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Exercise & PMS

Cramps! Bloating! Irritability! It’s called Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), and it can really put some of us ladies in a funk! In fact, some months are so bad that the only thing we want to do is lie on the couch with the remote control. That has a better appeal than going to the gym to workout. But, you shouldn’t allow those crazy symptoms to get in your way! Here are some tips on how to stay fit during that week from hell.

Stay on Track!
Unless you have excessive pain or heavy bleeding during your period, one of the best ways to beat the ups and downs of your menstrual cycle is by working out. The serotonin production in the brain will alleviate the mood swings through exercise. Besides that, your endorphins kick in which is your body’s natural pain killer. You will even improve your circulation and relieve stress too.

Tweak Your Training!
Though you shouldn’t have to avoid any moves during your time of the month, you can reduce the load if you’re feeling really fatigued. So, if you squat 100 pounds normally, reduce it to 80 or 90 pounds during this time. You may even do more reps with the lighter weight. Another way to tweak your workouts is by exercising only your smaller muscle groups such as your shoulders, biceps, triceps, and glutes. Then you can just hit it hard the next week. Finally, you may just want to skip the weights and do yoga moves that will increase blood flow which reduces pain and relieves pressure from your back.

Eat Clean!
Up your fiber during your period by eating more fruits and vegetables. Because your GI tract runs next to your uterus, built up waste material can worsen your cramps. The extra fiber will stimulate movement through the GI tract and clean you out. Eat spinach as it will help replace iron that is lost during your cycle. Oranges are also great as it contains vitamin C which aids in the absorption of iron. You may also want to add in some extra Greek yogurt and/or tofu as both are great protein sources that will help relieve PMS symptoms by regulating your moods and sustaining energy. Also, make sure you drink as much water as possible because it will reduce any bloating.

Dietary Suggestions
•    Reduce sugar and salt intake. This is especially useful for bloating and swelling of the hands and feet, breast tenderness, and dizziness. Increase foods rich in potassium, such as fish, beans, and broccoli.
•    Eat small, frequent meals to help stabilize blood sugar.
•    Eliminate caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety, depression, and breast tenderness.
•    Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fish.
•    Avoid alcohol.
•    Decrease intake of fatty foods and red meat.

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