Skip Nav
Printable Workouts
In a Workout Rut? These 50+ Workout Posters Are the Answer
Cardio Workouts
A Killer 30-Minute Treadmill Workout That Will Whip You Into Shape
Healthy Eating Tips
Become a Healthy Baker With These Surprising Butter Substitutes

Should You Skip a Workout If You Have Bad Cramps?

We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on POPSUGAR Fitness!

Source: Thinkstock

We'd love to give you a pass, but every expert we polled said that exercise is nature's Midol. You break a sweat and you get a rush of happy-making endorphins — key at that time of the month when they're naturally at their lowest levels, says Pinar Kodaman, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Yale University. Those same endorphins dull the effects of prostaglandins, chemicals that trigger cramps, which means any workout you do — run, pilates, boot camp — is like popping a painkiller. If you need insta-relief before you can even think about the gym, try this prep pose from Chicago yogi Allison English.

The Move: Legs Up the Wall

Source: Terry Doyle

Lie faceup with legs extended up wall, feet flexed, arms at sides. Place rolled towel under hips. Hold 3 minutes.

Why It Works

  • Pressing into the towel helps release tension in the lower back.
  • Your pelvis is tilted up, changing circulation and easing cramps.

Add a Cool Mind Trick

Repeat a word that sums up how you want to feel post-workout (i.e., better!); it will help convince you to get moving.


Source: Richard Kinnier, Ph.D., psychology professor at Arizona State University in Tempe

More from

Can You Go Off Your Diet on Thanksgiving?
Mojito Makes a Good Low-Calorie Cocktail
100-Pound Weight-Loss Transformation | Christine Carlos
Is Intermittent Fasting Good For You?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds