How Sports Can Alleviate Menstrual Symptoms

How Sports Can Alleviate Menstrual Symptoms

The menstrual cycle can have a significant impact on women's bodies, including their athletic performance and overall well-being. Despite limited research on the topic, it's crucial to understand how hormones influence our bodies and adjust our exercise routines accordingly.

This blog will explore the relationship between exercise and menstrual symptoms, addressing common questions and providing practical guidance.

Should I be exercising during my period? Will my period symptoms worsen if I exercise? Does my exercise performance vary depending on the phase of my menstrual cycle?

There are often concerns and misconceptions about exercising during menstruation. In this blog we'll debunk myths and discuss the scientific evidence behind the impact of menstrual cycles on performance. Understanding this connection is crucial for:

  1. Reducing period discomfort through exercise
  2. Optimizing workouts according to our cycle and achieving better results

Exercise is crucial for supporting various body functions. Contrary to popular belief, exercising during menstruation is not only safe, but can also alleviate menstrual symptoms like cramps and mood swings.

Incorporating low-intensity exercises such as yoga and light strength training can help reduce stress, which in turn can alleviate menstrual pain. Additionally, exercise aids in blood sugar regulation and improves sleep quality, both of which have an impact on hormonal balance.

Exercise Recommendations for Each Phase of the Cycle:

As your hormones fluctuate throughout your cycle, your energy levels will too. It is best to listen to your body when it comes to exercise.

The menstrual cycle consists of different phases, each characterized by hormonal fluctuations:

1. Menstrual phase: this is the early follicular phase when your uterine lining sheds - the period! During this phase, there is a lot happening in and around our uterus, so you may feel fatigue, cramps, headache or experience changes in sleep, digestion, or mood.

  • In this phase, we recommend gentle exercise and relaxation. Yoga or meditation will be beneficial during this phase.

2. Follicular phase: it includes day one of your period up until ovulation.- let’s rebuild! . It’s the phase during which the follicles in your ovaries are developing. As estrogen increases you will start to have more energy, have more confidence and become more sociable.

  • We recommend you to start pick up the pace on your exercise. Estrogen will maximise the effectiveness of your strength training sessions by stimulating your muscles to utilize carbohydrates.

3. Ovulation phase: when an egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube. This is the absolute best time in your cycle. At ovulation we have lots of energy, focus and our senses are heightened.

  • This is a great time for higher intensity exercise like spinning or running.
4. Luteal phase: After ovulation, the egg that was released starts to degrade. Hormone levels decrease - Lowering estrogen and progesterone levels lead to a lot of symptoms that might encourage lower intensity exercises. At the start of this phase, we are usually still riding the ovulation wave. For many of us as we near and period our we may experience digestive changes, sore breasts, headaches, mood changes, lower energy and cravings.
  • In this phase we recommend doing moderate exercise such as strength training or pilates.

Recommended APPs: To further assist women in optimizing their exercise routines according to their menstrual cycle, we'll introduce innovative applications like:

  • This app offers personalized recommendations based on cycle phases, individual symptoms.
  • Apple fitness
  • The Pilates Class
  • Sweat App

Understanding the relationship between exercise and the menstrual cycle is vital for women aiming to alleviate menstrual symptoms and optimize their athletic performance. By tailoring exercise routines to different phases of the cycle and leveraging innovative applications, women can harness the power of their hormones to enhance their training, nutrition, and overall well-being.


Know more about the author:

Laia Camps, a passionate individual with a strong background in communication and marketing, joined Monthlies in 2022 as a Communication Manager. Her expertise in women's health and nutritionism has been instrumental in advancing the organization's mission to assist women globally.
In a personal note, she loves surfing, running and eating pepperoni pizza :))



Hackney, Anthony C. Menstrual Cycle Hormonal Changes and Energy Substrate Metabolism in Exercising Women: A Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2021)