I’m Having My Period… Should I Train?

I’m Having My Period… Should I Train?

by Genesis Coaches

By Allison Yen

An article for the ladies, finally!

I’ve been asked pretty often by my female Personal Training and Bootcamp clients if they should train during their period. Besides being highly irritable and having an extremely high level of crankiness that all men can attest to, the other symptoms of PMS includes: lower back aches, abdominal constrictions, water retention and fatigue. Facing such discomfort makes training a physical and emotional chore for females!

So… to train or not to train?

Several studies and observations by coaches and female athletes have shown differing reports, possibly due to the numerous variables (nutritional status, fitness level, the degree of exercise, mood, etc.) of the females involved.

The effects of PMS would most definitely affect training performance. Additionally, there are higher incidents of musculoskeletal and joint injuries reported. A possible theory for this is due to the increased levels of the hormone, Relaxin, during the early phase of the menstrual cycle. Relaxin is responsible for the softening and relaxation of the ligaments in various joints. An increased in joint laxity may weaken the ability of support in the lumbar spine to withstand shearing forces.

But hey, don’t put off training yet. Testosterone peaks around ovulation and it may be beneficial to plan for peak strength training loads at this time.

Suggestions:
- Reduce the intensity and volume of training during the week before and a few days into menstruation.
- Keep a log!
Chart your exercise performance and note which are your strongest/best training days and which are your worst. It would be useful to also note down your feelings and thoughts which will help provide feedback on your emotional state of mind.
- Nutritional considerations:
Although cravings will be rampant during this time, remember that healthy nutritious food will build a healthy, lean and strong body. To optimize your body’s recovery and fuel stores, it is best to stick to your meat and vegetables and up your water intake.

Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
Till next time…!

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