Does that “time of month” get you down? Keep moving throughout the month with these tips on PMS relief for active women
PMS and period discomfort is certainly not a glamorous topic, but it’s definitely one that I feel is important for active women to discuss openly about. As I shared in one of my last posts, about 85% of women in childbearing years have at least one PMS symptom.
For women who love to stay active, PMS can make it challenging to stay active before and during menstruation. If you get PMS and feel like it slows down your active life, what’s a girl to do?
I know for me personally PMS and the first few days of my period are very difficult to stay active: my quality of sleep suffers, I get very sleepy, I have very low energy, my cravings are through the roof, and my strength is noticeably reduced.
Some research has said that a woman’s athletic ability is not affected by her period, but I find that this is simply not true for me. This isn’t true for every one, but my athletic performance is definitely impacted by PMS and period discomfort. Everything becomes twice as difficult!
Of women who have PMS, 5% suffer from extreme PMS and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). Extreme PMS and PMDD is a completely different ball game, however, and not something we will touch on today. We’re just going to be talking about average PMS symptoms and relief for period discomfort.
Exercise through PMS and menstrual discomfort
It’s okay to take it easy! If you are dragging through your week, can’t get enough sleep, and coffee just isn’t helping, then stick to gentle exercise like yoga, walking, or a lower intensity version of your favorite workout. If you feel up to doing intense workouts, then by all means stay with it! But remember: there is nothing wrong with taking an easy week to rest and recover, you can always get back to your regular routine when your energy and strength returns.
Yoga is great PMS relief!
What causes PMS?
Fluctuating hormones are the biggest cause of PMS (of course!), but another reason that PMS causes so many issues is that hormone changes lead to digestion changes, and the body doesn’t absorb all the nutrients quite as well as it normally would.
This can be compounded if you have IBS or other GI problems. So it’s a double whammy: hormones causing mood swings, cravings, etc. then lack of vitamins and minerals that just makes those things a bit worse.
What Works for PMS and period discomfort
While a lot of recommendations for PMS suggest cutting back on caffeine, but it’s hard not to have some extra-strong coffee to keep you moving! But just keep in mind that too much caffeine can aggravate digestive problems and increase irritability. Here are a few other things that may help:
Avoid foods or supplements with laxative effects
Avoid spicy foods
(too much magnesium can have a laxative effect, so watch this)
For water retention:
Avoid too much sodium
A few natural PMS Products I have tried that seem to work well for me:
Yogi Tea Woman’s Moon Cycle tea
Traditional Medicinals PMS Tea
Natural Max PreMenstrual Solution (herbal blend)
NOW Foods Righteous Raspberry Tea
Other good ideas
This list is nowhere near comprehensive: there are lots of other good things to try! Some people seem to get relief with a heating pad, essential oils, massage, naps, ginger for nausea, etc. Mayan abdominal massage is another option, too. Mayan abdominal massage has been around for many years, and has brought relief for PMS and period discomfort, and it can help with digestion and bladder issues as well.
The best part is that you can do it for yourself – no need to hunt down a special practitioner if you don’t live near one. Remember to always check with your doctor before trying out these things to be on the safe side.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice or medical care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your doctor. Always consult a physician with any questions or concerns.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist