How to Reduce PMS

It's that time of the month again, a lovely visit from Aunt Flo. And with that lovely visit comes bloating, headaches, mood swings, anxiety, back pain, breast swelling, cramping, irritable bowl movements, weight gain, food cravings, anxiety and more. You have to deal with all these weird body changes, even if you don't want to. Don't you just love PMS?

According to WebMD, 85 percent of women experience at least one of the symptoms listed above. Two to 10 percent experience severe symptoms.  

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While symptoms can make you seem like you're having an outer body experience, there's one thing can help reduce PMS—exercise.

Here are five reasons why you should hit the gym when it's time for your monthly period.

Fight Fatigue

It's hard to find the motivation to work out when you're PMSing; you're tired, achy, and cranky, but exercise will help reduce the evil PMS side of you. This is actually one of the best ways to reduce, if not eliminate symptoms altogether.  Many women experience extreme fatigue during PMS; working out gives you energy when you need it most.  

Control Cravings

Exercise also boosts your metabolism, which helps control your cravings. It's still so hard to not eat something salty or sweet, but if you get moving the cravings may subside. Plus, if you're eating foods that are not that great for you, you'll feel worse in the long run. Burn the chocolates you ate to help you stay on track with your fitness goal.

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Stop the Emotional Roller Coaster

Hormones definitely play with women's emotions. You can get stressed, angry or depressed more easily when you experience PMS symptoms. If you work out, you'll release brain chemicals called endorphins, which helps improve your mood swings.  Go for a walk, take a Zumba class, or relax in yoga to reduce stress, depression or frustration.

Beat Bloating

You feel fat...isn't that enough motivation to do some sort of exercise?

Aches and Pains Go Away

Light to moderate exercise will help get your blood moving and release aches and pains. Listen to your body. You don't have to go run a marathon, but a brisk walk will help ease pain.  Why not swim a few laps? Swimming is a great form of exercise that is easy on the joints. This is a fantastic way to move without putting more pressure on your body. Or, take a yoga class. Stretch out any back pain or neck aches. Or, just stay in child's pose and breathe.

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Here are a few suggestions to get moving and have some fun while you go through your premenstrual cycle.

  • Take an extra step or two. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  • Have fun with friends. Play a game of soccer, softball, flag football or other field related sports.
  • Just dance. When you hear your favorite song on the radio, just bust out a move and create your own dance party.
  • Enjoy a ladies day out. Grab your girlfriends and take a hike, head to the driving range, play tennis, or ride bikes.

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How do you ease your PMS symptoms? 

Active logoReduce PMS in a fitness class.

About the Author

Fara Rosenzweig

Fara Rosenzweig is the Lifestyle Editor for She is a fitness fanatic, yogi and runner who loves to try new activities. Follow Fara on Google+ or twitter @FJRose.
Fara Rosenzweig is the Lifestyle Editor for She is a fitness fanatic, yogi and runner who loves to try new activities. Follow Fara on Google+ or twitter @FJRose.

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