For those who suffer from period pain—whether physical, mental, or both—finding the proper treatment can be the difference between a few hours of discomfort or days of debilitating pain. However, it can be challenging to pin down the perfect remedy for your specific symptoms when there are so many options available. Between birth control, heat therapy, pain relievers, and in some cases, medical procedures, researching how to get rid of cramps can be an overwhelming feat.
While the above treatments are beneficial to some depending on the severity and type of pain, people often forget the power of exercise when dodging painful symptoms—specifically cramps. Engaging in physical activity, even low-intensity routines, can not only fend off abdominal spasms and general discomfort, but it can also give you a boost of energy and reduce mood swings.
If you’re looking to relieve period pains in a natural, healthy way, read on for five tried-and-true exercises to keep cramps at bay.
For those who experience intense abdominal spasms and uncomfortable bloating during their time of the month, simple stretches could be the solution to disruptive period pain. Stretching your muscles and joints, especially in your lower back, glutes, and upper thighs, can alleviate cramping, stiffness, or swelling. Make sure to start with slow, gentle movements and breathe through each stretch to gain the best results.
For this exercise, you’ll want to lie flat on the floor, placing your feet on the ground shoulder-width apart. Next, lift your pelvis off the ground and hold for one-to-two seconds, repeating the sequence as you see fit. This exercise stretches and strengthens your core, eliminating cramps while molding your six-pack.
When you’re experiencing core soreness and bloating, you’ll want to engage in exercises that stretch your abdomen, like the yoga poses and stretches. Yoga is an excellent pain-relieving physical activity because you can tailor it to your skill and energy level, changing it up day by day. On more painful days, try light, breathing-centered routines and work up to more challenging poses later on.
If you’re looking for a top-notch ab workout that will simultaneously relieve cramps, consider trying top taps. For this exercise, lie on your back, propping your torso up with your forearms by planting them firmly into the ground. Next, raise your feet into the air, making a 90-degree angle, and tap each foot to the ground one after the other. After a minute or two of this activity, you’ll strengthen your core while eliminating your cramps.
Light walk or jog
One of the best ways to alleviate period pain and discomfort is walking or jogging lightly. Low-intensity aerobic workouts can reduce bloating and stretch sore muscles while increasing blood circulation for a powerful mood boost. Additionally, jogging can help decrease headaches and back pain, both common amongst period-havers.
Although exercising may be the last thing you want to do on a painful period day, engaging in physical activity can eliminate pain and discomfort just as well as any medical remedy. Stretching your core, taking a walk, or busting out a quick ab workout can eliminate cramping, strengthen your body, and boost your mood—no medication necessary.