- Menstrual cramps are a result of the brief loss of oxygen to the muscle tissue in the uterus
- There are two types of menstrual cramps – Primary and secondary
- Aerobic exercises can help ease the pain
- Intense physical activity can help keep the cramps at bay
We often hear our mother and grandmothers telling those girls who have ‘come of age’ to avoid strenuous physical activity during their periods. Then again, do they encourage these young girls or women to exert themselves on other days? Doing so will help relieve menstrual cramps.
The Science Behind Menstrual Cramps or Dysmenorrhea
Most girls enter the stage of puberty during their early teenage. Some women or girls experience a lot of pain in the lower abdomen region of the back. This pain is called dysmenorrhea. This occurs due to the contractions of the uterus.
During the menstrual cycle, the uterus contracts. When the uterus contracts in a rather overtly strong manner, it presses against the blood vessels situated close to it. In doing so, it cuts off the supply of oxygen to uterus’ muscle tissue. In short, the pain is a result of the brief loss of oxygen to the muscle tissue.
There are Two Types of Dysmenorrhea:
- Primary dysmenorrhea
- Secondary dysmenorrhea
While the latter deserves medical attention, the former can be easily cured and prevented.
Exercising Your Way to a Peaceful Period
Contraceptive pills and other types of medication have proven to be rather effective in tackling menstrual cramps. But a healthy lifestyle, in the end, is the best solution to resolve such problems.
Many medical researchers have said intense physical activity prior to the commencement of the menstrual cycle can help tackle the issue of primary dysmenorrhea.
This is primarily due to the fact that body releases beta-endorphins which help burn the prostaglandins faster. For those of you who are wondering what prostaglandins are – they are chemicals released during the menstrual cycle that causes muscle contractions.
In the past, women were engaged in intense physical activity in and around their houses. From grinding rice to washing clothes; from farming to cooking three meals for a large family; these activities were instrumental in maintaining their physique. However, with the dawn of technology and electronic devices, a woman’s physical activity has diminished. Thus, there is a rising demand for additional outlets that promote a greater level of physical activity.
Aerobic exercise is said to work wonders for women who suffer from menstrual cramps. Aerobic exercises include cardio machines, spinning, swimming, running or even brisk walking. If you are a sportsperson and enjoy playing a game or are a serious athlete, then it is unlikely that you would have experienced such pain.
Martial arts such as Taekwondo, Karate or Kalaripayattu are a few fascinating ways by which you could keep period cramps at bay. Not only do these routines make you physically strong, but they also help you stay calm and focussed.
Yoga and meditation have also been recommended by experts as a way to prevent the occurrence of dysmenorrhea.
However, it is advised to avoid these activities during the cycle for it could lead to cases of hormonal imbalance or unexpected injuries.
So, what are you waiting for? Get pumped up and stay fit, always!