Most health-focused organizations will affirm that exercise is a vital part of your health. The American Heart Association recommends exercising or engaging in some type of physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes per day for at least five days. Doing so helps to keep your muscles strong and increases your endurance when you are engaging in physical activities. If you are a woman, you may experience cramps during your menstrual period. However, it shouldn't prevent you from exercising.
Not every woman experiences menstrual cramps during their menstrual period. However, it is a common symptom. In most cases, menstrual cramps occur as a result of pressure in the uterus as the lining sheds. Exercising can sometimes help to relieve this pressure yet some women find exercise makes it worse.
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Types of Exercise
In some cases, exercises that are more strenuous can make cramps worse. This may include strength-training exercises such as weightlifting or resistance training. If you find that it is the case for you, opt for a simpler exercise such as walking or perhaps jogging. If you feel comfortable doing so, swimming can also be helpful. The water provides gentle pressure that can help to relieve muscle cramps.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Drink a minimum of 48 to 64 oz. of water each day, and increase your intake by an additional 4 oz. if you exercise or are exposed to extreme weather conditions. Staying hydrated helps to fortify your muscles, which can reduce the occurrence of muscle cramps. If you have cramps before you exercise, take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen to alleviate the pain from the cramps. Consult your physician about taking any drugs to ensure that they are appropriate for your specific medical condition.
If you experience severe pain from muscle cramps before or during exercise, consult your physician about the frequency and severity of the muscle cramps. He can provide some suggestions or determine whether there may be an underlying medical issue.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.