July 8, 2022 – We will reach the Wimbledon final this weekend, when the world’s best tennis players will compete for one of the most coveted titles in sports.But while the excitement unfolded on the field, a different drama took place in the locker room – with female players empathizing on the field pressure And the anxiety of competing in their period.
At least that’s what we can infer from Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig, who sparked a public conversation on the topic in May.In response to a comment on “Why Women menstruation When discussing the number one seed losing in a women’s draw, it was never discussed as a possible factor,” she said. “It’s definitely something that affects women athletes! “
“Finally got everyone’s attention!” Pugh continued. “Not to mention the mental stress of having to wear all white at Wimbledon and pray that you don’t get your period during those two weeks.”
In fact, more and more players are starting to talk about the impact of cycles on their games. British tennis pro Heather Watson spoke about it back in 2015 when she was beaten in the first round of the Australian Open. Her period started that day, making her dizzy and lethargic, she said.
The growing discussion around this seemingly taboo topic — in a relatively traditional and austere sport, too — seems to suggest that things are changing, not just for tennis players, but for all women trying to be active. Say.
After all, you don’t have to be a world-famous tennis star to know this exercise Your period can be a real pain – literally.many women have crampThis fatigueand the fear of leaking through activewear (though feminine hygiene marketing would have you believe it can be done anything As long as you use their product, you can during your period). For people with regular periods, the cycle affects all areas of life, including daily exercise.
The good news: You can find some ways to help you not only feel your best, but perform your best during your period.
With the right mindset and information, you were able Achieve impressive levels of performance during your period, says international exercise physiologist and nutritional scientist Dr. Stacy T. Sims.It’s all about planning your workouts in an efficient way and your body and not against it.
“In training, we can use our knowledge about the ebb and flow of hormones and how our body adapts to stress to our advantage,” she says.
If you can do this, not only will you be able to keep exercising when you don’t like it, but you will also be able to manage your monthly symptoms. More good news: With the public’s renewed focus on the subject, now is the perfect time to talk about cycles and performance. So let’s talk.
How your menstrual cycle affects your energy
The first step is to educate yourself about your cycle so you can foresee your days when you’re full of energy but high in energy, says certified menstruation coach Madalyn Turner, Chiropractorand a female menstrual cycle specialist in St. Petersburg, FL.
The menstrual cycle is divided into four phases, she said. In order, they are:
- Menstruation: This is when the lining of the uterus sheds and you get your period.
- Follicles: This occurs between the first day of menstruation and ovulation.
- ovulation: At this stage, an egg is released from the ovary, Estrogen is at its peak.
- Corpus luteum: This marks the days between ovulation and the start of the next period, when the body prepares for a possible pregnancy.
How to Match Your Workout to Your Cycle
Before and during your period, you may feel tired, irritable, or sore, which may be due to Decreases hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Still, if you can move your body a little, it may help ease your symptoms.
“You don’t have to go every day of the month,” Sims said. “It’s great to exercise when you feel empowered during the week of your period.”
Consider short bouts of moderate exercise, she says. “Short periods of activity, such as 20 minutes of moderate-speed walking, are a great way to increase pain-relieving endorphins in the body,” Sims said.
In fact, a 2015 Research Discover that moderate cardio can help boost your energy and improve focus PMS (PMS) and a Learning in 2018 8 weeks of aerobic exercise found to reduce physical strength PMS Symptoms such as headache, nausea, and bloating.
The Sims recommends completing your workout with some light stretches.
Turner believes that the follicular phase is a good time to really go all out. That’s because a rise in estrogen can make you feel energized, she says.
You can try high-intensity interval training, or lift with heavier weights and fewer reps, or do high-intensity cardio like a cycling class.
During ovulation, estrogen peaks. Your energy levels and mental clarity are at their highest monthly levels, Sims says. This makes this a good time for one last push before switching gears on the next stage of your cycle. Sims recommends reaction training, moderate and higher repetition weightlifting, and high-intensity cardio such as running.
As you enter the final phase of your cycle—the luteal phase—your energy level may still be high, although it may drop as your period approaches and hormone levels change.
This makes now a good time to switch to moderate cardio, such as using an elliptical machine, Pilates Sims said. Walking, boating and cycling are also good options, she said.
Bottom line: Knowing what’s best for you and your personal cycle can help you feel better throughout all of your workouts, says Turner. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to do this.
“Typically, we’ve always believed that when menstruation comes, we can’t do anything but lie on the couch,” Turner said. “But I believe our generation will ditch outdated narratives and truly gain strength by learning how to use the beauty of our bodies rather than against them.”