Why Do I Get Period Cramps When I Run? The Causes & Solutions Revealed

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By John A

It’s the middle of your running session and you have just started to feel it – a sharp, stabbing pain in your lower abdomen that gradually intensifies as time passes. You’ve heard about the endorphin rush associated with long-distance running but this pain is not like anything you’ve ever experienced before. You can’t help but wonder why do I get period cramps when I run?

Quick Answer

Period cramps are caused by the contraction of your uterus during menstruation. When you run, your muscles contract and relax quickly which can cause a similar sensation to period cramps. It is also possible that running increases circulation in the area, causing more intense sensations. To reduce or prevent period cramps while running, try taking ibuprofen before exercise or wearing a supportive abdominal belt to provide extra support for the abdomen and lower back.

Why Do I Get Period Cramps When I Run?

Period cramps can be extremely uncomfortable, but they can become even worse when running or engaging in any type of physical activity. Many women who exercise regularly during their period will experience a worsening of cramping and other symptoms. This is because the uterus contracts more forcefully when performing physical activities like running, which intensifies the discomfort associated with menstrual cramps.

But why does this happen? It has to do with hormones and how your body responds to them. When you run or engage in any form of intense physical activity, your body releases endorphins – otherwise known as “happy hormones” – that help reduce pain levels while also increasing pleasure sensations. However, these same hormones can have an adverse effect on those experiencing period pains: Endorphins cause increased contractions in the uterus walls which exacerbates the already present painful sensation from menstrual cramps.

The best way to combat this issue is through a combination of rest and medication – however there are some tips that could alleviate at least some discomfort: start off slow; opt for low-impact exercises such as walking rather than running; use heat pads/warm compresses on your abdomen; hydrate properly before exercising so dehydration won’t worsen your symptoms; try yoga poses specifically designed for menstrual relief like Cat & Cow pose (Marjaryasana); practice calming breathing techniques throughout your workout session; make sure you get enough rest each day by taking regular breaks between sessions or cutting back intensity levels if needed; wear comfortable clothing made out of moisture wicking fabrics and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen before engaging in exercise if needed.

The Link Between Running & Prostaglandins

Running is a popular form of exercise, as it not only helps to keep us fit and active, but also has numerous health benefits. One such benefit that running can provide is the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances which help regulate various bodily functions, from inflammation to fertility. In recent years, research has suggested that regular running could result in increased levels of prostaglandins in the body – with potential implications for our overall health and well-being.

So how does running increase the amount of prostaglandins in our bodies? Firstly, when we run or engage in other forms of aerobic activity, we produce more free radicals than usual – these are molecules that damage cells and cause oxidative stress on our bodies. The presence of these free radicals can lead to an increase in inflammatory markers such as cytokines and leukotrienes – both produced by cells themselves via certain enzymes (including cyclooxygenase). In response to this increased inflammation, our bodies naturally increase their production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a type of anti-inflammatory molecule which helps reduce inflammation levels back down again. This process occurs through another enzyme called lipoxygenase.

In addition to its role as an anti-inflammatory agent, PGE2 has been shown to have beneficial effects on other aspects related to human physiology; for example reducing cholesterol levels or improving bone mineral density – all linked with improved cardiovascular health or reduced risk for osteoporosis respectively.. However what’s particularly interesting about PGE2 is its ability to aid muscle recovery after exercise; this occurs due mainly due its influence on blood flow throughout the body during physical exertion which results ultimately providing greater oxygen delivery and nutrient uptake at sites where they are needed most during periods post workout . Thus increasing PGE2 concentrations within muscles could have significant implications for athletes looking for optimal performance gains over time; signifying why regular running may be essential if you wish build endurance strength whilst avoiding injury

How to Reduce Period Cramp Discomfort During Exercise

Exercising with cramps can be a difficult task. A woman may feel like she has no choice but to take medication or suffer through the pain, but there are some easy tricks for reducing period cramp discomfort during exercise. Stretching and using a heating pad can really help relieve the pain associated with menstrual cramps, which will allow you to continue exercising without being crippled by the intense discomfort.

Stretching before and after physical activity is an important part of any exercise routine, so if you’re struggling with period cramps it’s especially important to make sure that your body is loosened up prior and post-exercise. Spend a few minutes slowly stretching each body part until you start feeling more comfortable – this should reduce some of the tightness in your muscles and areas prone to cramping. Be careful not to overstretch as this can cause more harm than good! The goal is just simply allowing your muscles enough range of motion that they won’t become painfully tight when working out.
Having a reliable heat source such as a hot water bottle or electric heating pad handy while exercising may also be beneficial in relieving menstrual pains due to its ability not only relax tense muscle fibers, but also increase blood flow which helps reduce swelling around affected areas (like in abdomen). You don’t have time for an entire electric blanket treatment? Use one strategically placed on lower back or abdominal area for 5 minutes at least 30 minutes pre-workout then again afterward; this should provide enough warmth and comfort necessary for completing workout session successfully – both mentally & physically!

Finally, try adding some light yoga poses into your warmup routine – specifically centering around the hips/pelvic area where many women experience their worst period cramping symptoms. Start off by doing gentle hip circles followed by bridge pose (with legs bent) hold for several seconds before releasing down onto ground once again – repeating 3 times total throughout entire sequence will help relax all those majorly involved muscles responsible causing us trouble every month like clockwork! Make sure not too strain yourself as these are meant solely relaxation purposes only; once finished here transition into stretching other body parts accordingly before beginning main portion day’s workout plan itself…

Practical Tools for Combatting Period Cramps During a Run

Running is a fantastic way to stay in shape, but for women who experience cramps during menstruation, it can be an uncomfortable and unenjoyable activity. Thankfully, there are many available tools and techniques to help make running more manageable when period cramps strike.

First of all, the most important thing is understanding how your body works. Knowing when you ovulate will give you insight into when your period may start – that way, you have time to mentally prepare yourself as well as stock up on supplies that might come in handy while running with cramps. Additionally, keeping track of symptoms like bloating or fatigue throughout the month can help inform decisions about whether or not it’s okay to go for a run on any given day – if the pain seems unbearable then maybe taking a break would be best instead. Take note of which days of your cycle tend to cause more severe discomfort so that you can plan around them accordingly!

Another great tool is wearing menstrual underwear designed specifically for running while on your period; they hold everything in place while preventing uncomfortable skin chafing from long-distance runs or intense workouts. There also generally waterproof layers built-in which act as extra protection against leaks and spots – plus some brands offer odor control technology too! Additionally, having access to tampons or pads (or both!) during runs will ensure maximum coverage without fear of getting caught off guard by unexpected leakage mid-run. It’s also worth considering compression shorts/leggings – these provide support around key areas like thighs and hips where muscles often become tight due to cramping pain– meaning less aches & pains post-run!

Finally, being mindful about what type of exercises are conducted throughout each stage of one’s cycle will prevent further aggravation caused by high intensity activities such as sprints; rather opt for lower intensity exercises like walking/hiking or yoga during periods where pain levels might be higher than normal. Of course if this isn’t feasible then simply pay attention to body cues: stop immediately if there’s sharp pain or dizziness present & get plenty rest afterwards if necessary (listen closely!). Stretching before & after runs helps loosen tight muscles & reduce cramping overall too!