Menstrual periods are associated with a wide variety of symptoms in both young and adult women. Often, menstrual cramps inhibit them from performing day-to-day activities.
Regular health fitness exercise has been advised for women suffering from cramps associated with menstruation and its irregularities. Furthermore, it has been shown that menstrual pain is substantially reduced in regularly exercising women. This should act as a strong motivation to move and use those muscles. Aerobic exercise and other similar health fitness workouts have been found to be useful in reducing the symptoms associated with menstruation.1, 2
Health fitness exercises are known to reduce stress and decrease the contraction of the uterus (womb) and, thereby, decrease the symptoms. Another motivation is that exercise also influences the body’s defense mechanism (immune system) and results in relief from menstrual cramps.3
A.J. Daley, an expert from the University of Birmingham, UK Medical School, concluded in a recent study that regular exercise in conditions such as dysmenorrheal (painful menstruation) may not only reduce the incidence but also eliminate or reduce the need for medication to control menstrual cramps and other associated symptoms.4 Further, exercise improves mood and it also results in better coping with the problem of menstrual cramping. Isn’t that enough motivation to begin a good and regular health fitness program?
- Dickerson LM, et al. Premenstrual Syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2003; 67: 1743–1752.
- Proctor M, Farquhar C. Diagnosis and Management of Dysmenorrhoea. BMJ. 2006; 332(7550): 1134–1138.
- Gannon L. The Potential Role of Exercise in the Alleviation of Menstrual Disorders and Menopausal Symptoms: A Theoretical Synthesis of Recent Research. Women Health. 1988; 14: 105–127.
- Daley AJ. Exercise and Primary Dysmenorrhoea: A Comprehensive and Critical Review of the Literature. Sports Med. 2008; 38(8): 659–170.