The Winter Olympics 2022 are in full swing, but Olympic athletes aren’t the only ones getting active this winter. Did you know that 91% of Americans who dedicated themselves to New Year’s resolutions in 2021 made one about fitness? That’s a lot of people returning to the gym, or maybe getting into fitness for the very first time. But lifestyle changes like losing weight or getting fit can sometimes have unintended consequences on your sexual health. Here’s the breakdown.
New year, new hygiene habits
Your daily routine can have a big impact on your health, specifically your vaginal health! Think about it: the fabrics your wear, when you shower, and the soaps you use every day all regularly affect your vaginal environment—for better or worse. Working out is great for your mental and physical health, but are you taking the proper steps to prevent infections? Use our checklist below:
- I change into fresh clothes right after exercising—damp, sweaty clothes can lead to yeast infections.
- I wear breathable underwear to work out in—gotta encourage airflow!
- I shower as soon as I can after getting sweaty to prevent bacterial growth.
- I use Wisp’s Balancing Wash to wash away dirt and sweat without disrupting my natural pH and vaginal flora.
- I wash my towels and washcloths regularly—they can become breeding grounds for bacteria in a humid bathroom or gym bag.
- After I go swimming (or hot-tubbing!) I change out of my wet bathing suit right away to dry off down there.
We know how hard it can be to peel yourself off the couch after a hard workout, but taking a little extra time to establish good hygiene habits along with your good fitness habits will keep you from missing gym days in the long run!
What about working out on my period?
Fatigue, cramps, bloating, period poops, headaches, PMS… it can be tough to get to the gym on your period. If you can get past that wall, working out on your cycle can actually have some pretty great benefits. The endorphins you get from exercise are a very effective mood-booster and painkiller for relieving annoying period symptoms. Working out consistently also helps regulate your energy levels which may help reduce those period-induced energy crashes. Finally, there’s some research that shows working out in the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle (starting on the first day of your period) can actually help increase your gains due to the lower levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body. Make your body work for you!
Uhh, working out on my period sounds impossible
Fair enough—even Olympic athletes can struggle to compete on their periods. At Rio in 2016, Olympic swimmer Fu Yuanhui broke taboos around talking about menstruation when she was asked to comment on her performance and said, “Actually, my period started last night, so I'm feeling pretty weak and really tired." Olympic figure skater Mirai Nagasu also talked competing on your period in 2018, saying, "Periods can induce cramps for me, which I find exercise helps [alleviate]." Not exactly ideal when you’re competing on the biggest stage in the world.
Did you know you can delay your period?
You may not be competing at the Olympics, but for those high-stakes situations, you can plan ahead to skip your period altogether using Norethindrone. Norethindrone uses the same hormones found in the birth control pill to “trick” your body into pressing pause on your period until a more convenient time. During a normal menstrual cycle, your body decreases levels of both progesterone and estrogen, sending a signal to your uterus to start your period. Norethindrone artificially boosts your levels of progesterone so the signal to begin your period isn't sent. No signal means a delay of your period. It’s perfectly safe and can also be used for vacations, big events, and any other time you just don’t want to deal with your period.
Looking for more ways to stay healthy physically, mentally, and sexually? Follow us on IG @hellowisp to keep learning!
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