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Tips for Handling Your Period While Climbing

Tips for Handling Your Period While Climbing

For all those women climbers out there, it is nerving to think about how uncomfortable it may be to climb on your period. But if you are like me, you don’t want to take a week off of climbing every month so climbing on your period can be really important. 

Many women climbers climb while on their period. In fact, some climbers even suggest that the climb better and harder when they are on their period.

If you want to climb on your period, like many of us women, then check out the tips below for making climbing on your period the easiest and safest.

Use A Sport Tampon

There are so many ways to maintain “flow” while you are on your period. Climbing is one of those sports that you are moving in every direction with your legs open, closed, upside down, etc. For this reason, using a tampon is usually better than a pad. 

I recommend a sport tampon because compared to a diva cup or normal tampon, they are usually smaller in size with additional coverage for leaks.

Some women feel like whether or not they have a heavy flow day, if they are climbing, they need to use a super or heavy flow tampon. However, unless you found that your flow is heavier while you exercise, use a tampon that matches your flow. 

A super is bigger than a normal or light flow tampon and if the tampon doesn’t match your flow, it is going to be uncomfortable. Some women report that it feels dry or they can feel the tampon inside them if it is bigger than what they actually need. 

Take Motrin or Ibeprophen for Cramps But Recognize the Risk

One of the worst parts of being on your period is the cramps. Cramping while climbing can make it feel impossible. If you are cramping, you can take Motrin or Ibeprophen but understand the possible risk and if possible, use a topical relief system such as a cream instead.

Ibuprofen has been one of those “tools” that climbers use to hide pain when they are climbing. Unfortunately, when you hide the pain, you are more likely to overuse a tendon and injuring yourself.

For this reason, it is important that if you are taking something for cramps, consider that you need to pay closer attention to how your tendons feel during and after each climb.

If you start to feel any pain in your hands, stop climbing. The extra send is not worth injury.

Also, if you have something that works for you for cramps that is topical, consider using that instead. That way you still have full sensory of your tendons, especially in your hands, wrist, elbow and shoulder.

Eat Something Nutritious 30 Min Before You Climb

You should always eat something nutritious before you climb but it is even more important while on your period so you can have enough energy for the entire climbing session. Consuming these foods 30 min before you start climbing should be enough time for your body to process the food and provide you more energy.

Below is a quick list of healthy food to consider consuming at least 30 minutes before climbing.

  • Whole Grains
  • Nuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Sweet Potato
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Tofu
  • Lentils/Beans
  • Dark chocolate (high in magnesium, which has been found to decrease cramps)
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Quinoa
  • Yogurt
  • Peppermint Tea
  • Kombucha

Drink More Water

Just like eating nutritious food, you should also stay as hydrated as possible but it is especially important while on your period. You need more water while you are on your period, so even if you drink as much water as you usually do, it may not be enough to help you with your climbing performance.

Drinking water before, during and after your climb is important for almost every bodily function you can think of. It even helps your muscles function longer and better, which is super helpful for climbing better and longer.

Staying hydrated can also help ensure that you don’t get dehydration headaches while climbing, which are more common on your period and also detrimental for your climbing performance. It is difficult to make the right move when you have a headache, not to mention cramps or any other common side-effect of being on your period.

Be Kind And Patient With Yourself

Emotions are already high on your period so adding any bloating that may make it so that you don’t fit in your favorite climbing pants or getting tiered faster than you are used to can be frustrating.

When/if you feel bad about how you look or feel or perform while climbing, remember to be kind to yourself and be patient. Sometimes women perform better on their period, but you may be one of those many women that do worse or the same on their period and that is ok. Be patient with your performance and how you feel about it.

It is common for women to not fit in their pants as well as they usually do on their period, it is also common to gain or lose weight during your period. Wear pants that stretch so you don’t have to worry about the fit. And don’t feel upset if you feel or are bigger or feel upset or exhausted, it is common for women to feel that way. Be kind to yourself and be understanding of yourself. 

Not only is it emotionally healthy to be kind and patient with yourself but it is also an important part of your mental climbing game.

When you are happy with your performance, you will perform better. 

Final Thoughts

Don’t let being on your period prevent you from having a good time climbing. You can climb while on your period and you can enjoy it and be confident while doing it.

If you are concerned about your “flow” or leaks or anything like that, then consider what you can do to prevent issues (tampon with a thin panty liner works great for me). 

If you are concerned about cramps while climbing, then consider what you can do to prevent that issue such as Motrin and just be careful to not overwork your tendons and listen to your body.

If you are concerned about physical exhaustion or something like that, then do what you can to address those concerns with a healthy meal and drinking enough water.

Then, of course, be kind to yourself and be patient. Every woman has felt something similar to the way you are feeling and it is normal and ok. But that doesn’t have to stop you from climbing if you don’t want to.

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