All the world is now convinced, the regular practice of sport is virtuous for the health, numerous studies prove it. As for the women, a team of researchers from the university of St. Mary’s, based in Twickenham (England), has also revealed recently that physical activity reduces the effects of the most common symptoms related to the menstrual cycle. Their study is based on the feedback of thousands of women around the world gathered together within Strava, a social network for sports.

During three weeks, between February and march, about 15,000 women in the community, Strava responded to a questionnaire result. Objective : “to contribute to a better understanding of the female body in the sport environment “, explains it in Strava. “Our study concerns all women who exercise, explains to the Point the Dr Georgie Bruinvels, a physiologist of sport and investigator of the study. For example, walking is considered as a sporting activity. “”The members of the community Strava are essentially followers of cycling, triathlon or swimming,” says, however, GrĂ©gory Vermersch, head of the social network in France.

At the end of the survey, 78 % of the panel has certified that the sport reduced symptoms related to their menstrual cycle with a moderate activity and a healthy lifestyle (more than 7 hours of sleep, 5 fruits and vegetables per day). An observation shared by the French, who have strongly contributed to this study (nearly 3,000 volunteers) : these are 48,7 % of people said that sport helped them to overcome their mood swings and irritability. It also helps to fight against sleep disorders for 28,5 % of them and reduce digestive problems (25.4 percent).

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A lack of information, crying

But the study also highlights the difficulty of many women to reconcile the sport with their menstrual cycles. In fact, 69 % of the surveyed said they have had to change their physical activity and 88 % feel that their performance leaves something to be desired before and during their periods. “It is important to engage in a conversation about the menstrual cycle and other factors related to lifestyles that will enable all women to work with their body and not against it,” says Dr. Georgie Bruinvels, who is also an athlete is confirmed (in particular, she finished 22nd in the London marathon in 2016).

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in Order to contribute to it, nothing beats the information on this topic. However, 80 % of French ensure never having been sensitized by their doctor or the school about the effects of sports practice on their rules. The Hex is on this topic one of the bad pupils in the survey : the French are the second to be the least informed on the subject behind the British. “This highlights how the lack of education and discussion to prevent a healthy future for the athletes of tomorrow and the future champions,” says Stephanie Hannon, director of product at Strava. She stated that the onset of puberty, ” the women who had received some education are much less likely to reduce their participation in physical exercises “.

In this effort to better educate athletes, young or less young, Strava has committed to communicating the findings of the study to the ministries of Education and Sports, but also to some federations. The company is already in contact with the French athletics Federation in order to contribute to finding solutions and to help women to feel more comfortable in their sport and, thus, contribute to the growth champions of tomorrow.

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