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Ease Your Painful Periods With Some Gentle Exercise

By HERWriter
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gentle exercise may ease painful periods Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

If your menstrual periods are painful, exercise may be the last thing on your wish list.

Believe it or not, if you can bring yourself to do some gentle exercise, you may find that it actually eases some of those challenging symptoms of your menstrual period.

Hormonal changes happen every month, throughout the month. Just before your period, your emotions may shift dramatically.

You may find yourself becoming more inclined to feel depressed or anxious. You may have headaches, or feel more fatigued than usual.

Food cravings especially for carbohydrate-rich foods can bloom.

Pay special attention to your diet at this time. If you can resist the food cravings you will feel better.

Replace the refined sugars and heavy carbohydrates with fruit and vegetables, as well as more lean protein.

If your body can tolerate whole grains, increase your consumption. Be aware that caffeine can worsen your cramps.

Women's health expert Dr. Sarah Russom suggested light exercise will help your uterine muscles to relax. Increased blood flow will reduce your pain levels.

Russom advised, however, that if you are having severe pain you should see your doctor for further methods of relieving the discomfort.

Aerobic exercise done on a regular basis has been found to reduce many premenstrual symptoms, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

This can improve your mood, making you feel less fatigued, and it help you sleep better.

A 2010 study done at the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas reported that many women stick with their usual exercise regimen during their menstrual period. And generally, that's a good thing.

Endorphin production increases which means these little pain relievers can bring you some relief. Pelvic congestion and cramping can also diminish.

Light exercise can make your lower abdomen, back and thigh muscles more relaxed. Bloating can decrease as your body is better able to remove excess water.

If you have just started exercising, it's important to start out gently. A walk, for instance, may be better than a run.

Add a Comment3 Comments

When I was younger I had horrible cramps. Sometimes my legs would even give out while walking due to the pain! Fortunately, over the years they've gotten better. Every couple of months I'll still have a reaaally bad one, but I've learned a lot and have to agree with this post! Eating vegetables and exercising has helped a lot for pain and even mood swings. I've especially noticed eating more iron (spinach, etc) helps. My main problem I still find is diarrhea and a generally miserably upset stomach. Amazingly, I JUST discovered the solution a couple of months ago....it's so obvious I feel ridiculous. Lol. PEPTO BISMOL!!!!! Also, tracking my period and knowing how out of whack my emotions/thought process can be the week before allows me to calm and reassure myself. That week as I expect my crazy side to come out I'm able to remind myself, 'it's just your hormones!' lol

June 1, 2014 - 7:35pm

i have TERRIBLE menstrual pain. lately, i have been using the Imbue patch, placing it on my belly and leaving it for 24 hours. the relief has been unbelieveable. you should check it out.

April 3, 2013 - 9:01am
EmpowHER Guest

I am 29 years old and have been getting painful periods since I was 13. I experience severe pain in my lower abdomen and lower back, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and have almost fainted a few times. Last year, I had to visit the emergency room 3 times. I've tried Premenstrual Tension from BrainSync Technology and I saw that if I listen to this for about 3-4 days before the strike I am more present more able to handle myself… and this helped immensely. Give it a try http://www.brainsynctechnology.com/shop/premenstrual-tension/ This has helped a lot.

March 11, 2013 - 1:15am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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