Whether they've got a big game coming up, tryouts are right around the corner, or they just really want to kick butt at that kick-boxing class, your teen might be wondering: Can I still play sports when I’m on my period? The short answer is, of course they can.
Their period isn’t their opponent. Exercising, working out, and playing sports are all fair game when your child is on their period. It may even come with a few points in their favor. Read on to learn more about why it’s a menstruation myth and the surprising benefits of exercising on a period.
Whether engaging in light exercise or high intensity interval training, working out during your period is healthy and can help with physical and emotional period symptoms. Make sure your teen is prepared by eating well, drinking lots of water, and choosing period protection that makes them feel their comfiest and most confident.
Try out our Period-Proof Activewear or pair their preferred protection with Leakproof Period Underwear so they can focus on the game, not their period. Plus, did you know we make Leakproof Sport Swimsuits?
Want to know more? Read on.
Can my teen play sports while they're on their period?
A lot of menstruators notice that their blood flow tends to get heavy when they’re out there on the field or doing some light cardio. This isn’t because the flow is increasing, it’s because the physical activity is shaking up their body and causing blood to exit the uterus faster.
This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exercise, it just means they have to do a little extra prep work. Either start with a fresh pad or tampon before the workout routine begins, or make sure they're wearing a pair of Super Leakproof Period Underwear to help absorb the flow. If they're concerned about leakage while they're exercising during their period, simply double up protection. For example, pairing a tampon or menstrual cup with Period Underwear pretty much guarantees a leak-free game.
Is it bad for your teen to play sports or exercise while they're on their period?
Absolutely not. The golden rule with all physical activity, period or not, is to listen to your body. If they are feeling fatigued, they should stop. If they are pushing too hard, lessen the intensity, take a break, or try again tomorrow. What’s important is to respect their body’s boundaries and limitations with every workout, game, or practice.
While the period itself shouldn’t stop them from going for the gold, be conscious of what their body is telling them and when they need to slow down. With that being said, being active on your period actually comes with some perks.
The Benefits of Exercising While on Your Period
Exercise helps with physical period symptoms
Your teen may feel like all they wanna do is curl up in bed with a Costco-sized bag of M&M’s (which is totally fine) but exercising reduces inflammation while increasing blood flow and the endorphins in the body.
Endorphins are brain chemicals that interact with the receptors in the brain to reduce the feeling of pain. Think of it like the body’s natural Tylenol. Exercise—whether it's strength training or high intensity workouts—signals your brain to release those natural painkillers, reducing period-related aches, pains, and cramps.
Exercise helps with emotional period symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the culprit behind the mood swings your child feels during their period. Not only do endorphins help alleviate pain, they’re also natural mood-boosters. When they exercise, it releases happy brain chemicals, which help reduce stress and anxiety while improving their mood. Healthy body, healthy mind. :)
5 Tips for Your Teen When Exercising on Their Period
The first step is to be prepared. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Sweet and salty snacks are tempting on a good day, but on your teen's period, they become even more irresistible. While there’s nothing wrong with a little treat, it’s best to avoid eating/drinking anything with lots of sugar, caffeine, or salt before exercising on a period. This is the most annoying advice ever, but it’s based in science. Sugar, caffeine, and salt all cause inflammation in the body which can make your teen feel sluggish and 'blah'. (However, the body also uses sugar to create serotonin, a chemical which makes you happy, so don’t deprive them too hard.) Instead, fuel their body with some of the best foods to eat while on your period, like salmon, lentils, and berries.
Water is life—we literally need it to live. When someone is menstruating, staying hydrated is especially important. Dehydration lowers blood pressure which can make them feel tired or lethargic. When they're ready to crush it on the court, remind them to drink plenty of water to help them stay more alert and on point (so they can score more points). Staying hydrated also helps reduce bloating and cramps. Score.
Get the right gear
When it comes to finding the right period protection for exercising, our rule of thumb is simple: your teen should wear what makes them feel comfortable. Can they workout with a tampon in or a menstrual cup? Of course they can. It’s up to them.
There are a ton of options out there, and if you want to learn more, read our post on how to choose the best period products for your teen. There are menstrual cups, tampons, disposable pads, Reusable Pads, Period Underwear, Leakproof Activewear, and even Period Swimwear to help them feel confident while swimming on their period. There are also Period Sets that provide savings so they can be prepared for the different stages of their cycle at a lower cost to you!
They should listen to their body
Whether they're doing some gentle stretching, or working on yoga poses to get a very strong core, they should always remember to pay attention to how their body is feeling and only do what feels good. If they're in pain, feeling crampy, or their muscles are tiring out, tell them to take a break. They shouldn't add more pressure to their body, especially while they're menstruating—it's already going through enough!
Have a backup
If they have a heavier flow on the day of a big swim meet, we recommend wearing tampons or a menstrual cup with Period Swimwear as a backup. If they're hitting the court or field, our Period-Proof Leggings and Shorts can hold up to 6 tampons or pads worth of blood, so they can feel confident wearing them all on their own or as backup if they prefer. If they're a dancer or a gymnast, they may also be interested in our Leakproof Leotards and Tights.
If they prefer wearing a tampon or menstrual cup but want to feel extra safe, pair it with their favorite style of Leakproof Undies.
So encourage them to go out and win that trophy, try a new sport, or enjoy that aerobic exercise. However they choose to move, their period won’t be stopping them any time soon.