Show your period who’s boss with physical activity
The benefits of regularly engaging in physical activity are seemingly endless. Need more energy? Get active. Looking to Sleep Better? Get active. Want to decrease symptoms of PMS and enhance your mood while on your period? That’s right, GET ACTIVE!
Yeah, you read that right: Everything gets better when you get active – even your period. And while you might not have heard a lot about the connection between being active and decreasing symptoms of PMS, the science backs this up. You can Period Better with by getting active. From reduced fatigue and pain to boosted energy and enhanced moods, physical activity can be hugely influential for women dealing with the sometime debilitating effects of periods.
In a recent survey, we asked women in Canada what they currently do to help relieve symptoms associated with PMS or their period. Physical activity ranked fifth, behind taking pain killers, relaxation (bath, hot water bottle), fulfilling food cravings, and watching TV/movies. In fact, 52 per cent indicated they find it hard to be physically active when they experience PMS.
However, while there’s no denying that getting moving might be difficult when your insides are screaming at you, research proves that even small bouts of low-intensity activities can have game-changing impacts when it comes to PMS and pain management. These activities include:
- Light walking
- Aerobic exercise
Conquer your period with physical activity
Instead of suffering during ‘that time of the month’, get your body moving to decrease pain and naturally boost your mood. When you get active you also promote circulation, which can lead to reduced back pain, fewer headaches and less cramps. Feel better yet? The key is in the movement.
Wherever you’re at in your cycle, working a little bit of physical activity into your routine can go a really long way in helping you manage pain and reduce the amount time you spend being sedentary. When it comes to getting active while on your period, the key is to choose the right type of activities that don’t push you too hard. Instead of reaching for the pill bottle the next time PMS sets in, try some of the following exercises:
Cat/Cow (stretches abs/flexes spine):
Start on your hands and knees, aligning your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips, spine long and your head in line with your spine.
Tilt your pelvis back so that your tailbone sticks up (imagine a cow mooing) and your belly drops (belly stays tight!). Look up toward the ceiling (without straining your neck). Reverse the position by tipping your pelvis forward and tucking your tailbone (think angry cat!). Draw your navel toward your spine. Drop your head looking down towards your belly.
Downward Dog (strengthens arms/shoulders/quads; stretches chest/lats/calves):
Start on all fours then raise your knees off the mat while shifting your stomach toward your thighs. Lift your hips up as you straighten your legs, toes pointing front, and your knees soft.
Child’s Pose (stretches low back, relieves gas/bloating):
Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. Lay your torso down between your thighs, bringing your forehead toward the floor.
Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, and release the front of your shoulders toward the floor.
Cobra (stretches abs, flexes spine, enhances posture):
Place your palms flat on the ground directly beneath your shoulders, with your elbows tucked by your side (like you have magazines tucked under your arm).
Lift your chest off the floor, peeling your shoulders off the floor while keeping your lower ribs down. Be sure to keep your elbows hugging your sides and your eyes front.
Butterfly (stretches inner thigh/lower back, and ankles):
Sitting tall on the floor, bend your knees and bring your feet in as close as possible, with your soles together. Hold your feet with your hands then you gently press your thighs and knees down toward the floor.
Dealing with the associated symptoms of PMS and periods is far from an easy task. But with physical activity and the right information in your back pocket, that time of the months doesn’t always have to be something to dread. Get active, even in small bouts, and show your period who’s boss!
World Physical Activity Day is right around the corner!
Every year on April 6th the World Health Organization celebrates World Physical Activity Day to help promote the importance of being active. Hit us up on social media and let us know how you plan on (actively) celebrating World Physical Activity Day!
Download the ParticipACTION app and get rewarded for all your active minutes!
The ParticipACTION app is the active app for everyone. It’s available for download, for free, in the App Store as well as Google Play. Keep track of all your active minutes and earn some sweet prizes while you’re at it!