Over half the female population experience some form of pain or discomfort during the period for around 1-3 days. Severe pain and persistent cramping requires medical attention though. Regular cramps vary per individual but this could all be greatly minimized by taking care of your health. More than half of women who menstruate report some pain from period cramps. Menstrual cramps, medically termed dysmenorrhea, is a normal phenomenon that should be quite bearable with proper diet, exercise and stress management.
Here are 6 great pieces of advice that effectively ease cramps.
1.) Eat Your Fiber
This also applies to every other day of the month. Healthy eating should be habitual. If you have enough vegetables everyday your digestion is often or always easy and menstrual discomforts can get greatly improved. Increasing the amount of fiber before and/or during your cycle will greatly help with cleansing out toxins thus making the period flow freer and easier and less crampy. Lots of raw fruits are high in fiber and antioxidants too and eve taste like vegetables!
2.) Value Your Carbs
Zero carb diets are a dangerous myth, fainting, getting irritable and looking pale and haggard does not sound healthy. Carbs power our cells and the intake of the proper amount of carbs with more fiber and lean protein fuels our exercise properly. Minimized carbs prevent our bodies from eating straight into the muscle. We burn the carbs instead along with excess fat while we keep lean protein.
3.) Eat Throughout the Day
This will speed up your metabolism and greatly lower the chances of indulging in the bad stuff. 4 to 6 meals is an ideal aim. Medium to small meals with one or two big ones is a good combination for the moderately active. Abusing food especially processed products have huge detrimental effects but a diet based on balance and organic as much as possible wholeheartedly allow cheat days.
4.) Hydrate Properly
Have sugary drinks as little as possible, avoid soda if you can. Nothing like good water to help power and hydrate your cells, effectively digest food, clear skin, greatly aid in oxygen circulation and makes you feel how really full you are. Dehydration is totally avoidable yet is one of the main causes of poor health. Everything hurts and tires more when you do not drink enough.
A lot of people who don’t drink enough water is because they do not favor it and find it boring and plain compared to sodas, instant fruit juices and sweetened tea. Well there is no substitute for water and it is our responsibility to properly hydrate and be grateful we even have access to potable water.
Water will definitely lighten cramps and makes blood flow so much more fluid. To make water easier to drink, more interesting and even nutritious is adding some slices of lemon, cucumber, mint, etc. Citrus makes water more awesome and more easily absorbed by the body. Vitamin C aids in iron absorption- a mineral declined through menstruation.
Do not overdo coffee, though some caffeine through coffee and tea can be very soothing, medicinal and therefore beneficial for your womb. Herbal teas are great for aiding in hormone balance while coffee helps with perking one up.
5.) Train Yourself to Stretch Often and Run Sometimes
That is the minimum requirement of physical activity to keep you fit or enough and naturally delaying old age. Being more physically active makes cramps hurt less and much shorter. This is because you allow circulation and muscle building.
Some squats, free weights, planks, full body stretches, lots of leg stretches and cardio should be included in an effective workout for maintaining shape and fighting menstrual discomforts. Do not do all of these exercises in one day. Spread them throughout the week to be able to focus on different parts.
For more immediate pain relief go for more full body stretches, squats, leg stretches and maybe some light cardio.
6.) Take Natural Supplements esp Fish Oil and Iron
Natural supplements are important to consider unless your diet is very varied, organic and clean. It doesn’t hurt to take some supplements especially good ol vitamin C that you can double or triple during flu season and when you travel. B complex or the B vitamin family is key to a lot of hormonal functions and production and regulation of serotonin. Fish oil is gold for it fights bad fat and bad cholesterol, helps burn excess fat and strengthens the heart. Iron supplements will work wonders for your focus and mood as well.