 2 main ones when it comes to exercising are:

  • What to do ?
  • With what outfit?
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The “what to do” part having been covered, what is interesting about the outfit?  

All women are not on the same footing regarding the abundance of blood flow, white discharge or urinary leakage. During menstruation, some can use a tampon and get away with it. For others, whatever the method, the fear of flight is, on its own, a valid reason to give up the sport.

Luckily, advancements in sportswear haven't been confined to t-shirts, shorts and bandanas. Underwear is also concerned and menstrual panties are very efficient today.

The other good news is that there are some for women with heavy discharge. That is to say that there is a range of menstrual panties that can absorb the equivalent of 4 conventional tampons for a maximum of 12 hours. 

Menstrual clothes dedicated to sport 

bathing suit during menstruation

In recent years, brands have been flourishing that offer menstrual panties for all ages and all tastes.

Progress continues in this area with a French brand, Smoon, which in addition to its large collection of menstrual lingerie, has launched its special collection for sports. All the features of menstrual panties from Smoon and other outfits available make them ideal underwear and sportswear for practicing your favorite physical activity all year round.

Women therefore have the choice between wearing menstrual panties with their usual outfit or directly a sports outfit equipped with effective protection. 

PhenQ

Menstrual panties 

What does the Smoon panties offer?

It's uncompromising protection. It guarantees zero odor, zero leakage and zero feeling of humidity for up to 12 hours, day or night. Seamless to remain invisible under clothing, it is comfortable and respects your health since all models are Oeko tex certified, therefore free of harmful chemical substances. 

Washable and reusable, they allow you to save money by forgetting the regular purchases of disposable protections of all kinds (towels, tampons and panty liners), protecting the environment at the same time reducing sanitary waste. 

The different models offer protection for light, medium or heavy menstrual flow. In addition, Smoon has designed panties specially adapted for teenagers experiencing the experience of their first period. 

Although focused on the well-being of women of all ages, this manufacturer has not forgotten the aesthetics. Its panties are available in 4 different styles and in many colors. 

Sportswear

Protection, comfort and discretion remained the objective of Smoon to realize its new collection of sportswear. 

For each indoor and outdoor sports practice, it is possible to continue to practice your usual sports session wearing leggings or a cyclist. They are specially designed to provide effective protection in all poses. These clothes have the same advantages as conventional sportswear. The materials are breathable, elastic and resistant. 

The big novelty is the waterproof menstrual swimsuit. Its maximum sealing capacity is possible thanks to Oeko-tex certified anti-leak silicone seals, that is to say without risk to the skin, associated with a waterproof membrane. 

All these clothes are obviously washable and reusable. The big plus of these sportswear is that they are made of eco-sustainable materials. 

For all other questions about their maintenance method, their durability, their manufacture or if they can be combined with other periodic protections, you will find complete answers on the brand's website.

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Sportswear for menstruation

For each indoor and outdoor sports practice, it is possible to continue to practice your usual sports session wearing leggings or a cyclist. They are specially designed to provide effective protection in all poses. These clothes have the same advantages as conventional sportswear. The materials are breathable, elastic and resistant. 

The big news is that there are waterproof menstrual swimsuits. Their maximum sealing capacity is made possible thanks to Oeko-tex certified anti-leak silicone seals, that is to say without risk to the skin, associated with a waterproof membrane. 

All these clothes are obviously washable and reusable. 

What to choose for your outfit

Sportswear during menstruation

The problem of the choice of sportswear arises even outside periods as special as menstrual cycles. 

The uniqueness of each sport and the fact that each person is different leads to an obvious conclusion: each sportsman must make his own analysis to use the clothes and shoes adapted to his sporting activity and his physical characteristics. 

For each sport, there are still key elements to consider in order to make the right choice. These elements are: 

  • Security
  • Sweat
  • Climate
  • Comfort
  • Place

 Let’s break down these points…

Security

When we think of comfort, we often think of loose clothing. However, for certain sports where the extremities of the clothing risk getting caught in the equipment, these are to be avoided. As for cycling or rowing for example.

Your feet and ankles should also be protected. Brands don't come up with different cuts just to keep up with fashion. They are chosen to perfectly assist the feet during the different movements performed in each sport. 

Perspiration

Maintaining a good body temperature and wicking away sweat before, during and after exercise is an important aspect. You should definitely avoid any fabric that prevents perspiration from evaporating and your body heat from escaping. Opt for clothes made of cotton, lycra and other breathable fabrics.

For those who sweat a lot, favor fabrics containing a type of polyester specially designed to keep the body cool and allow perspiration to evaporate. 

The climate

For all sports practiced outdoors, your clothes must necessarily change with the seasons.

Difficulties arise especially during cold periods. Despite the cold, your body temperature will necessarily increase during physical activity. The ideal is to keep the breathable garment in contact with the skin and to add one or more layers on top, which are easy to remove. 

Comfort

Wearing clothes and shoes adapted to the physical activities practiced provides undeniable comfort. The right materials and a minimum of seams help to avoid discomfort and irritation.

In addition, it is possible to choose clothes and shoes with specific features to prevent injuries or help in case of poor blood circulation.

The place

Adapt the clothing to the place where the physical activity is practiced. Depending on whether it is a gym activity, at home or outside, the choice of clothing will be different. As previously said in the “climate” paragraph, it may be wise to put on several layers if the place is a bit cool at the start and remove them as the body temperature increases. 

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Some tips for exercising during menstruation

The few practical tips that follow relate to what can be done throughout the year to feel better during certain more complicated periods, such as during periods. You must follow them to keep a good program with regular physical activity throughout the year.

If you work the muscles of the body and your cardiovascular rate during the normal process of your cycle, you will always promote weight loss, reduce your fat mass and protect your muscle mass. 

Here are the 6 tips to keep in mind:

1. Control your diet

Some women are hungrier during their menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, they often fall back on fatty and sugary foods, which accentuates lethargy and bloating. 

Continue to promote a balanced diet rich in fibre, protein and iron (peas, lentils, spinach, etc.)

2. Stay hydrated

Good hydration is essential during the practice of a sport, you are not taught anything. But do you know that good hydration habits throughout the year can reduce the duration of bleeding and the intensity of pain during the menstrual period?

3. Bespoke, not ready-to-wear

It is completely normal not to have the same pep at certain times.

In this case, it is good to vary the exercises according to your mood and what you feel capable of doing. Adjust your training and do what you like the most when it's hardest. 

4. Take it easy on the toughest days

This advice is complementary to the previous one.

At the beginning of blood loss, it is better to favor light cardio exercises, walking or aerobic exercises then increase the intensity of training at the end of the period for reasons of respiratory performance.

5. Adapt the exercises to your current abilities

Since strength is on the rise during this time, it makes sense for some of you to opt for power-based training like weight training or a mix of strength work and cardio. 

NOTE : This advice is different from the previous ones because it only applies to those of you who do not feel any particular difficulties during your cycle.

6. Reduce tension

Planning stretching, gym and relaxation sessions helps the body to reduce tension. These exercises can be done in warm-up or recovery sessions at least 2 hours after the session, or even both if you are very motivated. 

Exercising During Menstruation: Conclusion

As you can see, the expression “dressing for success” does not only apply to job interviews. The underwear, clothes and shoes that are worn during physical exercise influence comfort, concentration and athletic performance.

Given the importance that good physical activity has on your overall well-being, it would be a real shame to let the period of menstruation or the aspect of clothing discourage you.

So choose the right clothes and underwear! 

Leave a message in the comments area to tell me what you think or to ask your questions. THANK YOU !

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