Supertramp: DreameriTunesAmazon

Supertramp: DreameriTunesAmazon

Can exercise combat menstrual symptoms?

Can exercise combat menstrual symptoms?

Published at 1:35pm 7th May 2019.

A global survey of active women has shown the huge positive impact of exercise on menstrual cycle symptoms.

  • More than three quarters of women found that moderate intensity exercise reduced the symptoms of their period.
  • The majority of women claimed they had received no education regarding exercise and their menstrual cycle.
  • A third of women reported they have missed work due to menstrual pain.

Initial results from a global survey of active woman have shown that almost eight in ten (78%) found exercise reduced the symptoms of their period.

St Mary's University and FitrWoman have analysed responses from over 14,000 women users of running app Strava, the social network for athletes, around the world.

Alarmingly, 72% of women reported receiving no education regarding exercise and their menstrual cycle - this figure rising to 82% in the UK and Ireland.

Woman running
Almost eight in ten women reported moderate intensity exercise helped reduce the symptoms of their menstrual cycle.

One in three women also admitted to missing work as a result of their menstrual cycle, with the most commonly experienced symptoms being stomach cramps, breast pain, mood changes, fatigue and cravings.

These and other symptoms meant that 69% of women reported being forced to adapt their exercise routine whilst on their period, with 88% feeling that their exercise performance is worse during their menstrual cycle.

When it comes to recovery, sleep is an important factor, with better sleep quality and longer sleep duration shown to be associated with reduced symptoms.

FitrWoman App

The FitrWoman app is available to help women track both their menstrual cycle and exercise, providing personalised training and nutritional suggestions.

The app allows users to work out when to train harder and when to prioritise recovery, and can sync with Strava accounts for those who have the fitness app downloaded.

Smart watch
The FitrWoman app can be synced with running app Strava and provides nutritional insights and personalised training plans

Beth Parsons from the Stray FM Health & Wellbeing Show spoke to Physiologist Dr Georgie Bruinvels, the author of the study, about how exercise can be beneficial when menstruating:

More health stories from Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale.