Women’s fitness can be affected by their menstrual cycles, perhaps in ways you aren’t aware. Beyond feeling worn out and dealing with cramps, it can change the way your body functions overall. For example, women who run during their period can actually experience improved running performance and feel relief from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and cramps. However, there are important health factors to consider if you are going to run during your period. Here are some tips on maintaining health while running throughout your menstrual cycle:
Keep up on the Nutrients:
You need your nutrients more than ever during your period. Because you are losing blood, you are also losing iron. A deficiency in iron will leave you feeling tired or exhausted, and keep you from even having the energy to get out there and exercise in the first place! Be sure to include foods high in iron in your diet such as red meats, egg yolk, dark leafy greens (like spinach, yum), and fortified dry cereals. Replenishing iron is always important, especially during your period, and doubly so for more active women.
Calcium is also crucial for women who run throughout their menstrual cycle. It is possible for female runners, athletes and active women to experience light periods or no periods at all. Not having a monthly period is called Amenorrhea. This can be hazardous to a woman’s health because the period helps bone-building minerals circulate throughout the body. A lack of, or infrequent, periods can weaken your bones and put you at risk for osteoporosis. To prevent that, it’s a good idea to include high calcium foods in your diet such as dairy and dark green vegetables (grab a second helping of that spinach, ladies). Of course if you have irregular or absent periods we would encourage you to consult a gynecologist, who can give you more insight into this condition.
Every woman is different:
If you are going to run during your period, it is important to remember that every woman’s body is different. What works for one female runner may not necessarily work for another, but it may helpful to talk with your athletic friends and family to gather some information from their experiences and opinions.
Write it down:
The best way to understand your body and how you can keep running during your period is to keep a journal. In fact, it’s the best way to understand your body at any time of the month. You should record your runs and how you feel during your runs. For instance, how many miles was the run? Did you feel tired? List possible factors to why you felt the way you did. Did you sleep last night? Did you eat breakfast? Be sure to mark down the days of your period. After a few months, you may notice a trend of when you feel the symptoms of your period and how it affects your running. You can adjust your running routine accordingly and get the best results out of your workout plan.
Miami Athletic Club is a gym in Milford open to women and men of all ages! If you’re looking for a locally owned and operated, family oriented gym, come in and take a tour of our facility. We’d be more than happy to tell you about the gym amenities that make us a favorite choice of gyms in Cincinnati. Or you can check out our popular group fitness classes right online. Keep up the good work, and we’ll see you in the gym!