Diet & Exercise

You are here:
Estimated reading time: 2 min
In this article

Maintaining a healthy diet and keeping up a regular exercise regimen can go a long way toward preventing menstrual pain. A 2016 study of 250 women found significant differences between period pain in women who maintained a healthy lifestyle and those who didn’t. It’s common to feel discomfort around your abdomen, lower back, and thighs when you’re menstruating. During your period, the muscles of your womb contract and relax to help shed built-up lining. Sometimes you’ll experience cramps, which are your muscles at work. Some women and girls may experience nausea, vomiting, headaches, or diarrhoea as well.

Doctors aren’t sure why some women experience painful menstruation and others don’t. But some factors that are associated with more intense pain include:

having a heavy blood flow
having your first child
being under the age of 20, or just starting your period
having an overproduction of or sensitivity to prostaglandins, a hormone that influences your womb
Other factors include growths in your womb, endometriosis (abnormal uterine tissue growth), and use of birth control.

For mild to temporary cramps, some home remedies can help provide relief. Read on for tips on getting fast relief and learn how to potentially lessen the pain during your next cycle.

Why you should exercise on your period?

Dr. Christopher Holligsworth explained that during a woman’s period both progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest during the entire length of the period phase of the menstrual cycle, which can cause fatigue but avoiding exercise isn’t going to save energy or make you feel better. Instead of ceasing all activity during your period, use this week as an opportunity to try some new workouts.

Decrease PMS symptoms

If you experience fatigue and mood swings in the days leading up to your period and during your cycle, regular aerobic exercise may lessen these symptoms.

Tap into your endorphins

Exercise gives you a natural endorphin high, elevating your mood and actually making you feel better.

Experience more strength and power

One study found that the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle (day one being the first day of your period) may allow you to experience greater gains in strength and power due to low levels of female hormones.

Enhance your mood

Enhances one’s mood, increases circulation. Exercise also tends to alleviate cramps, headache, or back pain associated with your period.

Combat painful periods

If you experience painful periods, also called dysmenorrhea, you know all too well how uncomfortable this time of the month can be. The good news is that exercises such as light walking may help you decrease these symptoms.

What kind of exercise can I do to reduce cramps?

Yoga is a gentle exercise that also releases endorphins and helps prevent or reduce menstrual symptoms. In one 2011 study, researchers found three different yoga poses — Cobra, Cat, and Fish — significantly reduced intensity and duration of pain during menstruation for young women ages 18 to 22.

Regular exercise is beneficial for your body and your mind.

Healthy Diets that  helps reduces cramps during your period

A diet geared toward decreasing menstrual pain should be high in minimally processed foods, fibre, and plants.

Foods rich in vitamins  and irons (such as Papaya, brown rice, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, broccoli chicken, fish, leafy green vegetables, flaxseed).

Foods that contain Boron (such as avocados, peanut butter, prunes, chickpeas, bananas)

Taking a lot of water and eating water based foods such as: lettuce, celery
cucumbers, watermelon, berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)

Consuming foods rich in calcium (such as dairy products, sesame seeds,
almonds, leafy green vegetables).

When should I see a Doctor?

You should contact your doctor;

  • if you have severe pain and very heavy bleeding
  • the pain consistently prevents you from doing day-to-day activities
  • the pain worsens, or bleeding gets heavier, over time
  • you’re over 25 and severe cramps are a new development
  • OTC medication doesn’t work

For severe cases, the best way to get treatment is for a doctor to diagnose the cause of your menstrual pain.


  1. Healthline. Women health. Accessed on 12th October 2018.
Was this article helpful?
Dislike 0
Views: 26