I tested Garmin’s latest wearable that tracks your period – Women’s Health UK | Hot Mobile Press

Unfortunately, when it comes to periods, many women remain ignorant of how to ease their monthly symptoms and how to use their fluctuating hormones to their advantage. According to a 2019 survey that analyzed over 14,000 female Strava members, 72 percent of women said they had never received any education about exercise and their menstrual cycle.

But what if it didn’t have to be like this? What if by tracking your period you could better understand how your body works and adapt your exercise program to each of the menstrual phases?

Over the last five years Garmin Smartwatches have evolved from highly specialized running and multisport GPS devices – primarily for men – to mass-market fitness and wellness-oriented smartwatches with designs specifically for women.

I tested Garmin’s Venu 2 Plus – designed to help you better understand what’s going on in your body – to track my cycle and increase my awareness of my health and well-being. Here’s what I learned…

I know exactly when it is ‘that time of the month’

Forget the guessing games, since I’ve been logging my period dates in the Garmin Connect app, it sends me a reminder every month two days before my next period is due – which is both encouraging and helpful (and means there’s absolutely no excuse, one forgetting a pack of tampons).

My hormones affect everything

Hormones like estrogen and progesterone ebb and flow throughout the month, affecting everything from how my body responds to exercise to regulating my body temperature and hydration levels. I’m a serious sweater, and I feel even hotter and more tired while exercising in the second half of my menstrual cycle. This means I need to prioritize recovery and also eat foods that are anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants to reduce symptoms like cramps.

Exercise is a great way to reduce menstrual cycle symptoms

For me, periods are synonymous with stomach cramps and tiredness. I tend to feel more emotional and I’m also easily irritated. On the Venu 2 Plus you can log any symptoms you might be experiencing – from acne and bloating to fatigue, cramps, cravings and nausea – and you can also log your mood each day by choosing between happy, energetic, motivated, overwhelmed, emotional and choose more. I particularly liked that all of these symptoms can be logged right on the watch, making tracking symptoms much easier to remember.

I also liked that it reminded me of little reminders to keep moving – whether it’s a gentle yoga flow or a run. The most important thing to take away? Even if you don’t feel like it, exercise during your period really helps.

Strength training is more beneficial in the first half of my cycle

My body always feels like it adapts to heavy exercise and recovers better in the first half of my menstrual cycle than in the second half. Last week, during phase 4 of my cycle, it took me days to recover from my weekly strength workout – not because the weights were heavier, but because my progesterone levels had increased.

Tracking my periods made me feel more in control

I already track my runs, swims, bikes, and gym sessions on my watch, so logging my symptoms and collecting data about my cycle was super easy. The difficulty came from trying to shift my workouts to fit my cycle.

However, charting my feelings has helped me recognize when I’m experiencing symptoms and also how to deal with them – since I could use these patterns as signals for when to ramp up activities or slow things down a bit – which is how I felt more in control and empowered.

Visit garmin.com for more information about the Venu 2 Plus

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