How Exercise Helps Severe PMS

Severe PMS is a premenstrual condition where mental and physical symptoms are at a level that may be debilitating. Bloating, cramps, headaches, mood swings and intense anger are hindrances that make these times of the month difficult for the women who experience these more extreme symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle.

In times past, if you were iinclined toward severe PMS, you were advised to deal with your discomforts by pulling up the covers. You would have been quick to refuse dinner invitations, parties, or even to skip classes or call in sick to work. Bed rest or lying on the couch with your favorite tea mug was assumed to be the panacea until your hormone swings ebbed and cramps subsided. Not anymore!

Nature’s “High”

Medical experts now know that severe PMS is not the time to lie low. Inactivity is not the answer. With less calories burned, inactivity can heighten depression and contribute to weight gain. Today, when nurses or doctors are asked if it’s okay to exercise when going through severe PMS, their answer is yes.

Exercise helps severe PMS because exercise releases endorphins. These are molecules that work inside your body to relieve pain and stress. Scientists reckon endorphins can be over 100 times more powerful than drug analgesics. For those who suffer from severe PMS, endorphins released during exercise kick in to:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Curb cravings for chocolate and salty snacks 
  • Dissipate frustation and stress

Exercise Options

If you are suffering from premenstrual cramps, the last things you want to do are push-ups or stunts with barbells. When doctors recommend exercise for severe PMS, they know this and they do not recommend any sport that focuses on highly intense movements for brief periods. They advise you instead to do continuous, milder forms of aerobic exercise that will make you feel better and happier.

Walking is a highly rated form of exercise for this purpose. You get to release those mood-elevating endorphins and you also get to improve a sluggish metabolism. This will do wonders in curbing those odd cravings. Walking boosts the metabolism and improves your circulation. Combined, they take away that empty feeling as if you need to eat something sweet or salty. Walking is not the only exercise that can relieve severe PMS, however. Medical experts say that getting on a bicycle, swimming or jogging will also help alleviate severe PMS.

How Often

Medical practitioners advocate exercise at least five days out of the week. Barring any other disorder that would deter exercise, doctors stress the value of exercise throughout the month, not just on days when you experience severe PMS. They also stress the value of conservative workouts rather than stressful, intense sports activities.

Just a 10 to 15 minute daily brisk walk to relieve bloating, increase blood circulation and brighten up your mood is better than no exercise at all, and an ideal regimen is a half hour of exercise six to seven days of the week.


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