5 Exercises To Effectively Deal With Period Cramps
Periods got you down? We get it! Your periods are more than just a week in your reproductive cycle. With your periods, comes pain, bleeding, cravings, and cramps. All premenopausal women at some point during their menstrual cycle must’ve said this-” These cramps are killing me!” Does exercise help prevent period cramps? Not necessarily, you cannot avoid them altogether, but you can minimize these effects. Lifestyle changes like having a healthy diet and exercising regularly go a long way in easing those cramps. Read about exercises and their importance, and few best exercises for period cramps.
Exercise every day to keep the stress away
Make sure to remember this mantra for a happy period. Studies indicate that females that lead highly stressful lives are twice as likely to have a painful and crampy period. Exercise is a great de-stresser. Hitting the gym or going for a run reduces the levels of stress hormones like cortisol in the body, thus reducing the risk of painful periods and cramps.
Endorphins-the magic hormones
Ever heard of a runner's high? Endorphins might be the reason people experience it. These chemicals that are produced by our body act as natural painkillers. Regular exercise is known to cause the release of endorphins which can help you deal with your period cramps.
Know that you've grasped how regular exercise can help you have a happy period. It is time to arm yourself with knowledge about various exercises that can help beat menstrual cramps.
Here are 5 exercises to reduce period pain.
1. Jump your way to a merry period!
Jumping jacks are a great way to raise your heart rate and reduce your cramps. This aerobic exercise not only helps improve your stamina but also helps leg and core muscle strength.
Here’s how you do jumping jacks properly
- Stand with your feet together and arms by your sides
- Jump up and spread your feet beyond hip-width and arms above your head
- Jump back to the original position
Jump your way to fitness and better period health with jumping jacks!
2. Glute Bridges for your period health
Most women suffer from lower back pain and menstrual cramps during their period. This exercise focuses on your core and glute muscles, thereby strengthening them. This also improves blood circulation in your abdominal regions.
Here’s how to do a proper glute bridge
- Lie down on your back
- Hands by the side of your body
- Bend your knees and make sure your soles are planted firmly on the ground
- Breath in and raise your pelvis 1-2 inches above the floor or the mat
- Hold for 3-4 seconds
- Return back to the starting position
Try including this exercise in your workout regimen for a happy and cramp-free period!
3. Say yes to Yoga!
Studies indicate that doing Yoga poses helps reduce menstrual cramps, stress, and menstrual pain in women. Among the plethora of yoga poses out there, here’s one that will help ease away your period stress and your menstrual stress.
Balasana or the Child's pose is a great yoga asana for menstrual pain. It involves activation of the back, core, and leg muscles which help ease menstrual cramps.
Here’s how you do the Balasana or child’s pose correctly
- Start with your knees on the mat
- Sit down on your heels
- Take a deep breath in and bend forward
- Extend your arms and bend down on the mat
- Focus on your breathing
- Return to the starting position after 5-6 breathes
Kiss those period cramps goodbye with this yoga asana!
4. Push ups for the win!
Are you a gym rat who loves strength training and doing intense workouts? Sometimes, during your period days, such intense workout routines will do you more harm than good. Opt for light bodyweight workouts during your periods. Push-ups are a great way to build strength and can help reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.
Here’s how you do one correctly.
- Get into a plank position
- Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart and below your shoulder
- Lower your body till the chest is close to the ground
- Return to the original position
A push up a day and keep those menstrual cramps away
5. Running for a merry period
Running is a great form of aerobic exercise. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise reduces the severity of menstrual cramps and menstrual pain. Running is a fairly simple exercise to do, however, if done incorrectly it can lead to injuries.
Here are some precautions you can take
- Use proper running shoes
- Run-on soft surfaces like soil and grass
- Keep a good arm swing and try to land on the middle of the foot
So try running for a better period.
We hope that this article has helped you gain some insight into the benefits of exercise and wish you a happy period!
To know more about movement and exercises, click here.
- Wang L et al. Stress and dysmenorrhoea: a population-based prospective study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2004 Dec 1;61(12):1021-6.
- Yang NY et al. Effects of a yoga program on menstrual cramps and menstrual distress in undergraduate students with primary dysmenorrhea: a single-blind, randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2016 Sep 1;22(9):732-8.
- Dehnavi ZM et al. The Effect of aerobic exercise on primary dysmenorrhea: A clinical trial study. Journal of education and health promotion. 2018