Exercise during menstruation: benefits and recommendations Menstrual cycle Physical activity welfare

For many women, Menstruation is synonymous with restlessness, restlessness And, especially in summer, heat. However, this does not mean the impossibility of carrying out activities that generate well-being, such as An exercise routine. Even though many people believe they are not compatible, physical activity has many benefits for the menstrual cycle.

For this reason, at Bienstar el Comercio, we contacted three experts to give their recommendations on how to exercise during the menstrual cycle.

Benefits of exercising during your period

“Menstruation and exercise are not contradictory to each other. In addition, they are completely compatible, since physical activity has many benefits for the menstrual cycle, as long as it is done taking into account certain recommendations before, during and after the exercise routine. Likewise, it is important for women to know how to recognize how far their body can go,” explains Dr. Ivo Vlasica, gynecologist at SANNA Clinica el Golf.

According to Dr. Vlasica, the benefits of exercising during the menstrual cycle:
facilitates blood flow
release endorphins
Improves inflammatory process
promotes oxygenation

Tips for exercising during menstrual cycle

Claudia Misley, technical leader of Smart Fit, indicated that to avoid an increase in menstrual cramps during physical activity, it is necessary to avoid high-impact exercises, such as running long distances or intense weight lifting. “This type of exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, including the uterus, which will increase the strength of the cramps,” he explained.

In that sense, Dr. Vlasico recommends performing low-impact pelvic aerobic exercises such as swimming, walking, cycling, yoga, dancing. “During physical activity, women should be able to know how much their body can tolerate, as pain will depend on the intensity of the exercise. Regarding bleeding, it is normal to have more blood flow during the first days of menstruation, so there would be no reason to change that intensity due to exercise. However, overwork may cause the pain to intensify,” he specified.

During this period, Dr. Vlasica recommends aerobic and light-weight exercise.

Vlasico stressed the importance of avoiding impact to the pelvis. In any case, he highlighted that each patient is different, so some bodies may be more adapted than others. “In general, it is advisable to perform low-impact pelvic aerobic exercises and keep in mind some recommendations regarding clothing, hygiene and diet before, during and after the routine,” he said.

  • First: Prepare comfortable cotton clothes that provide adequate oxygen to the body and protect you from bleeding incidents. Also, it’s worth mentioning that, for some people, pads or tampons may be somewhat of an irritant, so perhaps a menstrual cup may be the best option. For some girls, prior use of anti-inflammatories may help avoid pelvic pain, but it’s not something that should be routine.
  • during: As indicated earlier, it is important that women know their limits and are able to recognize when their body tells them to stop. At the same time, hydration is also very important during exercise.
  • Later: Hygiene is essential to avoid irritation associated with increased temperatures, skin inflammation and friction with clothing used for exercise. Similarly, it should also be kept in mind that at the end of the daily routine, a balanced diet based on proteins, fruits, vegetables and antioxidants should be taken.

“Pre-exercise preparation is also important. You can warm up for 5 to 10 minutes to activate the joints and muscles, which will help prevent injuries. Then, after you finish your exercise routine, do gentle stretches and take a warm shower, as this will relieve muscle tension,” Misley emphasizes.

Exercises like walking and yoga improve blood flow.

It is best to practice during menstruation

“The menstrual phase starts from the first day of menstruation. This happens when the lining of the uterus falls out of the vagina when there is no pregnancy. Most people bleed for three to five days, but a period lasting only three days to seven days is usually not a cause for concern,” says Cara King, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

The Smart Fit expert once again reaffirmed the importance of preferring low-impact exercises to avoid physical discomfort like menstrual cramps and cramps. “They can take this opportunity to take walks, practice dancing, ride a bicycle (without running too fast) and practice stretching exercises,” he said. As an example, he created the following routine:

  1. Start With warming up of joints and muscles for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. continue Walk for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. carry out Strength training with light weight loads and few repetitions (10 to 12 for each series).
  4. finish Stretch the muscles with gentle movements to reduce muscle tension and improve circulation.
Stretching is important before starting any routine.

“It is important to know that, although on the days of your period you may want to exercise less, it is beneficial to do so because when we exercise we release endorphins, a hormone that can help relieve pain . Exercise also improves blood circulation and reduces the swelling that usually occurs in the body during those days,” he stressed.

Exercises for each phase of the menstrual cycle

To begin with, King emphasized that the menstrual cycle consists of four phases: the menstrual phase, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. “The rise and fall of your hormones trigger the phases of your menstrual cycle. “Your hormones cause the organs in your reproductive tract to respond in certain ways,” he said.

On the one hand, the follicular phase begins on the day of your menstruation and ends with ovulation. That is, it overlaps with the menstrual phase and ends when you ovulate. Ovulation then occurs around day 14 of a 28-day menstrual cycle. Finally, the luteal phase lasts from approximately day 15 to day 28, when the egg leaves the ovary and begins to travel through the fallopian tube to the uterus.

During the follicular phase, cycling is a great option.

In the words of a Smart Fit expert, each stage produces different changes in our body, so each stage has different needs and exercises that benefit it. “In the follicular phase there is a greater presence of estrogen in the body. Therefore, it is important to focus on activities that increase energy and motivation, such as moderate cardiovascular exercise. You can practice dancing or cycling, activities that stimulate blood circulation and increase endorphin levels, which can help combat fatigue and improve your mood,” he highlights.

On the other hand, Misley recommends doing high-intensity activities, such as running or strength training, during the ovulation phase, as the body’s energy is at its maximum. Finally, experts in the luteal phase agree that maintaining activity in the body is also important, but light exercise such as yoga or stretching should be preferred.

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