Menstrual Disorders Diet Exercise

Most of us know that diet and exercise contribute to a healthier life. However, did you know that proper diet and exercise also lead to better menstrual health? In fact, exercise for menstrual disorders has proven to be effective and uplifting for many women who were troubled by their symptoms.

Exercise

Regular exercise leads to increased blood circulation, a reduction in fat and obesity and a decrease in premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Although 30 to 60 minutes of routine exercise each day is an optimal goal for many individuals, just 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week is considered an effective amount of activity for reducing menstrual pain. Exercise for menstrual disorders is an effective and healthy way to alleviate symptoms.

Routine workouts, such as brisk walks, jogging, swimming or cycling improve overall health and alleviate negative symptoms. There is a strong balance between physical and psychological health, and most individuals who adopt a lifestyle of exercise appreciate the benefits. They feel better, look better and tend to be happier. Exercise is a great stress reducer.

Yoga, too, is considered an effective and healthy exercise regime, especially for menstrual discomfort. The yoga philosophy also works to relieve stress, which is considered a major contributor to menstrual disorders. Yoga also contributes positive influences for those PMS psychological symptoms, such as irritability, anger and depression. PMS exercise (exercising through the actual symptoms) has also been very beneficial to many individuals who were suffering from headaches, cramps, nausea, bloating and mood swings.

Vitamins

Diet relief for menstrual disorders will include vitamins and minerals that may alleviate cramping and specific symptoms associated with PMS. These include:

  • B6 (pyridoxine): B6 is credited with promoting strong, healthy levels of neurotransmitters and endorphins in the body. This may lead to a decrease in breast tenderness and pain, anxiety, irritability and water retention.
  • Calcium: Calcium may help to elevate mood while simultaneously decreasing water retention.
  • Evening primrose oil: Essential fatty acids have long been credited for their positive health attributes. GLA is an active form of omega-6 fatty acids. Evening primrose oil is rich in GLA and may reduce mastalgia (breast pain), depression, anxiety and irritability.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is associated with decreased breast pain and tenderness as well as nervousness and anxiety.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E may aid with food cravings, depression, anxiety, fatigue and low energy.

Discuss any additional vitamin supplements you plan on taking with your physician before beginning a new regimen. Some vitamins are harmful to the body in excess. It may be safest to eat foods rich in these vitamins instead of actually adding supplements to the diet.

Diet

There is a clear link between menstrual complications and diets that are too low in important nutrients. Although our fast-paced and often hectic lives can make it difficult to pay attention to what we are eating, nutritionists know that diets contribute significantly to female chemistry. Changing one’s diet can actually be more helpful and effective than hormonal treatments.

The best diet for PMS will include complex carbohydrates, high-calcium foods, fresh fruits, vegetables, lean fish (high in omega-3 fatty acids), poultry and plenty of water, which are all recommended during menstruation. The best diet for PMS is one that avoids (or reduces) caffeine, chocolate, sugar, salt and alcohol. Diet relief for menstrual disorders is effective when one sticks to the recommended nutrients and avoids those foods and stimulants that are known to trigger negative effects.

Resources

Families Online Magazine (2006). Vitamins and Minerals for Menopause and PMS Symptoms. Retrieved June 30, 2007, from the Families Online Magazine Web site: http://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/women-center/vitamins-hormones.html.

True Health (2004). Evening Primrose Oil Helps PMS. Retrieved June 30, 2007, from the True Health Web site: http://www.truehealth.org/ahealn20.html.