Thursday, October 13, 2016

What about exercise at "that time of the month"?

In August, Fu Yuanhui, won the Bronze for the 100-meter backstroke and was excited--adding that she had her period and was weak and tired but pushed through it.

Some observers were shocked--such things are not mentioned in China. But the real message missed was that is may be a myth that menstruation impairs athletic performance (also that it's unsafe to swim while having your period).

According to Robert H. Shmerling, MD, faculty editor of Harvard Business Publications, in high school some classmates were even told they were more likely to be injured while having their period.

Often, injuries to female athletes are blamed on "hormones." There are some studies to back this up. If this is an effect, Shmerling says, it's not clear what to do about it.

And the data are inconsistent:

--Some swimmers have poorer performance just before their period and improved times during.

--Cross-country skiers were best right after their period and after ovulation (mid-cycle).

--In one study, long jump distances may be better during one's period.

But, of course, not feeling well--crampy, tired, headachy--may affect performance. In one study, taking a pain medicine for cramps improve performance.

Good training can overcome most of this.

But thanks to Fu Yuanhui for brining this out. Interesting topic.

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