3 PMS-Fighting Workouts You'll Actually Want to Do

woman with PMSYou're bloated. You're exhausted. Your face feels like an oil slick, and let's not even talk about what you had for lunch today ... at 10:30 in the morning. And then again at 11. You've got PMS, sister, and working out is the last thing on your mind. But it's also EXACTLY what you should do to feel better.

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Exercise can alleviate both physical and emotional symptoms of PMS. But where to start when all you want to do is stay in bed and cry a little?

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Stephanie Mazzanti and Alexandria Callahan, mind-body therapists at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, Illinois, shared their best tips with The Stir:

Stay low. Low-intensity, that is. "Even just walking instead of a more aggressive workout can be beneficial, especially if you're low on energy," advises Mazzanti. Swimming is another good option. Easy on the joints, helpful for the rest of you.

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Strike a warrior pose. You knew yoga would be on this list, didn't you? Not only does it release endorphins -- your body's "feel good" hormones -- but it also calms the central nervous system and increases blood flow to your cranky lady parts.

A few poses you can gently try at home: bound malasana (a bound wide squat), janushirasana (head-to-knee stretching pose), and a supine twist, which can relieve cramping, Mazzanti says.

One quick caveat: "Inversions are never recommended if you are on your period," notes Mazzanti. "So, even if you can usually pop up into a headstand, you might reconsider doing that if it's that time of month."

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Rock out. What could be easier than playing a round of "Let's Dance" with your kids? Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) "can assist in easing discomfort through gentle dance movements," explains Callahan. "An aspect of DMT works with the body's natural rhythms, such as rocking and swaying movements, that can be beneficial to women struggling with cramping."

Some research indicates that DMT may also up serotonin levels, which can help ease the intense moodiness that more often than not accompanies PMS.

But don't wait until you're starting to feel ugh before you get moving.

"I recommend having some sort of movement regimen in place that you do regularly, so your body's used to it," notes Callahan. "That way, upon onset of cramping -- or even a few days prior -- your body can find relaxation rather than additional strain when doing exercises."

 

Image via Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

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