“On” & Winning !! 

To close off this series of health, fitness and menstruation, we have an article which looks at the attitude to menstruation and sport. 

The guardian article below also highlights those which have had successes and failures whilst on their period 

So the question is…. how much does being On affect you performance??

Jessica Judd one of many women doing great things in sport whilst on her period  click link 

Read and share your thoughts 

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Exercising during your period…

We asked Janine George – Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Fitness Instructor, Lead Trainer at Third Space and Ms Bikini Universe about training, exercise and her period…. 

Do you change how you train during your period ?? (lighter workout, different workouts)

During this time I tend to stick to the majority of my usual training methods; sprints, weight based or yoga. The only movements that I may reconsider however are those which cause me to raise my legs vertically (for example a head stand) as it disrupts the natural flow. I make a conscience effort to continue with my training to defeat fatigue or feeling sluggish; and usually feel more energised afterwards

Do you track your periods for the purpose of training ??

I track my periods for the purpose of life. Far too often in the past I would have an event or holiday to look forward to, only to realise at the time, that it was ‘that time of the month’. I use an app called ‘Period Diary’ which helps me stay on track.

What impact does your periods have on your training ??

Occasionally there will be times when I have to reconsider my training attire (preferably dark colours) and or clothing that is not too tight. At times it interrupts the sessions as I would have to take more bathroom trips, but otherwise I tend to commit to my training plans

Does your period affect your diet ??

I always know when the time is soon approaching as I will literally eat a whole 100g bar of chocolate, and other foods that draw my attention. I allow myself to eat what I naturally fancy without being too strict, as my body clearly needs to quench that desire. Thankfully I am able to get back into a healthy routine once the moment has passed.

If you would like to know more about Janine and her MetaBurn Classes click link below (her article in Elle Magazine) Day in the life of fitness fanatic – Janine George

Or follow her journey on Instagram 
Instagram link – Janine George

Tracking and Training…

Leeanne Adu is an award winning PA with a passion for running. She currently the Captain of the Backpackers, which is a London based running crew.

In this blog she will be sharing her experiences around running, training for her second marathon and menstruation.

In the beginning…

Over the years my periods have changed significantly and it is important to remember that periods and their flow can also change month by month. As a teenager and young(er) adults I suffered badly with the side effects of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) I once bled for 6 weeks straight and would frequently end up in hospital thinking I was dying from bleeding too much. Thankfully my symptoms have eased over the years and my periods are now every manageable.

For a very long time I was on birth control which meant I didn’t have to worry about periods at all. But for almost 7 months now I have been having regular monthly periods which last for 7 days.

Tracking …

I do use a period tracker and find it mostly accurate. Sometimes my period is a day or two later than usual, but never early and generally know my body very well. My pre-menstrual symptoms are very clear so I can judge if I am going to get my period better than my app in most cases.

Adjusting my training during my period 

I am currently training for a Marathon which means very long training runs every weekend (as well as shorter runs during the week). I find myself wearing a tampon and a pad to ensure that if there is any leaking I am still comfortable. I have to think about carrying extra sanitary products with me. I think the hardest part of training during my period is not knowing how heavy my flow is, because it changes for me monthly. My last period I had a heavy flow by the end of day one with it being much lighter by day 3, but the month before my flow was heaviest on day 3. This means always being prepared. I prefer to use tampons over towels but it is important when using tampons to remember to change them regularly. I tend to change my tampon before AND after exercise.

Keep going…

I don’t stop working out during my period as I know there are many benefits to exercise during menstruation such as it helping with pain relief, energy levels and all round feeling better. I do take care to listen to my body though. If I feel very tired then I won’t push myself on to a really tough work out, especially during my heaviest days and also those days before my period when my pre-menstrual symptoms can be quite severe.

To swim or not to swim? 

I’ll be honest, as much as I know I can swim during my period if I use a suitable tampon, I prefer not to. My heaviest days are very heavy and I do feel self-conscious, but I do continue with any other activities I am doing. I always make sure I use a fresh tampon before starting any exercise to help myself feel more secure. Most of the time during the actual exercise I can forget I am even on my period, but there are occasions when I might start to have a leak. It always feels like a bigger leak than it is, so I try not to worry and get myself to the nearest bathroom at the earliest opportunity.

Food, Cravings and Cramps 

The days leading up to my period and the first few days of my flow I find myself very hungry and usually craving salty foods and lots of carbs. Give me all the chips please. This month I am sure there as a day when I had 3 lots of chips. This can be counter productive when training for an event or following a healthy eating lifestyle but I tend to give myself a break. It is important to listen to what your body is asking. That goes for aches, pains, tiredness and cravings. That being said, eating food that keeps energy levels up and replenishes iron and other vitamins helps much more than feeding those cravings.

My advice…. 

Training for a marathon and training through periods has taught me that life goes on and as much as those cramps make me want to stay in bed all day sometimes, I can and should push through because I always feel so much better afterwards.

Click here to follow Leeanne’s journey on Instagram

Click for backpackers Instagram 

Inspired to sponsor Leeanne. Click link

 

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