Can Crunches Really Alleviate Period Cramps?

We all know that we should exercise to live a healthier and more fulfilling life but, with the sofa often looking like a more appealing prospect, many of us prefer to make excuses. For people who menstruate, that time of the month can also become a road block to exercise.

Image by Polina Zimmerman: CC0 Licence

Unfortunately, while working out might be the last thing that you want to do when mother nature comes knocking, there’s some pretty unquestionable evidence to suggest that getting moving can make that time of the month a whole lot more manageable. So, perhaps you should see this as a reason to get moving if you want to enjoy the following benefits.

# 1 – Combating painful periods

While individuals who experience severe or crippling period cramps may need to seek period pain tablets or other treatments to enable exercise in the first place, getting moving can also help to offset severe menstrual pain. In fact, exercise is one of the most effective natural methods of period pain relief, due in large part to the endorphins released when we finally get moving. Even better, these undeniable exercise plus points tend to last for at least an hour or so after exercise, meaning that you finally get on with all of those other tasks that your cramps would otherwise prevent you from tackling. I’d also reccemmend stocking up on your favourite products and a monthly sweet treat. You can ensure these are delivered to your door in time through boxes such as Blobbox and Betty Box.

# 2 – Decreasing PMS

Period cramps are one thing, but many who menstruate would argue that PMS can be just as bad. Characterised by irritability, depression, and general mood fluctuations both before, during, and after periods for some individuals, PMS can be drastically reduced with regular exercise throughout the month, especially leading up to and during periods. Aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, and walking have especially proven their worth in this sense. Again, endorphins and the general stress-relief benefits that they provide are the most likely cause, but whatever the reason, less PMS could make life at least a little easier.

# 3 – Increasing energy levels

Fatigue might be the main reason that exercise seems so unappealing at this time of the month, but physical activity can also significantly reduce that fatigue to give you far more of a boost throughout your period and beyond. It is recommended to exercise during the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle (starting with the first day of your period) to help lower levels of hormones, thus providing feelings of strength and power that, when mixed with those exercise endorphins that we keep going on about, will provide an undeniable and lasting boost of energy both now and for the rest of the month. 

Whether you start with gentle options like yoga or just go straight in with running a marathon, you should soon find that exercise quickly helps to ease any suffering.

Collaborative blog post.

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