I used to have really bad PMS. Cramps, mood swings, fatigue, you name it. Occasionally I still have those symptoms, but they’ve become totally manageable.
What’s made a big difference for me is the regular exercise routine I’ve incorporated into my busy schedule. On weekdays I alternate between yoga, Qi Gong and walking. And on weekends I play tennis and go for a long hike.
Believe it or not, my experience is actually backed up by scientific research. Many studies have confirmed the effect of exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, on reducing PMS symptoms, especially mood-related symptoms such as anger and depression. In fact aerobic exercise is recommended by many studies as the first line treatment for PMS.
I hope this information will motivate you to start your own exercise routine. Here are a few tips that may help you get started:
Find a couple of exercises you actually enjoy.
If you like dance, go dancing. If you like tennis, play tennis. You’re much more likely to do things you enjoy than those you don’t
Schedule a specific time for your exercise.
For example, I do yoga for 45 minutes on Mondays at 6:30pm. If you have a specific time on your calendar, you’re much more likely to stick to.
Try to keep a regular schedule if you can.
Say you do yoga on Mondays, go for a walk on Wednesdays, and play tennis on Saturdays. With this kind of regularity, you won’t have to think about it. And over time it’ll become a habit – a healthy one.
Balance exercise and recovery.
Ideally you want to exercise at least three times a week and for 45 minutes each time to see the effects. But you don’t want to over-exercise. Too much exercise may cause fatigue and make you feel tired. To avoid this, take breaks between your exercises or alternate between aerobics and gentle stretching exercises such as yoga and Tai Chi.
Expect that some days you’ll have to rely on your discipline to stick to your exercise routine. But do it anyway, because you know it’ll always give you energy and make you feel better.
So why not start today to create your own exercise routine, if you don’t already have one?