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Alleviate PMS with Four Simple Exercises

By EmpowHER
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If you suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that leaves you held captive to your couch and clinging to a bottle of wine, it may be because you are not getting enough exercise. Studies have shown that women who are not physically active are more prone to severe PMS symptoms.

These symptoms include:
• Bloating
• Cramping
• Mood swings
• Depression
• Fatigue
• Anxiety
• Rage
• Loss of concentration

Research studies show that 30-45 minutes of physical activity three to four times per week creates a chain reaction in your mind and body. When you increase activity levels your heart rate and oxygen levels increase, causing your blood to circulate more rapidly. Increased circulation helps purge your body of unwanted toxins while releasing beta-endorphins, which are responsible for inducing pleasurable sensations.

If you experience the more painful symptoms of PMS like cramping, higher impact exercises such as running, biking or kickboxing are more likely to relieve those symptoms. If you are more prone to experiencing the emotional PMS symptoms, gentler workouts such as yoga, meditation and walking are more beneficial.

Next time you begin feeling the onset of PMS, take 30 minutes to try out one of these simple exercises and see if your feelings of depression, anger or fatigue subside.

If you have access to a pool, swimming (specifically the backstroke) is a great way to relieve PMS symptoms. Swimming on your back forces you to keep your belly up and out of the water to avoid sinking. This movement opens up your pelvic muscles, which can help relieve cramps and bloating. Swimming also enhances your rhythmic breath, alleviating tension headaches.

Downward Facing Dog
Different yoga poses can help alleviate various symptoms and evoke feelings of calm and inner peace. Downward facing dog is a simple yoga pose that can help relieve tension. Keeping your head down below your body allows blood to rush to your brain and stimulate circulation. Using your breath to move through the pose can help quiet the mind and relieve stress.

Kegel Exercises
Strengthening your Kegel muscles or muscles that surround your pelvic floor known as pubococcygeus (PC) can help relieve cramping during PMS. To find your PC muscles, sit on the toilet and practice stopping the flow of urine. Once you get familiar with those muscles, lie down and begin contracting them, holding the contraction for three seconds and then releasing. It may be difficult at first, but keep trying. If you are finding that you are moving your thigh muscles, your stomach or buttocks, than you are probably moving the wrong muscles. Once you get the hang of it you will not only be on your way to relieving painful PMS symptoms, but you will be increasing the stimulation of your G-Spot.

Sometimes when the whole world feels like it is caving in, all you need is a brisk walk. Walking outside cannot only help evoke feelings of clarity, but has physical benefits as well. An invigorating walk can help stimulate your body’s blood flow and increase your cardiovascular activity. So next time you start feeling anxious or overwhelmed, stop what you are doing and start walking 10 minutes in one direction. By the time you make it back, you will be amazed at how much better you feel.


1. http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/womenshealth/a/PMS.htm
2. http://www.ehow.com/how_1960_relieve-menstrual-cramps.html
3. “Beyond the G spot: Recent Research Concerning Female Sexulaity”, Beverly Whipple, PhD, RN, FAAN

Add a Comment2 Comments

You can't go wrong with exercise! It is a known stress-reliever, and it is also well-known that stress makes PMS worse. However, to say that studies show that exercise decreases PMS is not accurate - many medical articles recommend exercise, but this is based more on hearsay than on research.
In the UK, where awareness of PMS is far greater than in the US, this study was published just a couple of years ago: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19514832
showing that, although it makes sense to exercise for any number of reasons, including to help PMS symptoms, there aren't in fact studies to indicate that exercise works for PMS.
Of course, you can do your own study: start exercising, and see if your PMS gets better!
Melissa, Motrin can work temporarily for PMS pain, but it is only treating symptoms. And for many women, PMS is much more than pain: it's debilitating depression and mood swings, bloating, even confusion and a loss of coordination.
We have a whole list of PMS symptoms here http://www.pmscomfort.com/pms-pmdd-symptoms/
plus articles on PMDD, how to deal with PMS pain and cramps if you don't like the idea of taking Motrin, what to eat and not to eat for PMS, and much more.
And, as you might expect, we recommend exercise! As I said, you can't go wrong. However, we avoid saying "studies show" since in this case - surprisingly - those studies haven't been done.

Dr. Daniel Heller
PMS Comfort

October 26, 2011 - 2:47pm

If you experience PMS symptoms and have tried many things and still doesn't help you can try having Motrin. They are over counter so their is no harm in taking them. PMS is hormonal issue and when you experience PMS the hormones are fighting hard and gets inflamed which cause pain. Motrin stops the inflammation which helps the pain.


October 25, 2011 - 8:15pm
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