Exercises to Alleviate Menstrual Cramps

19th November 2019
Menstruation is a natural occurrence in the female body that can be painful. A great way to reduce cramps and other aches and pains related to your period is exercise. Try some of these exercises today and say goodbye to painful periods!

Once a month, the female reproductive system goes through the process of menstruation, which signals an absence of pregnancy. The length varies for each woman, though it’s usually between five and seven days.

Some women experience menstrual cramps and other aches and pains related to their period that can be pretty uncomfortable. Luckily, there are some strategies that can alleviate your symptoms, and we’ll share them with you today.

About two weeks before women menstruate, they often experience symptoms such as acne, fatigue, breast sensitivity, swelling, mood swings, and depression. This set of symptoms is called premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Menstruation is a natural process, and women inevitably have to learn to deal with it and everything it entails.

What causes menstrual cramps?

During menstruation, the cramps and pains that women experience are usually caused by an excess of prostaglandins. They are the compounds that make the uterus relax and contract to shed its lining.

One of the ways to experience relief from your cramps is to take medications such as ibuprofen. You can also try warm or hot compresses or massage.

Exercise can relieve menstrual pain

Aside from the options, we mentioned above, one great option for treating menstrual cramps is exercise. The reason is simple: physical activity activates hormonal processes and releases endorphins.

Endorphins, for their part, can reduce discomfort and pain. Next, we’ll share some exercises that you can put into practice next time you’re having your period or experiencing PMS.

1. Aerobic exercise: reduce menstrual cramps

Aerobic exercise, or cardio, is perfect for reducing menstrual pain and getting or staying in shape. There are several aerobic exercises that can help you have less painful periods:

  • Walking.
  • Cycling.
  • Dancing.
  • Jogging.
  • Jumping rope.
A woman jumping rope outside.

You can choose whatever exercise you feel most comfortable with. The time and intensity are totally under your control, though most experts recommend about 30 minutes of physical exercise per day.

2. Yoga

Yoga is a discipline that stimulates both mind and body. Consequently, it can be very helpful for menstrual cramps because it relieves your pain, relaxes your mind, and releases stress.

The only thing you need to practice yoga is a mat that allows you to move comfortably on the floor. There are a lot of poses to choose from, but some are more appropriate for menstruation. They are:

  • Child’s pose.
  • Knees-to-chest pose.
  • Reclined spinal twist.
  • Cat-cow pose.
  • Downward facing dog.

Doing yoga regularly, before and during your period, can help you relax and connect with yourself for a more manageable cycle. You’ll also increase your flexibility and strength.

3. Reduce menstrual cramps and exercise on the trampoline

Rebound exercise is a type of low impact exercise that you practice on a trampoline. People enjoy rebounding because it’s dynamic and active. Plus, the class environment is usually fun and entertaining.

Rebounding is a great exercise for menstruation because it’s low impact and can put you in a great mood. If you can’t make it to a class, buy a small trampoline and put some music on at home. You’ll soon see what a great exercise it really is!

A woman on a trampoline.

4. Stretching

Stretching is good for lengthening, strengthening, and oxygenating the muscles. It’s good for your body on many levels. For example, it relaxes your muscle tissue, lubricates your joints, and can reduce cramps, lower back pain, and abdominal pain.

This kind of exercise can actually prevent aches and pains. That’s why exercises working towards the splits and improving the flexibility of your legs or back are very useful for alleviating menstrual cramps.

A dancer doing stretches.

When you have cramps, you might not have any motivation to work out. However, exercise can help you more than you think. Remember that this is a natural alternative, and the pain-relieving chemical processes in your body are triggered by movement.

So, if you want to forget about pain-relievers, inactivity, and pain during your period, try one of these exercises today!

  • Dolor menstrual. Marzo 2019. Biblioteca Nacional de Medicina de los EEUU, MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/periodpain.html
  • Yang, N.-Y., & Kim, S.-D. (2016). 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, 22(9), 732–738. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2016.0058
  • Daley, A. J. (2008). Exercise and Primary Dysmenorrhoea. Sports Medicine, 38(8), 659–670. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200838080-00004