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How to Work Out and What to Eat During PMS


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is mentally and physically unpleasant time of women’s cycle that starts 2-14 days before the menstruation. Every woman bears it individually, but there is a number of ways that help to make this period as painless as possible. Let’s talk on how healthy eating and physical loads influence PMS painfulness.

PMS symptoms are divided into physical and psychological. The main reason of this syndrome is considered to be hormonal changes. Nevertheless, lifestyle (diet, sleep, stress, bad habits) can also make an influence on its severity.

One of the most frequent symptoms is weight gain, which is connected with fluid retention in the body and swelling. There can also be muscle and joint pain, constipation or diarrhea, strong thirst, frequent urination, craving for food (especially for sweets and pastry), apathy, fatigue (or in some cases excessive energy), acne. These are the physical symptoms that can be connected with exercising and nutrition.

Lack of vitamins and minerals in the body, eating large amounts of salt, alcohol and coffee, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and stress can all have an impact in this case. All these factors are excluded if you do sports. Healthy balanced diet will provide you with all necessary vitamins and microelements, as all sportsmen are recommended to take vitamin-mineral complexes. Having too much salt, alcohol and coffee, smoking and sedentary lifestyle are also not possible when doing sports. And stress, as well as lack of sleep, is the main enemy of good results in sports.

If you have bad PMS it is not necessary to rush to medications immediately. At first try to correct your eating habits.

  • Limit your sugar, salt, coffee and strong tea intake and don’t exceed the required daily amount of liquid — 1,5 liters per day (better if it is mineral water or unsweetened juices)! Excess of liquid in the body leads to painful swelling of chest and other parts of the body.
  • Alcohol is also not recommended. It increases the feeling of hunger, headache and irritability.
  • Forget about products that contain artificial additives and flavor enhances.
  • Stay away from a large amount of animal fats (especially during PMS), as they are the main source of cholesterol, the excess of which provokes problems with blood circulation. But dishes with fish, poultry or lean beef will come in handy.
  • Use vegetable oil instead of butter.
  • Don’t limit yourself in fresh vegetables and fruits, as they contain the necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber. By the way, A and D groups vitamins improve skin health and prevent acne during PMS. And vitamin Е relieves depression and pain in the mammary glands.

Working out helps to increase body endurance, which is important during PMS. Don’t overload your nervous system! Lack of sleep will only increase irritability and decrease body’s resistance to stress.

Therefore, try not to work at nights, sleep not less than 8 hours a day in a well-ventilated room, and take a contrast shower before bed.

Yoga and breathing exercises help to relieve headache during PMS. At the same time, it is recommended to restrain from cardio exercises and pumping abs during PMS and menstruation. Generally, it is recommended to decrease the intensity of physical exercises during that time, as body’s strength is weakened. If you experience too much pain during that period of time, it is better to stop working out for a few days, as the result may be negative for your body.

Sports and workputs during periods

There is no need to get out of step during periods. Our coach allowed us to miss workouts just for the first day. Sometimes happens that work-out sessions and competitions occur on menses. That’s why sportspeople train even during periods, unless coach gives less load. Sportspeople of high level keep diaries where they write their experiences and plan workouts considering cycles.

If you used to train regularly, workouts at slow pace with medium load are even recommended as they improve blood circulation. Stretching exercises also improve blood circulation. During the periods, weight trainings, weight lifting, abs exercises, sit-up are suspended.
As for swimming, there are no any contraindications because here abs muscles work in another way. You may swim using sanitary protection if your doctor didn’t restrict it. You may miss the first day of periods but if your mensal is moderate and painless, visiting a pool will not cause any damage.

You should consider periods as usual days. Suspend physical load just in case if your belly aches and you feel uncomfortable. In general, you may feel some cramps during premenstrual syndrome. There may be abdominal distension, rapid fatigability. If you train with a coach, you may tell him about your state so that he modifies your workout considering your general condition.

If you train at home, avoid weight trainings like abs exercises and squats. Slow running, walking, flexibility exercises are admissible. During this period you may try yoga or pilates.


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Jessica Hall
Latest posts by Jessica Hall (see all)
Jessica Hall

Writer, nutritionist, vegan.


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