When it comes to that time of the month, we are often left feeling a bit rubbish, at least for the first few days. You might think that exercise is the absolute last thing that you want to do and depending on your symptoms, you might be right. However, if you can do a bit of gentle Pilates, this can really help to ease those symptoms and might make you feel a bit better.
I know you're probably not feeling motivated to do Pilates...you're feeling bloated and slugging and maybe suffering from stomach cramps. But you don't have to go to a class at a studio, you could do some Pilates in the comfort of your own home, either using moves you know already or on The Wellbeing Shed online studio.
But first, let me tell you why Pilates can be good for period pain and why it can actually make you feel better.
A regular Pilates practice can help to relieve PMS symptoms, reduce abdominal pain and bloating. Sounds good so far, right?!
The Pilates breath
The breathing used in Pilates can help to relax the mind and reduce stress. Stress can be a huge factor in the severity of PMS symptoms, so breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth can help to regulate your nervous system.
In Pilates, we use lateral breathing, which means breathing into the back and side of the ribs as well as the stomach. The breath can help to massage the internal organs and regulate those hormonal stresses on the body.
Even if you didn't want to move that much, just taking some time to focus on the breath will be beneficial for your PMS.
Pilates & The Pelvic Floor
Whether you're aware of it or not, Pilates works for your pelvic floor. Our pelvic floor works whenever we do any sort of pelvic movement, such as the pelvic tilt or squats.
Pilates can help to improve blood flow to the the pelvic floor, which ultimately can help increase relaxation of the muscles and release any tension.
Pilates Exercises for Period Pain
It's likely that you will want to avoid any strenuous abdominal moves when suffering with PMS (unless you're a super human), but side bends and gentle twists can help to relieve stomach pains and relax the muscles. You can also sit in child's pose or move through cat / cow to help stretch the front of the stomach and ease lower back ache.
There are so many benefits of Pilates that will also help with PMS symptoms - reduce bloating, relaxation / stress reduction, better sleep and increased concentration. So the next time you feel those PMS symptoms coming on, try a bit of Pilates.