Best Exercises for Menstrual Cramps
When you’re on your period, the pain from menstrual cramps may make you want to lie in bed all day cowering in pain under your blankets. But recent studies show that doing so may actually make your cramps even worse. Doctors now recommend exercise to help ease your monthly menstrual cramps.
This is because when you indulge in bed rest, couch potato-hood and any lack of movement, you actually deprive oxygen to your tissues which causes your muscles to cramp even more. So getting that blood pumping and oxygen flowing through your body helps relieve mild period pain.
But not all exercises are created equal when it comes to easing your period pain. We have the best exercises you can do right now to find relief from period pain in under five minutes.
The Best Exercises for Period Pain Relief
Would you believe that the best exercises to do to ease period pain is yoga? That’s right. This is because yoga requires a lot of focus and deep breathing. Focus on keeping yourself balanced in particularly tricky poses can help keep your mind off the pain. It’s a spin on that idea of when you stub your toe, you pinch your arm to redirect your brain’s attention elsewhere. Meanwhile, the deep breathing relieves “the effects of oxygen deprivation to the tissues, one of the main causes of cramps," says Suzanne Trupin, MD, a gynecologist at the Women's Health Practice in Champaign, Illinois. Here are beginner poses recommended by Laura Waite, a yoga teacher from Dana Pointe, CA, and Cyndi Lee, director of OM yoga in New York City, that you can do in under 5 minutes that will help ease your period cramps.
Start by kneeling on the floor with your knees hips-width apart. Now turn your thighs slightly inward and press your knees firmly into the floor. Then rest your hands on the back of your hips with your fingers pointed down. Inhale, lifting your chest while pressing your shoulders down. Next exhale while pushing your hips forward, arching your back. Drop your head back while gazing upward. Maintain this pose for one minute. Remember to breathe.
Begin by standing with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Inhale and press your feet into the floor, stretching your arms toward the ceiling. Then exhale, bringing your arms outward to the sides. Bend at the hips towards the floor. Hold this pose for one minute remembering to breathe steadily.
Begin by sitting on the floor. Extend both of your legs forward. Bend your right knee outward at a 90- degree angle then press your right foot into your inner left thigh. Grab your foot, or your knee, then inhale lengthening your torso. Now exhale while lengthening your spine. Pull your left toes back towards you extending through your left heel while pressing your right foot into your left thigh. Sink your buttocks into the floor while gazing at your left foot. Remain in this pose for 1 minute, breathing steadily and then repeat on the other side.
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