Exercise and Periods
Do you want a way to relieve your menstrual cramps?
Well, you’re not alone. Around 80% of women experience period pain at some stage in their lifetime.
Period pain is a throbbing or cramping pain inside your lower abdomen, hips, lower back, or legs. It can occur before or during a period.
Period cramps can have an impact on your day-to-day activities. It may be that you struggle to get through the day at work, carry out chores, or care for loved ones.There are various treatments and options that you can try to reduce period pain, such as a hot water bottle, pain killers, and a change in diet.
Research has also shown that exercise can help to ease period cramps.
Exercise can help to ease menstrual cramps as it helps release beta-endorphins which counteract the cramp-producing chemical, called prostaglandins, that are part of the menstrual cycle.
There are a range of exercises to relieve period pain and it’s important to remember what works for one person may not work for another. It’s about trying different workouts and activities, and choosing what’s right for your body.
Exercising all month long can help too, as your body and mind will be fitter and more able to cope with exercising during your period.
Research has shown that your lungs work better during day 1 to day 14 of your cycle. So doing a more intense workout at this point may be more beneficial.
Exercises To Help Relieve Period Pain
Cardiovascular exercise is good for increasing blood flow throughout your body and moving the blood away from the areas that are causing you discomfort or pain.
There are various types of cardio activities you can do including fast-paced walking, running, kickboxing, and HIIT. Taking part in cardio gets your endorphins flowing and works to reduce period cramps.
Okay, so not technically an exercise, but menstrual cramps may be reduced if you have an orgasm.This is because the muscles of the uterus contract and then release, which could bring relief to your period pain. To learn more about the benefits of period sex, talking to your partner about it, and how to have it without too much mess, check out our blog post ‘Period Sex’.
If you fancy swimming then this could be the perfect exercise to soothe any period pain. Swimming, like cardio, allows the blood flow to move around the body which reduces cramps. Swimming also takes the pressure off other joints such as the lower back. So if this is a problem for you then swimming could be ideal.
Dancing to your favourite tunes could help you to shift the period pain whilst giving you a boost emotionally. You could explore a local Zumba class or simply put on your favourite music at home. Dancing can help the flexibility of your joints and help with period stiffness.
Lifting weights may have a positive impact on menstrual cramps as research has highlighted an increase in muscle strength when exercising during the first 14 days of your menstrual cycle.
However, it’s important to not lift too heavy as this may cause pressure on your stomach and damage to tendons, which will lead to further discomfort. Make sure to pay particular attention to your form and not how many reps you’re pumping out.
The great news is that doing these exercises can help you stay trim, toned, and in shape, whilst taking care of your period pain.
Remember that starting a new workout programme, or increasing your exercise regime, is probably not the wisest thing to do during your period week.
Everyone is different. What’s most important is that you listen to your body and move with what feels right for you. If that’s a 5-mile run then good for you, or if it’s stretching out on your yoga mat whilst practising deep-breathing, then that’s great too.
If you’re worried about leaking whilst exercising, or perhaps you feel uncomfortable working out wearing a pad or tampon, then check out our period pants. Our pants are made with absorbent, yet breathable, material which prevents sweating.
Remember to always seek medical advice if unsure of the best exercise for you.