One in six women fear that exercising while on their period is harmful, a study has found

By Richard Jenkins
Monday, 14th February 2022, 2:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 9:24 am

The majority (80 per cent) of women who exercise said their periods impact their workout schedule, whether it be leakage, cramps or general wellbeing.

The survey of 1,000 women aged 18-45 revealed 60 per cent specifically plan a workout around their period.

And 61 per cent are likely to opt for a particular type of exercise to adjust to this time of month.

It also emerged the favourite exercises chosen by women on their periods were yoga (37 per cent), stretching (33 per cent) and Pilates (22 per cent).

Others turn to weights (19 per cent), running (19 per cent) and cycling (19 per cent).

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Additionally, women also proved to be conscious of the workouts they actively steer clear of with nearly two thirds avoiding exercises such as swimming (58 per cent).

Adapting exercise routines depending on cycle phases

Despite 41 per cent claiming they don’t avoid any particular exercises while menstruating, academic research found that during ovulation (day 14 of the menstrual cycle), women are at their strongest.

And during the luteal phase (day 14-21 of the menstrual cycle) bodies are not primed for high intensity training, which should be considered for women while exercising throughout their cycle.

The survey by period underwear brand WUKA found that although one in six fear that exercise while menstruating is harmful, 64 per cent said exercising while they’re on their period actually improves mental wellbeing.

Ruby Raut, Founder of WUKA said: “We know that exercise is an important part of mental health and believe that women should have the confidence to comfortably work out during any point of their menstrual cycle.

"At Wuka, we want to eradicate any fears around exercise while menstruating and aim to encourage all people who regularly bleed to safely do so.”

Looking at how menstruating and exercising can impact convenience, 70 per cent of women always fear they’ll leak while on their period.

For the one in four who’ve actually experienced an unexpected period leak during a workout, 29 per cent said the accident made them feel ashamed, while more than two thirds felt embarrassed.

Meanwhile, some women prefer to carry out their workouts as usual without fear of leaking, with one in five claiming they wouldn’t opt for darker clothing for exercise.

To accommodate women who enjoy working out during their period, WUKA have launched their first line of leak-proof period leggings, catering to exercise throughout different parts of the cycle.

Top 10 exercises for women while on their period

1. Yoga (37 per cent)

2. Stretching (33 per cent)

3. Pilates (22 per cent)

4. Weights (19 per cent)

5. Running (19 per cent)

6. Cycling (19 per cent)

7. Hiking (17 per cent)

8. Swimming (13 per cent)

9. Zumba (12 per cent)

10. HIIT (11 per cent)