Take That PMS! Don't Let These Symptoms Keep You From Working Out

Triggering everything from pimples to bloating, cramps to spontaneous tearful outbursts, PMS and period symptoms not only have the ability to ruin your day, but they can also put a damper on workouts. Since exercise actually alleviates many of these uncomfortable feelings, here are some of the best ways to handle common PMS symptoms while working out.

  • Bloating: Swelling in your lower abdomen doesn't always inspire you to sport a fitted tank or leggings. Forget impressing anyone and go for comfort by wearing loose-fitting pants that have wide waistbands and a tank that hides a pooch. Sipping on this chocolate banana cashew smoothie can also help alleviate bloating, cramping, and constipation.
  • Cramps: When your uterus contracts, you can feel mild to debilitating cramps. If you aren't bound to your bed in the fetal position, get moving. Doing some cardio that gets your heart pumping — such as jogging, brisk walking, riding your bike, or swimming — releases pain-relieving beta-endorphins to alleviate your discomfort, and it also helps to decrease those cramp-inducing muscle contractions. If the pain is really bad, try these yoga poses for relieving menstrual cramps.
  • Tender breasts: If your chest is feeling especially sore, when exercising, double up with a sports bra and tank with a built-in shelf bra. During this time, consider skipping strength-training moves that put pressure on your chest and find other ways to work those muscles. Also avoid salty foods since bloating from fluid retention can lead to sore breasts.
  • Fatigue: Not feeling much get-up-and-go? Do lighter workouts by either shortening the distance, slowing down your pace, or choosing low-impact workouts like yoga or walking. Do what you can and don't feel bad about doing a less-intense or shorter workouts when you are feeling fatigued.
  • Moodiness: Whether you're feeling angry, sad, or just plain irritated, don't skip hitting the gym as research shows it can improve your mood. Choose an uplifting workout like Zumba to send your blahs packing, or if you don't feel like a class, exercise on your own to a playlist of favorite tunes. Sweating it out with a friend is another great way to ditch the gloom since venting while moving almost always makes you feel better.