The last thing most women want to do when they're dealing with pain from period cramps is power through a tough workout, or even a relatively slow and relaxing one. When cramps hit during that time of the month, I prefer to take to my bed rather than head to the gym. But that may be the worse thing you can do, because there are some
exercises to alleviate period cramps and make dealing with the oh-so-lovely period side effects a little less painful and a little more peaceful.
There are many possible solutions to tackling the pain associated with period cramps, including over-the-counter medications, heating pads, acupuncture, foods, and essential oils. But exercise is also often cited by healthcare providers and other women as an effective way to combat period pain, also called primary dysmenorrhea. According to a study published in
Women & Health, women who were moderately active during their period had less pain than those who skipped their workouts. Additionally, the U.S. Office on Women's Health recommends exercise to alleviate premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
Although working out may be the last thing you want to try while in the throes of painful cramping, it seems more than worth it if it'll make the pain go away. Who wouldn't prefer a more peaceful period?
2 Cat Pose
As Dr. Suzanne Tupin, a gynecologist at the Women's Health Practice in Champaign, Illinois, told
Fitness that cat pose is helpful when comes to relieving cramping and other PMS symptoms. Why? Well, yoga pairs gentle movement with deep breathing and meditation, which some women find especially helpful during that time of the month. Cat pose (and its counter pose, cow) gives your internal organs a nice massage and, according to Medical Daily, boosts energy, facilitates increased blood flow, and eases anxiety. 3 Walking
Briskly walking may seem to be a bit of a break from your typical long run, but it serves to raise your heart rate and lets your body release endorphins. According to WebMD,
endorphins can help counteract uterine cramping, making your period less painful. 4 Wide-Legged Child's Pose 6 Biking Markus Spiske raumrot.com/Pexels
According to SheKnows,
a bike ride may help alleviate period cramps. I'm not talking about a high-intensity spin class (though if you feel up to it, you do you, girl), but a bike ride that gets your heart pumping will release endorphins, easing pain. 7 Reclining Twist
According to the aforementioned Medical Daily article, a gentle reclined twist helps with lower back pain. I don't know about you, but I'm all for exercises that let me lay on the floor.
9 Reclining Bound Angle
This one's basically the mother of all PMS-relievers. According to the aforementioned
Self article , remaining in this pose for anywhere from about five to 10 minutes should help fight bloating, cramps, fatigue, lower back pain, and also open up your pelvic area. Just don't forget to breathe.