PMS Remedies Through Exercise
About the Author
Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author of One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan, one of Amazon's Top Gluten-Free and Weight Loss Diets. (You may read more about Abby at the bottom of this article.)
Exercises for Premenstrual Symptoms and Menstrual Cramps Relief
Cramps! Bloating! Irritability! It's called Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS, and it can really put some women in a funk. PMS is a varied group of symptoms manifesting in women about five to 11 days prior to menstruation. The most prominent symptom is abdominal cramps. Other symptoms include emotional instability, depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, headache, and bloating. Symptoms can be so bad that you may keep ibuprofen nearby for pain. The remote control isn't far off either as you may want to just veg on the couch. Seemingly important, a bag of chips and chocolate bars aren't far away either for those munchie cravings. The guilt that can overcome you once the symptoms are relieved can be unbearable, especially if you disrupted your weight loss diet or exercise routine.
There is a better way! Be proactive instead. Certain foods can work wonder for premenstrual symptoms, but exercise is just another natural remedy for PMS. Though you may not feel like doing your usual and strenuous workout, continuing to workout at a lesser degree will give you more relief than you realize.
Unless you have excessive pain or heavy bleeding during your menstruation, one of the best ways to beat the ups and downs of your menstrual cycle is through exercise. By working out, the serotonin in your brain will help alleviate the mood swings. Moreover, your brains endorphins kick in which is your body's natural painkiller. You will even improve your circulation and relieve stress which are all good for PMS.
Since you may want to tone down on your usual workouts or activities, try some of the following exercises to get you off that couch and feeling better. Try stability ball exercises, medicine ball exercises, body weight exercises, or stretching exercises. You may even want to try a different one on different days during PMS. Below are a few examples.
PMS Remedies #1: Stability Ball Exercises
The stability ball is a great exercise tool for building balance, stability, coordination, and strength for your whole body. It is also known as a Swiss ball, physio ball, or just exercise ball. You may have seen them at your gym, but you can easily purchase one from you local sporting goods store. Depending on the size and quality, the cost can be anywhere from $10 to $25. They usually come with a pump as well.
The stability ball comes in sizes ranging from 45 to 75 cm. For general exercises, below is the standard to choose your ball size.
- Small (45 cm or 18 inches) - under 5' tall
- Medium (55 cm or 20 inches) - 5' to 5' 6"
- Large (65 cm or 26 inches) - 5' 6' to 6'
- Extra Large (75 cm or 30 inches) - 6' to 6' 8"
Below is a 10 minute exercise video to show you some exercises that you may do for premenstrual symptoms and menstrual cramps relief. If you feel you can do more than 10 minutes, then do it one or two more times as a circuit.
Stability Ball Exercises
PMS Remedies #2: Medicine Ball Exercises
The medicine ball may seem like a new exercise tool, but it's actually a throwback to ancient Greek times of the the second and third centuries. Though it is simplistic, it is very effective in training the whole body, especially for building strength from your shoulders, trunk, and hips. Most gyms will have a variety of medicine balls ranging from two to 25 pounds. They are usually hard balls, but you can find soft ones in the lighter weights. Your local sporting goods store will carry them for prices ranging from $10 to $75. The greater the weight, the higher the price. A 30 minute exercise video has been provided for you below.
Medicine Ball Exercises
PMS Remedies #3: Body Weight Exercises
If you don't feel like using equipment, then use your body weight. You can still get a great workout with just your body where you can strengthen and tone every area including your shoulders, arms, chest, back, abdominals, glutes, and legs. The only optional equipment you may want is a floor mat. Following is a 30 minute video with a toning and functional strength training workout.
Body Weight Exercises
PMS Remedies #4: Stretching Exercises
Stretching will help bolster your flexibility and retain the gains you've made. It will also help you prevent injury and learn new ranges of motion. You don't need any equipment for stretching exercises, but you may use a mat if you want. Below is a 15 minute video to get you started.
If you prefer to stick to your weights such as dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells for exercise, you can still get relief for your premenstrual symptoms. You can always reduce the weight and intensity for your workout to preserve your energy. For instance, you may want to reduce your weights by 25 to 50 percent for each exercise. You may also lessen the repetitions or sets. Another way to tweak your workouts is by exercising only your smaller muscle groups such as shoulders, biceps, triceps, and glutes since it can be very energy taxing to work large muscle groups. Then just hit it hard at the gym in a few days or the next week.
Whether you choose a 10 minutes stability ball exercise program or a 30 minute total body weight exercise program, you will be doing better than clicking the remote and eating bonbons on your couch. PMS remedies through exercise will do your whole body and mind good. You'll not only feel better, but you'll also be proud of yourself.
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About the author
Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author. For the past 10 years, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Her clients have lost thousands of pounds, reclaimed health, and call her “Coach No Gimmick.” She is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. Abby has been married for 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 19 year cancer survivor.
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