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Should You Exercise Right Before and During Your Period?

3 Minute Read
Jogging woman in grass

Exercise alleviates PMS.

Your monthly visitor can really get you down. Between irritability, exhaustion, nausea, and pain, you probably feel like minimizing your activity level and vegging out with your favorite cravings (potato chips or chocolate, anyone?). However, research actually shows that it is regular exercise that can best alleviate your period symptoms.

Here are 3 things to know about exercising on your period.

1. Exercise can reduce the PMS symptoms you experience.

A study published in the Crescent Journal of Medical and Biological Sciences discovered a correlation between exercise and a reduction in PMS symptoms like bloating, cramps, breast pain, headaches, and fatigue. The study examined 367 female high school students (40 of which had very high PMS scores) to discover the relationship between exercise and their symptoms.

What the study found was that “lifestyle modification with an emphasis on increasing physical activity, especially aerobic activities, can be effective in reducing PMS.”

Another study even found that people who exercise moderately may not even suffer from PMS at all. Talk about a win! So how much exercise should you do? Start with 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, according to the American Heart Association. Halve that if you are engaging in more strenuous exercise. This breaks down to about 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.

2. Aerobic exercise works best, especially for your mood swings

How bad PMS and mood swings are varies from woman to woman.  It can range from severe anxiety to mild depression. Some might not feel any mood changes, others might have start feeling down and even prone to tears at a drop of hat some days before or during the first days of your period.

In any case, it’s very common to experience these mood changes due to hormones. And since it’s normal, don’t let it stop you from following your regular routine. Get your body moving and get some endorphins flowing. Endorphins are feel-good chemicals that get released when you exercise and your heart rate is elevated.The endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. These morphine-like chemicals also trigger a positive feeling in the body.

Exercise that gets your heart pumping (called aerobic exercise) is generally the most effective at controlling your PMS symptoms. Research has shown that the more aerobic exercise a person gets, the less intense their PMS symptoms are. However, similar research shows no such correlation between PMS symptoms and anaerobic exercises (such as strength training).

3. Exercising on your period is unlikely to cause you injury.

Think you’re clumsier when you are on your period? Think again. Researchers have found that women are more prone to injury between days 9 and 14 of their cycles, not during their period. In addition, the right neuromuscular exercises can further reduce your risk of injury. So don’t be afraid to get active while on your period: It might just help you feel better.

Viva Eve may be able to help your symptoms

If your period pain and discomfort are from fibroids, we’re the experts.  The doctors at VIVA EVE have years of experience in the treatment of both uterine fibroids and adenomyosis. We’re committed to providing high-quality, personalized care for each and every patient we see. We will partner with you to determine the best way to treat your problematic symptoms.

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