This is the first article of my ‘no excuses’ series. When trying to convince my friends and sisters to do yoga, bike, or even walk with me, the number one excuse I get is “maybe next week, I have cramps’. Well, here’s my response. Check back with this series for more ways to have “No Excuses”.
1. Waterphoto credit: RLHyde via photopin cc
Drinking lots of water before and during your menstrual cycle can help relieve bloat. If you’re really suffering, try warm water, which helps relax muscles. Tired of drinking? You can eat also eat foods that are water-based. For example, try a salad with celery, lettuce, and cucumbers.
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During menstruation, heat is a girls’ best-friend. A heating pad or hot water bottle on the abdomen or lower back can bring immense relief. To numb all aches and pains, run a warm bath and soak for a while.
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Exercise might be the last thing on your mind when menstruation hits, but light exercises before and during can reduce and sometimes even prevent certain symptoms. Walking, cycling, and yoga are perfect ways to get the blood pumping and increase endorphin and serration levels, which act as mood boosters and natural pain killers.
4. Avoid Caffeinephoto credit: Flооd via photopin cc
Your morning cup of coffee might be causing you more pain during your menstruation. Caffeine is a dehydrating stimulant that can constrict blood vessels and irritate your intestines. Try to avoid sodas and highly caffeinated teas as well. For the warm-drink cravings, have a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile is known to have a calming effect and reduce muscle tension. Try warm water with cinnamon or ground ginger. Cinnamon is a great soother and ginger has been proven to treat cramps and morning sickness.
5. Vitaminsphoto credit: bradley j via photopin cc
Vitamins are not only good for your health overall, but they help with menstrual pains. The book “Prevention’s Healing with Vitamins” says that diets high in B vitamins can relieve menstrual cramps. Vitamin B6 allows the uterine muscles to relax, helping cramps to become more manageable. A study in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has revealed that vitamin B1, sometimes referred to as thiamine, is effective against menstrual cramps. Vitamin E, when taken during a woman’s menstrual period, can also offer menstrual cramp relief.
6. Have Sexphoto credit: Leonardo Stigliari via photopin cc
Obviously this depends on how comfortable you are with sex during menstruation, but if you are, then there are a quite a few benefits. First being that all those hormones raging through you at this time may make you more sexually aroused than usual. Also, a large number of women have reported that having sex helps end menstruation sooner. Finally, hormones released during sex act as a natural pain reliever.
7. Avoid Certain Foods
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As mentioned above, certain things, such as caffeine, are best avoided before and during menstruation. The most important foods to avoid during this time are fatty foods, alcohol, carbonated beverages, and chocolate.