Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith has shared her top five tips for training while on your period.
Smith, a former Commonwealth Games champion, has competed at two Olympic Games. She placed 12th at London 2012, before finishing eighth at Rio 2016.
The 27-year-old shared her top tips for training on her period as part of Sports Direct’s Equal Play initiative, which aims to inspire more women and girls to take up sport.
A recent report published by Sports Direct and charity Women in Sport found menstruation still is a barrier for girls and women participating in sport, with 40 percent of participants revealing they did not like doing sport while on their period.
This has been confirmed by data from the Youth Sport Trust released yesterday. According to their report, 37 percent of girls surveyed said periods stopped them from getting active in school last year, up from 27 percent in 2018-19.
Smith’s top five tips may help people who menstruate feel more comfortable while exercising on their periods:
1) Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable
Having the right gear is always important but even more so when you’re on your period. It’s natural to be worried about potential leakages whilst training so finding the right kit will help alleviate any stress, and allow you to focus on your session.
For example, I tend to wear darker coloured clothes when I’m on my period.
2) Focus on the benefits
Exercise really does help alleviate cramps and it is proven to enhance your mood. While it may seem like a chore to get up and go, especially when you’re low energy, keeping a strong and positive mindset and focusing on the end goal always helps to get you moving.
3) Take it easy & listen to your body
If you’re feeling fatigued, do something that requires a low level of input. The last thing you want to do is push yourself too hard and end up straining or hurting yourself.
Activities like yoga or simply walking are a good place to start if you don’t want to push yourself.
4) Be prepared
If, like me, you’re someone that suffers from period cramps, it’s always a good idea to bring pain relief and the period products you feel most comfortable in ahead of your workout.
Whether that be tampons, a menstrual cup or period knickers, being prepared ahead of time will give you the chance to relax and focus on your session.
5) Share your experiences
I always find talking to other people who menstruate who also train similarly to you and even your trainer really helps to de-stress and feel more empowered.
Periods, in the arena of sport, are still something that is so taboo even though it’s a natural occurrence that happens to many. The more we talk about it, the more we can hopefully work to normalise it.News Now - Sport News