Exercise During Menstruation – Is it Safe?
Women experience menstruation differently. Some go about their days without a problem, while others may experience such discomfort that they often need to skip work or school, so that they can rest and recover.
But whether you feel fine or unwell, experts say that it’s alright to exercise. However, your energy level may affect your performance of certain kinds of physical activity.
For instance, some studies revealed that women who have already ovulated but were not yet on their period found it hard to complete endurance exercises during hot, humid weather.
For this reason, it may be best to stick to an exercise that may reduce menstrual pain but will not wear you out.
If your workout leads to pain or discomfort, consider low-impact activities in the meantime.
Can Exercise Reduce Menstrual Pain?
Now that we have established that it’s okay to engage in physical activities during menstruation, it’s time to answer this question: Can exercise relieve menstrual cramps?
Medically, you still cannot consider working out as a cure-all for period woes.
But because numerous women attest to how physical activities have helped reduce menstrual pain, some researchers have taken the initiative to verify their claims.
In a 2015 study, several researchers revealed that aerobic workouts may help improve dysmenorrhea symptoms. In the said research:
- Participants were 70 university students who were suffering from primary dysmenorrhea.
- Afterward, they divided the subjects into 2 groups – control and intervention.
- The intervention group performed aerobic exercises 3 times a week for 8 weeks, with each session lasting for 30 minutes.
- Participants from both groups received a validated visual questionnaire to measure their menstrual pain.
- The students answered the questionnaire in the first 3 days of each of their menstrual cycles while they were participating in the study.
- Initially, after 4 weeks, there was no significant difference between the control and intervention groups.
- But after 8 weeks, results revealed that the intervention group “showed significant changes compared to the control group”.
The investigators’ conclusion was: an aerobic exercise can be used to reduce symptoms like menstrual pain.