Out Run Aunt Flow! – Exercising on your Period!

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Running is one of my favorite things to do. But it can be even more challenging when you’re on your period. If you’re anything like me, your period can leave you feeling bloated, crampy, and irritable. Ugh! Exercise is often the last thing women want to do feeling like that! However, exercising on your period is not only safe; it’s actually GOOD for you!!!

Menstrual Cramps:

Exercising on your period has all kinds of benefits! Exercise releases endorphins (chemicals in your brain) which naturally reduce pain!!! Yes, exercise can actually make cramps less painful! That’s because the endorphins help break down the hormone that causes menstrual cramps!

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However, if you feel really ill or have extreme cramps, don’t force yourself to exercise. Sometimes when your body is asking for rest, it’s because all it really needs to recover is a bit of rest.

Protection:

Okay, so exercise is good for cramps but many women still worry about “springing a leak.” Fortunately, you can keep your period a secret by using the right tools!

Try using a tampon or menstrual cup rather than pads or panty liners; these options will trap the blood before it even leaves your body. If you’re still worried, double up your protection by using a panty liner with a tampon or menstrual cup.

Tampons:

A tampon is a cotton insert or other absorbent material placed into the vaginal canal to absorb menstrual flow. They come in all different sizes and with different (or no) applicators so you may want to try a few to see what feels most comfortable. And contrary to popular belief, tampons do not have any effect on virginity. I promise. Oh, they can also be worn while swimming!

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Menstrual Cup:

A menstrual cup is a flexible cup (usually made from medical grade silicone) worn inside the vagina during menstruation to collect menstrual fluid. Unlike tampons and pads, the cup collects menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it and can be worn for up to 12 hours! Menstrual cups are more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly than tampons, most cups are reusable, and can be used for up to 5-10 years. Like tampons, can also be worn while swimming!
CupsPanty Liners:

Super thin pad designed to absorb daily vaginal discharge, light menstrual flow, or “spotting.” Also used as a backup for tampons and menstrual cups.

Blog3Clothing:

Wearing the right workout clothes is always important but even more so when you’re on your period. Try wearing loose-fitting clothing; tight clothing can add pressure to an already bloated tummy (definitely not comfortable). Sports bras are the exception to that rule. Sports bras should be snug but not super tight (you should be able to comfortably take a deep breath). The straps should be wider than a normal bra and should not dig into your shoulders. Test the bra’s support by jumping or running in place. You’ll be able to feel whether it’s sufficiently supportive or not.

Sports Bras

For more information, click here to check out some tips to picking the right sports bra! Thanks Runner’s World!

ApixChoose pants that are in a dark color (black always works best). Avoid wearing anything super tight or super short. Also, avoid wearing thongs. Instead, wear boy-short type underwear which not only work great with panty liners but adds an additional layer of clothing in case of a leak. Lastly, throw on a dark sweatshirt or jacket before you head out; if you experience any leaks you can use the sweatshirt or jacket to tie around your waist to hide it! Outfit2

Want to learn more about periods? Check out these previously published posts or send me an email at justaskshawna@yahoo.com!

Aunt Flow’s Monthly Visit

Managing Your Period – Toolbox for Aunt Flow

When Aunt Flow Doesn’t Visit

In happiness & health,

Shawna

Reviewed by Andrea Raider, NP

Success Baby

Managing Your Period – Toolbox for Aunt Flow!

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P.S. There is another chance to win $25 to Old Navy at the bottom of this post. Leave your answer by commenting : )

Last but not least of the Menstrual Cycle Series (drum roll please):

Managing your period – Toolbox for Aunt Flow!

Having your period doesn’t have to be messy!  We’re talking about tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and panty liners – there are so many options you can find something you like. If you have the right tools you may even forget you’re even having your period!

First, a few things to know:

  • No method is better than the other for dealing with your period.  It’s a personal choice.  There are also a lot of different brands available for each option.  Again, no brand is better than another.  It’s all about personal choice.
  • When choosing your ‘tool’, you may see things like light, regular, super, or super plus.  It’s referring to the amount of blood your body is releasing.  Light for not so much bleeding.  Regular for normal amount of bleeding.  Super for heavy bleeding. Super Plus for super heavy days. Always choose accordingly.  And most women require various sizes within any one cycle because their flow may be different on different days.
  • Whatever you choose, changing it often is very important.  Usually every 3-4 hours.  For sleeping, be sure to use a method that says it can be worn up to 8 hours.
  • Don’t use anything with fragrance.  There may be a light odor during menstruation but it’s totally normal.  If there is ever a strong or unusual odor and lasts longer than your period, come see us.

 Pads:  A pad of absorbent material worn inside underwear to absorb menstrual flow.  Both disposable and reusable kinds exist.

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Panty Liners:  Super thin pad designed to absorb daily vaginal discharge, light menstrual flow, or “spotting.”  Great backup for tampons (see below) or those super light bleeding days!

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Tampons:  A tampon is a plug of cotton or other absorbent material inserted into the vaginal canal to absorb menstrual flow.  They come in all different sizes and with different applicators so you may want to try a few to see what feels most comfortable.  And NO it does not have any effect on virginity.  I promise.  Oh, and it can be worn while swimming!

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Menstrual Cup:  A menstrual cup is a flexible cup (usually made from medical grade silicone) worn inside the vagina during menstruation to collect menstrual fluid.  Unlike tampons and pads, the cup collects menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it and can be worn for up to 12 hours!  Menstrual cups are more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly than tampons, most are reusable, and can be used for up to 5-10 years.  Like tampons, can also be worn while swimming!

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Other tools for your toolbox:

Ibuprofen:   Ibuprofen (generic or same as Motrin or Advil) can be bought at any drug store or super market for a relatively low price. Great for menstrual cramps and headaches! Make sure to follow directions about how much to take and when!  Another type of medicine that can be good for cramping is Naprosyn (generic Aleve) which is long acting.  Both types of medicines work better if you take them as soon as you start to notice cramping, instead of waiting until you are doubled over in pain.

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Heating Pad:  Also a good tool for menstrual cramps.  There are 3 types: electric, water, or one time use.  All 3 are sold at most pharmacies and super markets.  Also pretty cheap.

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Exercise:  I know.  I know.  Most people do not feel like exercising while on their period but it really does help with cramps.  Moderate exercise can help relax muscles which can reduce cramping, headaches, backaches, and all kinds of body aches and pains.

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And here’s another opportunity to earn $25 to Old Navy!

What ideas or theories are there about why many women crave chocolate during their periods??

Hint: Mineral

In happiness & health,

Shawna

Reviewed by Kohar Der Simonian, MD