Almost half of women aren't reaching daily exercise recommendation and periods could be to blame

Caroline Allen
Contributor
The Blood, Sweat and No Fears campaign encourages women to keep playing sport even on their period. [Photo: Getty]

40 per cent of women aren’t hitting their recommended daily exercise levels, according to Sport England.

The stigmas around periods could be to blame.

Aside from the pain, periods can cause mood swings, a sluggish feeling and lowered motivation.

A new campaign called Blood, Sweat and No Fears, is planning to tackle the preconceptions around periods and exercise in women’s sport.

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Each women experiences very different symptoms. Some will experience little to no problems each month, while others will struggle to get out of bed.

Professional athletes are not immune to this, either.

However, the lack of conversation around periods is preventing a large number of women from getting the support they need to continue to exercise whilst on their period.

FabLittleBag, the biodegradable sanitary bag company, created the campaign. The aim is to highlight the difficulties women have with exercising during their periods, whatever level they are at.

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The outcome of exercising on and off of your period can differ wildly. For people who are competing at elite level, this can make all the difference.

In 2015, Heather Watson cited bad period pains as a major reason for her defeat in the first round of the Australian Open.

In contrast, Paula Radcliffe broke the world record for the women’s marathon whilst suffering period cramps.

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The campaign hopes that we will reframe the way we think about periods by seeing them as a part of being a healthy woman, and not an illness.

In fact, the oestrogen produced during the menstural cycle is a key component of our bone strength.

It aims to do this by running a survey into women’s experiences in a bid to open up the conversation around periods and uncover common themes.

Kate Dale of Sports England says: “It’s astounding that there are still so many taboos surrounding periods – half the world’s population have them for a large part of their life.

“I’m delighted to back the Blood, Sweat and No Fears campaign – physical activity is so life enhancing, I don’t want women and girls to feel they have to drop out every month.”

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