Can running during periods help relieve painful cramps? Let’s find out
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 23, 2023
It’s totally cool to work out during periods, but only if your body allows you to! We know there are several women who are sceptical of going for an exercise sesh during that time of the month, and that’s completely okay. But if you’re someone who feels exercise helps them even during their periods, then wait till you hear this out.
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Running works as a magical pill to get rid of those annoying period cramps. No, we aren’t kidding! In fact, if you are dealing with dysmenorrhea, then according to a study published in the journal Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, running and other forms of aerobic exercises majorly help.
The study also revealed that if you work out between 45 to 60 minutes, thrice a week during your periods, it will help to prevent severe cramps, and make that time of the month more bearable.
Here’s how running can benefit during your periods
1. It can uplift your mood
Running, just like any other exercise, helps to release endorphins in your body. These are happy or mood-lifting hormones. Also, it is a known fact that endorphins are natural painkillers, that’s why you don’t have to pop any oral pill to get rid of your cramps. Just a few minutes of running is enough!
2. It helps in relaxing your pelvic muscles
Being sedentary all the time also makes your muscles stiff, and that’s the last thing we want. When you run, your pelvic muscles feel relaxed, and you experience less contraction around your abdominal area. Moreover, when you run, your blood flow also stays in check and you experience less pain. So, put on your running shoes and get going!
3. Helps you deal with other PMS symptoms
Other PMS symptoms like mood swings, body ache, headache, etc. are all a consequence of hormonal imbalance. But when you run, due to the production of endorphins, you can keep these symptoms in check.
4. It makes you feel energized
Some women complain they feel too lazy, when they’re on their period. Trust us, this is another PMS symptom that can very easily be tackled with running. That’s because aerobic exercises like running increase the oxygen levels in the body. And that’s exactly why you feel recharged and energized, once you’re done!
Some handy tips that can make your running during periods easy-peasy
1. Stay hydrated – You need to maintain the electrolyte balance in your body, otherwise be ready to face more cramps.
2. Stretch – Don’t forget to do pre and post-running stretches.
3. Don’t pace up – Don’t forget you are on your period, so don’t be too hard on yourself, and maintain an average speed.
4. Choose a better hygiene product – If you’re comfortable with sanitary pads, then no problem. But running in them can lead to chafing and rashes. Instead, you can very well use a menstrual cup or a tampon.
5. Eat a healthy diet – Your body requirements change when you are on your period and that’s why you need to work on your diet. Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Try to avoid cigarettes and alcohol to deal with your cramps better.
Another piece of advice for you is that if you’re experiencing heavy flow, you can very well skip running on that particular day, and follow through in the next few days.