Period pain is often experienced by women during their menstrual cycle. While for some it's mild and lasts a very short while, others may have to use some age-old methods to deal with the pain. Using a hot water bag, indulging in hot beverages and taking over-the-counter pain-relieving medications are some of the most common ones. But did you know that exercising during periods can help relieve pain as well?
Many doctors have said that exercising during periods can help in improving the mood swings and blood circulation, thus relieving period pain. Exercising has also been known to releases endorphins, which help in relieving menstrual cramps.
Here are six kinds of workouts you can try during your periods to relieve pain:
1. Walk your pain away
According to studies, a simple 15-20 minute routine of walking can help in dealing with pain and other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). If you don't wish to go outside, you can walk around in your house, balcony or terrace too. This will help the blood in your body to flow properly, thus reducing the pain.
2. Yoga for period pain
There are various studies that state that yoga asanas, pranayamas, and mudras can be beneficial for relieving period pain. Surya namaskar helps in restoring the hormonal balance of the body as it acts directly on the pituitary, adrenal and thyroid gland. Asanas like bhujangasana, shalabhasana, dhanurasana, paschimottanasana and ustrasana can reportedly be helpful in reducing period pain. These asanas can also help in dealing with irregular periods, bloating, heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps. Asanas such as vajrasana can help in treating menstrual disorders like premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and amenorrhea (missed periods).
3. Zumba to relieve the period pain
Zumba is an exercise which involves both dance and aerobic exercise. Studies have concluded that practising Zumba can help in reducing the severity and duration of menstrual pain. They further stated that performing Zumba on a daily basis can act as a complementary treatment for primary dysmenorrhea (period pain). All you need to do is to put on the music, wear comfortable clothes and dance your stress out.
4. Stretch the body to reduce the pain
Stretching the body can help in lengthening the muscles that often contract during periods, thus reducing some of those painful cramps. Stretches such as lower trunk rotations, the cobra stretch, the knee-to-chest stretch and the standing forward bend are beneficial in reducing cramps during periods.
5. Pilates for period pain
Women can also try pilates during their periods as it is not as strenuous as regular gyming. It is a form of exercise which involves aspects of yoga and ballet and is known to reduce back pain - which is very common during menses.
6. Indoor sports during periods
Indoor sports like boxing, badminton and table tennis can be attempted during periods to maintain good blood flow in the body. These exercises mostly involve upper body strength and so they can be easy to perform without putting too much strain on the body.
For more information, read our article on Exercises during periods.
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