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Sports Training on Your Period Days - What Not To Do

This week we want to talk about a topic that many AURA girls consult us very often: how to combine sports training and the menstrual cycle. We always emphasize that in order to have good feminine health, it is not enough just to have an anti-inflammatory diet, you also have to live a healthy lifestyle and do some sport every week. The only problem is that sometimes our body doesn't make that easy for us and we don't feel the same way every day. Therefore, this week we want to dedicate the blog’s article to sports training adapted to the menstrual cycle.

As we introduced you a few months ago, we love being able to count on experts who provide you with the highest quality information. On this occasion we give the floor to Cris Verdaguer, our personal trainer specialized in the health of women who has been with us since the beginning of Aura. Cris is passionate about her work and dealing with people, that's why her personal motto it is: "your goals are my goals, let's go for them and, together, let's enjoy the road". She affirms that what she likes the most is listening, knowing and learning from everything around her. Therefore, she is the right person to share with us her knowledge about sports training during the period, as well as some advice on what not to do during those days.

The tips of Cris Verdaguer

As we already know, the menstrual cycle is divided into 4 phases. It begins with the first day of the period, also called menstruation, followed by the follicular phase, ovulation and, finally, the luteal phase.

Menstrual phases

*Illustration taken from HelloClue

Today we are going to focus on menstruation. During this phase, it is completely normal that we feel more tired and irritated, we might have some pains (although it does not always have to be that way), and it is even possible that there are situations that leave us somewhat indifferent, even if during the rest of the cycle it wouldn’t be like that. Our body undergoes a series of important changes. As we always say, being aware of them and accepting them is the first step to be able to understand ourselves a little better, and even to solve those characteristic discomforts associated with our period.

Do you picture yourself in a Spinning class giving your best during the first days of your period? Or working hard in a Crossfit session? Or even just wanting to go for a run and end up feeling slower or more tired than usual? 

Although you may think this is on you, or that you are somehow less fit than usual, this is definitely not the case, it all comes down to your menstrual cycle. During menstruation, your muscles receive a lower oxygen supply, your iron levels decrease and your heart rate increases, which causes fatigue to appear much faster. In addition, the hormones responsible for the cycle (estrogen and progesterone) are at their lowest levels and therefore recovery will be much slower.

But don’t you worry, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise during your period, quite the contrary! Doing so will improve your mood, reduce fluid retention in your body and may even relieve menstrual pain.

Sports training and menstrual cycle

What you should avoid

As an expert in physical exercise, I’m going to give you some recommendations regarding physical activities to avoid during your period:

  • Strength focused exercises that involve high loads. Your levels of strength will be affected by the lack of oxygenation of your muscles, the feeling of fatigue will be more present and this may even affect your mood. Avoid those sessions in the gym that involve exercises with weights and very long work series.
  • HIIT type high intensity exercises (tabatas, functional circuits or short but very intense sessions). Your heart rate will be a bit higher than normal, as well as your blood pressure. This can cause your pulsations to rise easily and the feeling of exhaustion to appear much earlier. 
  • Exercises that involve some complexity for you. If, for example, you have just started practicing yoga and are still struggling with some postures, or at Zumba class you are a bit lost, be aware that during menstruation you are probably going to feel more irritable. Do not get frustrated or take it personally, maybe it was simply not the best day to do that activity. Do not give up and keep trying, you'll get it right for sure.

But remember: don't stop moving!

After explaining what you should not do as part of your sports training on your period days, there is something important that I would emphasise. As a personal trainer and woman, I recommend that you do not stop moving during these days, on the contrary, adapt the physical activity to your cycle. By choosing the appropriate kind of exercise to carry out, exercising can become your best ally. Physical exercise will reduce the fluid retention and therefore that fateful swelling feeling that bothers us so much, it will also make you feel much more active, agile and you will forget the feeling of heaviness. 

But the best part is that you will feel like you are invincible because it's true, nothing can stop you!

 

Follow Cris on her social media if you want to know more about the topic of sports and women's health and also contact her in this email verdaguer.cristina@gmail.com or through Whatsapp 646 72 02 12 if you want a private training session with her. 


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