The good news is that you can do whatever you want. Whether you wear a pad or tampon is up to you and what you are most comfortable with. While some women are more comfortable using tampons with exercise others prefer pads. The older versions of some pads, which were thick and bulky, have been known to slide at times. Let me warn you, caution when riding a bike with one of the oldies. Today, we have so many more options. Thin pads with various levels of absorbency made to stay in place and fit our bodies. You may want to sample a few different options, jump around, run, then decide which you are most comfortable with.
When I’m active like that – usually biking or jumping on the trampoline with my girls – I prefer the comfort and ease of wearing a tampon. I feel less stress over the possibility of leakage and as a result, I can enjoy my playing more. But it is really a preference issue. Have you tried both methods to determine which one agrees with you more? Sounds like you prefer using a pad, which is totally fine! I would go with one with wings that wrap around your underwear to hold it in place.
There are no hard and fast rules for what to wear and when — it’s really about wearing what is comfortable for you. I was playing a lot of sports when I first started my period (soccer and softball) and at the time I wasn’t able to find something that wouldn’t bunch up on me, or worse, turn sticky-side up from running (ouch).
The good news is that pads have come a long way since then. The adhesive is better, the wings are better and they’re not all 3 inches thick! The only way you’ll know what works best is by giving it a try. And finally, if the pads prove to be too much trouble, tampons are genius. If you’re not familiar with using them check out our Education section article on how to use them for the first time.