Exercise may be the last thing on your mind during your time of the month, but it could be the ticket to feeling like yourself again. Besides providing an extra dose of mood-boosting endorphins, exercising during your period is shown to help relieve abdominal cramps, bloating, headaches, and lower back pain. Here, some women share how they get rid of period pain through exercising.
Noeline Kirabo, life coach
“There are different articles online stating that exercise helps one way or another to deal with menstruation cramps. So, from time to time when I am in a lot of pain, I will jog. I have realised that this gives me instant relief.”
Doreen Nasasira, radio personality
“The magic in dealing with the pain always lies in taking a lot of warm water and of course exercising. Sometimes, I skip rope, do stomach workouts especially sit-ups. I also do a lot of bike riding, and when I sweat, I feel much better.”
How does exercising help?
Dr Alex Kakoraki of Murchison Bay Hospital, Luzira, says: “It is a great idea for one to work out during their period. The workouts help divert one from thinking about the pain. Some women get terrible mood swings during this time of the month. They become easily irritated, anxious, self-aware and uncomfortable around other people. Exercising helps enliven and easily boost one’s mood.
What are the other options?
Cleopatra Koheirwe, a radio and television personality, who hardly exercises when the cramps set in says she prefers to take natural remedies such as a warm cup of herbal tea or compress a hot water bottle against her belly. “I do not like relying on pills because i fear getting addicted to them. I only take medicine when the pain becomes unbearable,” she says.
Martha Lydia Acen, model
“There are a number of ways I deal with the pain but one of them is exercising. It’s a way of distracting the mind to stop thinking about the pain. I usually take long walks and if I am up to it, I jog. Stretching and taking deep breaths also helps. Indulging in these different exercise routines is better than staying in bed.”
Miria Nambalirwa, accountant
“The downside that comes with menstruation is the pain. It can become so unbearable at times that you have to look for a way of getting relief. During this time, I ensure to walk around my workstation. Away from duty, I will either jog or do sit-ups. The exercises help lessen the pain in one way or another.”
• Dark leafy greens are a dietary source of magnesium, calcium, and countless other micronutrients. These nutrients are essential for mediating muscle contractions.
• Caffeine, especially from coffee, makes blood vessels constrict. Avoid taking coffee just in the week before your period.
• Drinking more water may help ease bloating, which makes symptoms worse. Get in the habit of drinking six to eight glasses of water per day, especially during your period. Add some mint or a lemon wedge to make it more palatable.