Between uncomfortable cramps, fatigue and breast tenderness, your menstrual period doesn’t exactly leave you feeling like you can conquer the world—or a hot yoga class. But exercising while Aunt Flo is in town may help make you feel better in a more natural, healthy way.
Exercise can lead to relief from uncomfortable period symptoms for many women. Whether you head out to your normal spin class or just take a walk around the neighborhood, you might experience these perks of period exercise.
Relief from Menstrual Cramps
Exercise provides a double dose of benefits to relieve cramps. First, when you exercise, your brain releases hormones called endorphins. Endorphins block pain receptors in your brain, helping to stop pain signals from your cramping, contracting uterus. Aerobic exercise, even a brisk walk, can release endorphins and provide some pain relief.
Exercise also improves circulation throughout your entire body, including to your uterus. When you have cramps, your uterus is contracting so hard that it is cutting off some blood flow, which sends pain signals to the brain. By opening up these blood vessels with increased circulation, you may be able to relieve menstrual cramp pain.
A Better Mood During Menstruation
Endorphins offer other perks, too. They can boost your mood and anxiety associated with your period. Again, all exercise that gets your heart beating faster, even a quick walk or hike, can release the positive benefits of endorphins.
More Energy During Your Period
Exercise might help you improve problems with low energy, too. When you exercise, you strengthen your heart so it can provide more blood and oxygen throughout your body, including to your brain. Exercise can also help relieve stress (another benefit of endorphins) that can drag your energy levels down during the day. Finally, exercise can improve sleep so you can make the most out of your eight hours (or so) of rest.
Less Painful Period Headaches
If you get headaches during your period, increased circulation and endorphin production can help make a headache less painful or even help it go away altogether.
Tips for Exercising on Your Period
Exercising on your period doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Make it easier on yourself with these tips:
- You may consider taking ibuprofen or naproxen sodium in the morning to help head off cramps and achiness.
- Wear a supportive, well-fitted sports bra that keeps your breasts in place and helps with breast tenderness as you move.
- Wear a tampon and an ultra thin panty liner to help prevent leaks through your leggings.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and ease bloating.
- Consider wearing looser, more comfortable clothing than your typical yoga pants.
Remember, if you have severe menstrual cramping and pain that disrupts your life, you should speak to your physician. Severe pain could be the result of a condition such as endometriosis.
At Women’s Care Florida, our OB/GYN experts can help diagnose the cause of menstrual pain. We provide treatment for all women’s health conditions and can help you find menstrual pain relief. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.