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Exercises to Ease Cramps During Your Period

July 04, 2024

Woman practicing yoga to ease period cramps on mat

Dealing with menstrual cramps each month can be a frustrating and painful experience. However, incorporating certain exercises into your routine can help alleviate these symptoms and make your period more manageable. From low-intensity stretches to moderate workouts, there are various ways to stay active and ease the discomfort associated with menstruation. This article explores the science behind exercise and menstrual cramps, as well as specific exercises that can provide relief.

Key Takeaways

  • Exercising during your period can help reduce symptoms like cramps, bloating, and low mood.
  • Low-intensity exercises such as yoga, stretching, and tai chi are effective for alleviating period cramps.
  • Moderate-intensity workouts like walking and light jogging can also help ease menstrual discomfort.
  • Specific stretches, including the wide leg forward bend and child’s pose with side bend, can provide targeted relief for cramps.
  • Listening to your body and modifying workouts based on how you feel is crucial for staying comfortable and safe while exercising.

The Science Behind Exercise and Menstrual Cramps

Woman practicing yoga to ease period cramps on mat

When plagued with cramps, bloating, and fatigue, the last thing one might want to do is work out. However, studies show that exercise can be an optimal treatment for symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and period pain. Movement during menstruation won’t just distract from the discomfort; it can have more concrete benefits such as decreased pain, soreness, cramping, and inflammation.

Low-Intensity Exercises for Menstrual Relief

Woman practicing yoga for menstrual cramp relief

Low-intensity exercises are gentle physical activities that can help alleviate menstrual cramps without significantly increasing your heart or breathing rate. These exercises are particularly beneficial during menstruation as they help maintain activity levels while providing relief from discomfort. Here are some low-intensity exercises to consider:

Yoga Poses to Alleviate Cramps

Yoga is an excellent low-intensity exercise that can help reduce menstrual cramps. Specific poses, such as the Child's Pose and Cat-Cow Stretch, can target areas of tension and promote relaxation. Incorporating yoga into your routine can also reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Stretching Routines for Pain Reduction

Stretching exercises can be highly effective in reducing menstrual pain. Gentle stretches that focus on the lower back and abdominal muscles can help ease cramping. Consistent stretching can also improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension.

Tai Chi for Menstrual Comfort

Tai Chi, a form of martial arts known for its slow and deliberate movements, can be beneficial during menstruation. This practice promotes relaxation, improves circulation, and helps in managing pain. Regular practice of Tai Chi can lead to long-term benefits in menstrual health.

For additional comfort during these exercises, consider wearing period underwear to stay comfortable and dry.

Moderate-Intensity Workouts to Ease Period Discomfort

Engaging in moderate-intensity workouts can be beneficial for alleviating menstrual discomfort. These exercises help release endorphins, improve blood flow, and reduce tension, which can significantly ease period symptoms. Moderate-intensity activities are ideal for those who may not feel up to high-intensity workouts but still want to stay active and manage their symptoms effectively.

Specific Stretches to Relieve Period Cramps

Wide Leg Forward Bend

The Wide Leg Forward Bend is an effective stretch for alleviating menstrual cramps. This pose helps to increase blood flow to the pelvic region, which can reduce pain and discomfort. To perform this stretch, stand with your legs wide apart and slowly bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, and remember to breathe deeply.

Child’s Pose with Side Bend

Child’s Pose with Side Bend is another excellent stretch for menstrual relief. This pose not only stretches the lower back but also targets the sides of the body, providing a comprehensive stretch. Begin in a kneeling position, sit back on your heels, and extend your arms forward. Then, gently walk your hands to one side, feeling the stretch along your side. Hold for a few breaths and repeat on the other side.

Cat-Cow Stretch

The Cat-Cow Stretch is a gentle way to relieve tension in the lower back and abdomen. Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your head (Cow Pose). As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest (Cat Pose). Repeat this sequence several times, moving with your breath.

Incorporating these stretches into your routine can significantly ease menstrual cramps. For added comfort, consider wearing the New York Times's Top pick Period underwear for women, which is designed to provide both support and comfort during your period.

Incorporating Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Woman practicing pelvic floor exercises on yoga mat

Benefits of Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor physical therapy can offer numerous benefits for those experiencing menstrual cramps. These exercises can help to relieve painful period cramps, improve energy levels, boost mood, and decrease water retention to reduce bloating. By targeting the pelvic floor muscles, physical therapy can alleviate tension and trigger points, providing significant relief from menstrual discomfort.

Recommended Pelvic Floor Stretches

There are several exercises that can help relax the pelvic floor muscles, which are most effective when coordinated with breathing. For instance, focusing on breathing down into the pelvic floor while inhaling can enhance the relaxation of these muscles. Pelvic floor physical therapists often recommend specific stretches and relaxation techniques tailored to individual needs.

How to Get Started with Pelvic Floor Therapy

To begin with pelvic floor physical therapy, it is advisable to consult a qualified therapist who can provide personalized guidance. Many programs, such as Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy, offer digital access to therapeutic exercises and stretches, allowing individuals to receive care from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, wearing appropriate period underwear can enhance comfort during these exercises. It is important to be aware of the toxins found in Knix panties and choose safer alternatives.

Tips for Exercising During Your Period

Woman practicing yoga to relieve period cramps

When it comes to exercising during your period, it's essential to listen to your body's signals. If you’re not experiencing any discomfort, feel free to continue with your regular exercise routine. However, if you find that your body isn’t performing like it usually does, give yourself a break and ease up on the intensity. Pushing yourself too hard by participating in high-intensity workouts can negatively affect your cycle and may cause you to miss periods or even stop your period entirely.

Modifying workouts based on symptoms is crucial. For instance, if you experience severe cramps, consider low-intensity exercises like yoga or stretching. These activities can help alleviate discomfort without putting too much strain on your body. On the other hand, if you feel more energetic, moderate-intensity workouts like walking or light jogging can be beneficial.

Staying comfortable and safe while exercising is also important. Wearing period underwear for women can provide the necessary support and protection during workouts. Additionally, staying hydrated and choosing the right exercise gear can make a significant difference in your overall comfort. Remember, the goal is to stay active while respecting your body's needs.


Incorporating exercise into your routine during your period can offer significant relief from common menstrual symptoms such as cramps, bloating, and mood swings. From low-intensity activities like yoga and stretching to more moderate exercises like walking and light jogging, staying active can help alleviate discomfort and improve overall well-being. It is crucial to listen to your body and adjust the intensity of your workouts based on how you feel. By doing so, you can find a balance that allows you to maintain your fitness routine while also managing period-related symptoms effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can exercising during my period really help with cramps?

Yes, exercising during your period can help alleviate cramps. Physical activity, especially low to moderate-intensity exercises, can improve blood circulation, reduce bloating, and release endorphins which act as natural painkillers.

What types of exercises are best for easing menstrual cramps?

Low-intensity exercises like yoga, stretching, and tai chi are effective for relieving cramps. Moderate-intensity workouts such as walking and light jogging can also be beneficial. It's important to choose activities that you feel comfortable with and enjoy.

How often should I exercise during my period?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. It's best to listen to your body and exercise as much as you feel comfortable. Some people find relief with daily low-intensity exercises, while others may prefer to exercise every other day.

Are there any exercises I should avoid during my period?

Generally, it's best to avoid high-intensity workouts if you are experiencing severe cramps or fatigue. Listen to your body and modify your routine as needed. If any exercise causes pain or discomfort, it's best to stop and try a gentler activity.

Can pelvic floor exercises help with period cramps?

Yes, pelvic floor exercises can help alleviate period cramps by relaxing the pelvic muscles and improving circulation. These exercises can be particularly beneficial when combined with other low-intensity activities like yoga and stretching.

What should I do if I feel too fatigued to exercise during my period?

If you're feeling too fatigued, it's important to listen to your body and rest. Gentle activities like stretching or a short walk can still be beneficial, but don't push yourself too hard. Staying hydrated and getting enough sleep can also help manage fatigue.

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