Unfortunately, sport and painful periods do not go well together. This also handicaps the sports program of many of you.
And if only women are experiencing this more or less difficult period, everyone is concerned. Perhaps you are one of those who will have to train or rub shoulders with a woman who wants to find a solution to relieve painful menstrual cycles and thus maintain regular physical activity.
Everyone can therefore read this article with interest…
Table of Contents
- Sport and painful periods: What treatment?
- 6 habits to relieve period pain
- Women's sports
- Sport and painful periods: Conclusion
Sport and painful periods: What treatment?
There is no question here of developing the reasons why many bothersome and painful symptoms appear before and during menstruation, nor of embarking on an exhaustive enumeration of all the pains.
But we know that these are real obstacles to physical exercise. During this period the stomach muscles work causing many inconveniences such as cramps, nausea, headaches or diarrhea to name a few. The first solution we think of when it comes to pain are over-the-counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
However, a healthy lifestyle and home remedies provide effective relief. If one wants to target among natural antidotes without having to rush into preparing time-consuming concoctions, there are ready-to-use, tested and approved products.
Naturactive against painful periods
For example, to relieve painful periods, the Naturactive vegetable capsules containing feverfew and yarrow extracts, were voted “product of the year 2022”. This natural treatment acts effectively against discomfort in the lower abdomen and back, against migraine and fatigue.
NOTE : As with any treatment, herbal remedies may have contraindications or side effects, however few. Plants can also interact with certain medications. If you have any doubts, consult your doctor before taking food supplements.
6 habits to relieve period pain
Certain foods accentuate the problems of bloating and water retention. During menstruation, it is obviously best to avoid them. This includes :
- salty foods
- Fat food
- The alcohol
- Fizzy drinks
If you lack caffeine or sugar to deal with slack, favor naturally energizing drinks like ginger tea or hot water flavored with lemon and fruit for the dose of sugar.
And other foods will provide you with the necessary vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
For example :
- Hazelnuts, oatmeal and pumpkin seeds are rich in manganese (relieves cramps).
- Chicken, fish, and leafy green vegetables contain iron.
- Banana and brown rice contain vitamin B6 which reduces bloating.
- Certain fish, nuts and flaxseeds contain omega-3s with antioxidant properties to reduce swelling and inflammation.
2. Importance of hydration
Good hydration is essential at all stages of our lives and, even if it surprises you, drinking can prevent the water retention and bloating present during menstruation.
Warm or hot water will be more effective in relaxing the muscles.
3. The effects of herbs on menstruation
As indicated by scientific studies, plants are known for their anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Incorporating them into your diet and drinks throughout the year and especially during the menstrual cycle can significantly reduce all its inconveniences.
For example dill, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, and chamomile are some of the plants to consume in tea or in food supplements to reduce pain, bleeding or swelling.
4. Apply essential oils
Massage of painful points (belly, back, sides) with vegetable oil and essential oils reduces menstrual pain. Among the essential oils to use there are:
- Pepper mint
- clary sage
5. Consume more calcium
This mineral, consumed on a regular basis, can help reduce muscle cramps and mood swings during menstruation.
So consider consuming calcium-rich foods such as almonds, sesame seeds, leafy green vegetables and of course dairy products if you tolerate them.
6. Use heat for relief
Putting a hot water bottle, heating pad or hot towel on the abdomen and lower back relieves pain as effectively as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
It is certainly more restrictive, but there are fewer side effects.
7. Do yoga
Yoga helps reduce premenstrual symptoms and pain intensity. Its regular practice has positive effects on the menstrual cycle and psychobiological well-being, probably by balancing the neuroendocrine axis.
In addition, this physical activity reduces the negative effects induced by stress on the immune system by upregulating the adjustment of immunoglobulin A and reduces harmful inflammatory secretions.
By following the tips mentioned above, or at least the ones that work for you the most, you can optimize your sports performance during your menstrual cycle.
All athletes know it, not every day is the same in terms of physical condition and motivation.
Both men and women experience fluctuations in their training, but women's are more predictable. Therefore, the drive can be programmed to adapt to it.
Sport and painful periods: Each phase has its own activity
Hormones have effects on the body. Therefore, they have a influence on sports activity. Understanding what happens in a complete cycle at the hormonal level allows you to know yourself well and work accordingly.
The menstrual cycle can be divided into 4 phases.
It all starts on the first day of your period with the menstrual phase. This phase is also known as the erythemal follicular phase and the hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest.
Due to the drop in progesterone, the inflammatory response comes to an end and your white blood cell count also drops, increasing your risk of getting a disease. In short, during this phase you should try to optimize your sleep and diet.
As for training, try to include more strength and high intensity exercises.
Known as the late follicular phase, where progesterone remains low, but estrogen rises to peak. Estrogen is anabolic. It's a neurostimulator.
This increase in estrogen should help you feel good and energized during this phase. You may also notice that you have less appetite and your blood sugar levels are more stable.
When it comes to training, you can always focus on strength training. At this point, your body is able to optimize the repair of muscle tissue.
This is the period of ovulation. Estrogen first goes down and then goes up, as does progesterone, and they both stay high during ovulation.
The role of progesterone is to do everything for the construction of the endometrial mucosa and this requires energy. This obviously differs from woman to woman, but there can be pain and discomfort at this phase in the abdomen and lower back.
Interestingly, the basal body temperature during this phase can increase by 0.3 degrees and, due to the high levels of progesterone, some women may notice an increase in their resting heart rate and breathing.
Some women experience food cravings during this time because blood sugar levels are less stable. When it comes to training, you may just feel a little lethargic, but there's nothing you really need to change. Be aware, however, that your body may take a little longer to recover.
This is the luteal phase during which estrogen and progesterone fall to their lowest levels. This hormonal change can trigger an inflammatory reaction, which is partly the cause of the typical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Again, you may have cravings for certain foods due to changes in insulin levels and blood sugar fluctuations, but this varies from woman to woman. Sleep can be affected, which can affect your body's concentration and ability to recover.
Exercise is still important to help you feel good during this phase, but you may want to opt for a lighter, more moderate variety. Your body is also better adapted in this phase to use fat rather than carbohydrates, which is favorable for exercises such as aerobics.
Sport and painful periods: Conclusion
Many women don't know where they are in their cycle when doing things. However, it is essential to know where you are in your cycle to take advantage of the best moments, to anticipate energy drops and relieve future ailments.
Track your cycle. Follow it for at least three months while noting how you feel in training, how you sleep and how you recover in each phase, in order to obtain truly objective data and make a tailor-made sports program for you.
Faced with menstrual pain, test the advice and natural treatments until you find those that will allow you to better live these unpleasant moments while continuing to practice the sporting activity you love.
And if some days you're really shriveled and unmotivated, give yourself a break. It is allowed in the program 😉
Leave a message in the comments area below to ask your questions or share your sports experience. THANK YOU !
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Last updated on 2022-03-03 / Affiliate links / Some images are sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API