Stomach cramps can occur for a number of reasons. They can occur due to dehydration and muscular stress during running. Cramps are known to occur during menstrual periods when the uterus begins to shed its lining. A severe stomach infection can cause debilitating cramps. Cramps are no fun and quite frankly can put you out of the race especially if you are participating in competitive sports. Here are some ways and means to deal with painful menstrual cramps and ease physical discomfort.
Dealing With Menstrual Cramps Naturally
Never Exercise on a Full Stomach
If you are planning to go for a run during your menstrual cycle, wait for at least two hours before you hit the ground. Indigestion can aggravate the problem of menstrual stomach cramps. It is also wise to keep sipping on fluids before and after a run. This will prevent dehydration, which can cause cramps.
Always Warm Up and Run Slowly
If you have your period and are feeling discomfort in the initial stages of running, decrease your pace and inhale deeply. Deep breathing will ensure that maximum oxygen is transported to all the adjoining organs.
Once you start feeling more comfortable, increase your pace. This will allow your body and your stomach to adjust more readily to an increase in speed.
Stretching Before Running
It is wise to stretch before you start a vigorous exercise programme especially during your period. Do some side twists or basic yoga stretches to warm up and loosen the stomach muscles. This prevents the connective tissues from straining excessively during an exercise programme. It also reduces heavy menstrual bleeding which is likely to occur with a very vigorous exercise programme.
Strengthen Your Core
One reason why you can suffer from stomach cramps especially during your period is due to a weak torso and stomach. In such cases, make sure you do some core strengthening exercises like Pilates, stomach crunches and sit-ups. Do kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This will tone your abdominal muscles and your lower back in the process.
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A wise man is never a slave to food. Do not eat excessively and stick to simple, home cooked food. Overeating often leads to digestive overload leading to severe heartburn, acidity and stomach cramps. Eat small meals throughout the day. Avoid spicy foods during your period as they can irritate your stomach and cause you to bloat.
If you are suffering from menstrual cramps, mild to moderate exercise will help to relieve the cramps to a great extent.
Severe menstrual cramps require rest. Use some heat compresses to apply heat to the affected area. Rest will certainly improve the cramps and give relief.
Sip on Fluids
In severe cases of PMS, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are also known to occur along with menstrual cramps. Dehydration may also occur. Make sure you take in plenty of fluids to compensate for the fluid loss that is occurring in the body. Eat light and seek a doctor’s help who can help treat the stomach cramps. Sometimes painkillers may be prescribed to get rid of the menstrual cramps.
Yoga is great for overall body conditioning and toning. It ensures stronger muscles and healthy organs. The likelihood of suffering from cramps is greatly reduced with yoga. Of course, you will have to be very consistent with the asanas to see a marked improvement.