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.