When you’re dealing with painful cramps and annoying bloating, the last thing you can think about is going to the gym. But staying active is actually one of the best things you can do to alleviate period cramps, and you don’t even have to hit the gym. All the exercises we described in this article can be done at home and don’t require expensive equipment.
We at Bright Side know how exhausting period cramps can be. And we gathered 6 simple yet effective exercises to make the discomfort much easier.
1. Glute bridge
This simple exercise puts your body in an inverted position, helping to take the weight off the pelvic floor and reducing painful sensations in your lower abdomen. Lie down and bend your knees, so both your feet are flat on the floor. Reach your fingertips toward your heels and elevate your pelvis 1-2 inches above your mat. Press your pelvis toward the ceiling and repeat this movement 8-10 times.
Walking is the easiest way to keep your heart healthy and alleviate unpleasant period cramps. This light, low-intensity cardio helps reduce the stress many women feel during their period. Walking might be especially beneficial toward the end of your period because your lungs work better later in your cycle.
3. Knee to chest stretch
This relaxing exercise might help soothe the cramping in your lower abdomen. Lie flat on your back and stretch one leg out. Then gently pull the other knee up toward your chin. Maintain this posture for a few minutes and repeat with the opposite leg.
4. Yoga and Pilates
In addition to relieving stress and helping you find your inner peace, yoga and Pilates can reduce many unpleasant period symptoms, like cramping, muscular fatigue, and soreness. These activities might be especially beneficial a few days before your period begins. Keep in mind that your body may perform differently during this time, and give yourself a break if you feel that the exercise is too intense for you.
5. Seated leg forward bend
If you’re suffering from headaches and mood swings during your period, then this simple exercise might be just what the doctor ordered. Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Then slowly fold forward, draw the belly inward, and hold this position for up to 3 minutes.
6. Lifting light weights
While hitting the gym and lifting heavy weights might not be the best idea when you’re trying to reduce your period cramps, lightweight lifting can actually help soothe the annoying aches. Repetitive movements make your muscles more flexible and strong, and you can exercise in the comfort of your own home.
Do you exercise during your period? Do you know other ways to reduce period cramps?