When it’s those 5 days, even the most active woman tends to slack off from her daily activity. Bloating, cramping and general irritability are not the best companions for a general fitness regime. Running with period is generally considered not-advisable, so let us find out from Dr.Rajat Chauhan if you can.
DO YOU THINK WOMEN STOP TRAINING DURING THEIR PERIODS?
There is no one size fits all. Having said that, most can carry on being physically active and playing sports even during periods. The ones who might consider are a short break are the ones who have pains along with their periods. Again, it has been shown that staying physically active actually reduces such symptoms. Simple answer is, bleeding shouldn’t affect you taking part in sports and training.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH BLOATING AND CRAMPING?
I am not a Obstetrician – Gynaecologist but more than half my clients / patients are ladies, so based on that staying active is very important to tackle these symptoms. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that folks who are physically active have a higher pain threshold and are able to tackle pain better. We have to keep moving those limbs. Now we know for a fact that bed rest isn’t a great idea. It’s about pro-active rest, if at all.
DOES PERIOD AFFECT RUNNING PERFORMANCE?
As I said earlier, it’s not the same for all. In some cases, it doesn’t matter at all, but some are affected for a day or two based on the symptoms they feel during periods. The best way to tackle it is not to push yourself as hard as you would otherwise and that can be a comfortable experience.
ANY ADVICE TO WOMEN WHO MIGHT BE RUNNING WITH PERIOD DURING A MARATHON?
I am not a big fan of altering periods with chemicals so you don’t have periods during your marathons. Don’t do anything different during marathon but practice various situations during practice. If you have tackled periods 3-4 times while building up to the marathon, it’ll hold you in good stead during the marathon. Continuously staying physically active has been shown to reduce symptoms like bloating and cramps, also periods becoming more regular.
During periods, don’t push as hard as you otherwise would in running. Once you get used to this, over a few months, you’ll be able to get as good results in running even during periods. Now during the marathon, just put into practice what you have become very comfortable with.
IN GENERAL WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO WOMEN ABOUT STAYING HEALTHY & FIT?
Ladies are the nucleus of the society. You’ve got to move. Contrary to what ladies could have been told throughout their lives, their actions will define the society. It might take a bit of time, but it will start showing soon in the society. You are a mother, sister and daughter. You’ve got to set the example. Get moving. The society will move with you.
You have focused too much caring about everyone else but yourselves. Now get moving. Priortise yourself over everyone else and don’t feel guilty about it. Only if you are in top shape will you be able to take care of anyone else, especially your loved ones. Inspire and motivate them to move a lot more too. That’ll change the society.
Always remember strength training is very important even though in our society walking or running is the big exercise everyone keeps talking about. If you don’t have the strength and you go walking or running, you’ll soon get hurt. You’ll have injuries folks sitting on the couch wouldn’t have. Get stronger. I have come up with a simple exercise program that progresses slowly week to week. Check it on www.nukeleeus.com
HOW CAN A WOMAN START A FITNESS REGIME?
Just remember to work on baby steps. But keep pushing slightly more every time. Thin is not fit. Don’t focus on weighing scale, instead focus on your waist. Since muscle is heavier than fat and exercising will help you gain muscle and lose fat, you might not lose weight. But you’ll be fitter. You’ll lose a few inches around your waist.
Please eat well and don’t fall for silly fads coming every month or season. I suggest 3 basic rules. Breakfast is a very important meal. Eat well. Reduce carbohydrate and sugar content. Increase fruits, fats and proteins. Yes, you read that right. Fat. Fat in the food is not the same thing as the fat in your body. It’s a misnomer. Fat per gram gives you more energy and lasts a lot longer than same amount of carbohydrates. So without eating too much and gaining weight, you are catering to your energy need which will increase with being active. Becoming more active will lead to increased metabolic rate, i.e. burn rate of energy consumed. So don’t diet please.
Second, during lunch cut down on rice and have more vegetables and salads. Have fistful of dry fruit snacks twice a day. Third, have dinner at least 2 hours before sleeping. Go for a short walk 10-15 min after your dinner.
At the end of the day, remember to keep miling and smiling. Once you have that smile on, your results with being active and exercising will improve.
Dr.Rajat Chauhan is a sports medicine doctor, ultra marathoner who has trained many men and women achieve their fitness & running goals.
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