Days 13-16: Have a better TOTM

ATTENTION MALE READERS! You may want to *skip* this article, it’s about that time of the month. Every guy I know would rather gauge his own eyes out than read, talk, or even think about menstruation. [Trust me, I don’t even want to think about it half the time!]. 

As the title suggests, this article will feature ways to make your TOTM [time of the month] easier to get through, less painful and less of a burden! It’s something that has ruined a few too many of my days and frankly, I’m tired of it! So instead of locking myself up those 4 days or biting off my boyfriends head [figuratively, most of the time], I’m going to take this month’s “gift from mother nature” and kick it square in the face. If you aren’t careful, the TOTM can not only derail your physical health [eating greasy food, chocolate cravings] but can also seriously affect your mental health [some women suffer from such severe PMS and PMDD that they go into fits of depression!] Below are just a few suggestions that have been proven to decrease the most common PMS symptoms [bloat, fatigue, irritability, cramps and weight gain].

Days 13: Pump up the exercise

The last thing I want to do during those few days is exercise. However, staying on your normal exercise regime will not only decrease your feelings of fatigue or bloat, but will also reduce your feelings of irritability and sadness. Exercise releases endorphins, which in turn, increase your mood and outlook on life.Exercise also works to prevent water weight gain. So grab your running shoes and hit the pavement!

Day 14: Do Yoga and other meditation routines

Along with your regular routine, adding yoga and other meditation exercises can help alleviate pain caused by cramps. Practicing common yoga stretches and exercises have been proven to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding and lower back pain! For the most relief, practice the stretches shown below.

Paschimottanasana (The Posterior Stretch)

This  yoga pose focuses solely on stretching. This supplies abundant blood to stomach, kidneys, liver, pancreas and spleen. This stretch also tones up your abdomen.

Janu Sirshasana (The Head To Knee Posture)

This stretch allows muscles of the back to get fully stretched and legs and spinal column to become more supple.  This head to knee posture relieves congestion in pelvic organs and improves blood flow to pituitary, pineal and thyroid glands. Not only does this allow your body to be more limber, but it works to relax your muscles and organs and relieve stress.

Shavasana (The Corpse Pose)

The pose is ideal for complete physical and mental relaxation. Your whole body and mind gets recharged with energy. This pose also works to eliminate toxins accumulated in the blood. By relaxing your entire body, you are able to reduce high blood pressure, insomnia, nervous disorders and depression.  The above yoga poses should be practiced gently, followed by controlled breathing and meditation.

Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose)

This pose tones up the organs in the abdomen and the pelvis.  It is good for genitourinary disorders of the ovaries as well as menstrual irregularities.

For more yoga poses, visit http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/finder/browse_categories.

Day 14: Get your vitamins

One of the key vitamins to take during that time of the month [as well as the rest of the month!] is iron. Low energy level is often one of the most common symptoms associated with your period and increased iron can help to give you more energy and reduce constant fatigue.  Including iron, you should also be taking an additional 500 milligrams of calcium prior to your cycle beginning and during it. Calcium taken during the beginning has been shown to ease PMS symptoms. B-vitamins and magnesium are key as well because they help to ease irritability and decrease water retention.

Day 15: Reduce salt consumption

A little salt can’t hurt anyone, but be very wary of how much you consume during that time of the month. The same advice goes for caffeine and alcohol intake as well. Salt is a major contributor to water retention and bloating during your period. Try to reduce your sodium intake to around 500-2000 mg the week before your period. However, sodium is hidden in many foods, particularly pre-packaged and processed foods, so be careful of what you are eating and pay attention to the nutritional facts on the back of the packaged items you buy.  Another way to help flush the sodium out of your diet is to drink more water. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Drinking more water will not only reduce the bloat caused by too much sodium, but also helps to keep your body regular during this time.

PMS happens, but it doesn’t have to define us. Hopefully some of these natural remedies will help you overcome all of the agonizing symptoms we often face during that TOTM!

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~ by therealnutritionist on May 5, 2010.

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