Before 21 October, 2017 Isabel Vallejo
Menstrual cycles are the product of women’s vital functions and is something that should be taken into consideration when planning and developing an exercise routine.
Gynecologist Ena Victoria Ramírez answers a few common questions about the myths of women playing a sport during their menstrual cycle:
- Is it beneficial for women to exercise during their period?
Many women continue to believe that it may be counterproductive to exercise when they are on their period. While lowering the activity’s intensity is recommended, the physical and mental benefits are great: increased flexibility, a greater amount of oxygen in the body, less fluid retention, lower stress levels, and decreased abdominal pain and anxiety. Related article: Attitude, the best tool for dealing with perimenopause
- Can exercise shorten the duration of menstruation?
Exercising allows the body to release a hormone in the brain called dopamine, which influences the hormones that control how the ovaries function and can reduce the menstrual flow.
- Do periods affect endurance?
The menstrual flow can affect endurance. A heavy flow can affect the level of hemoglobin in the blood, leading to less oxygen in the body, which is needed for higher cardiovascular and muscle endurance. See also: How does the menstrual cycle affect sleep?
- Can any sport be played when a woman is having her period?
The recommendation is to play low-impact, moderate resistance sports. Therapeutic exercises are therefore recommended such as yoga, pilates and swimming, which can help relieve the pressure in the back caused by menstrual cramps. High-impact or high-speed sports are recommended for after the period is over.