For many women, the onset of their menstrual cycle is both a source of dread and heartache. In fact I have heard many women wish they didn’t have to go through the monthly terror their periods brought along. However, many women are stuck with the problem of period pain and when this pain comes, the best thing they know to do is to lie around all day until the pain subsides.
Little do these women know that lying around while having period cramps worsens the situation. Despite the fact that period cramps bring with them an overwhelming feeling to lie in bed all day and swim in a pool of self pity, you have got to do what is right for your body. An example is the case of Doyin whose usual menstrual cramp routine was to lie in bed all day, roll on the floor if need be and cry. However, one day, she had both an extremely important event and menstrual cramps. It was that being stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea situation but she knew that nothing in the world was going to make her miss an appointment that could change her life.
She downed a cup of warm green tea, ate an apple and stubbornly made her way to the appointment, walking most of the way. She confessed that although she felt pains at the beginning of the day, she did not even notice the rest of the day was pass her by. Soon the only thing that reminded her of her pain was the wet feeling down there. It was then she started conducting her own research on the effects of exercise on period cramps. She was stunned by her discoveries!
To cut the long story short, some exercises are very beneficial for relieving menstrual cramps.
Here are 10 exercises that could save you an uncomfortable day of period cramps:
Walking is a gentle, low impact exercise that any woman can easily undertake during her period. Walking help relieve your period cramps by increasing your energy levels. While walking, ensure to contract your abdomen and hold for about 5 seconds. Using this contraction method helps force the blood out faster. It’s best if you are able to go on these walks with someone.
Hit the pool to relive your cramps. Swimming helps your body to relax, yes, including those sore muscles. Swimming also aids in increasing blood flow in the body and relives you of any headaches brought about by period cramps. Hit the pool to increase your energy levels and calm your mind. Make sure to focus on gently movements in the water for a calming effect.
3 Leg Raises
Leg raises are awesome at relieving period pains. Start by laying out your mat on a flat surface, lie down on it facing up, with your hands flat on your sides. Now, gently raise both legs together upward whilst sucking in your abdomen. Slowly and repeatedly raise your legs up and down, making sure to leave your legs hanging halfway at intervals. You can do this for 10 minutes or more.
4 Light Basic Crunches
This is another exercise that is great at relieving period cramps by working the abdominal muscles. Once again, lie flat on your back, with your knees bent and both hands behind your head. Suck in your abdominal muscles and slowly rise up using your shoulders and core as a propeller. Be careful not to use any other part of your body, like your neck or hands to propel your body movement. Do this for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Yeah, a good stretch can go long way in reliving period cramps by releasing endorphin, calming your mind, reducing muscle tension and decreasing lower back pain. Some stretches to try include the lying hip stretch, hamstring stretch and triceps stretch. You can also incorporate a good old rise and shine tilted buttocks stretch.
Pilates is very beneficial for elongating, strengthening and improving the elasticity of your muscles. If you have no idea what Pilates is, I suggest an exercise video, very easy to find on Youtube. Pilates can be done on an exercise mat. It relives cramps by strengthening you glutes, legs, back and core.
7 Bike Rides
Oh yeah. Back rides help a lot with relieving period cramps by strengthening the muscles and boosting energy levels. So take a 10 to 15 minutes bike ride using a mobile bike or a gym bike.
8 Breathing Exercises
Get into an upright sitting position and so some breathing exercises. The aim here is to infuse calm and increase endorphin which are great at combating pain. Breathing exercises also help in reliving body tensions. So sit up, with one hand on your chest and the other on your belly, inhale slowly with your nose and exhale using your mouth.
9 Wall Push-ups
This one is new to the cramp exercise list and I have it here because it has helped me a number of times. You do wall push-ups by standing in front of a wall, lifting your arms up to shoulder level and pushing the wall until your arms are in an outstretched position, with your elbows slightly bent. Make sure to inhale at the beginning of each push and exhaling as you push the wall.
10 Pillow Lift
This one is pretty simple especially for period cramps, you are drained of energy to attempt any exercise. Simply lie with your back on a flat surface with a sleeping pillow placed under your hip to prop it up. Hold this position or as long as you can.
So there you have it, 10 exercises to help relieve your period cramps. Hey, I know that for some ladies, exercising while having menstrual pain is the last thing on their minds. Here’s my suggestion; like Doyin take a cup of green tea to raise your body heat and then do any of these exercises as soon as a bout of pain passes.