Study finds treadmill exercise reduces menstrual pain

Painful periods are distressing for many women and are a deterrent to many activities as well – a study now suggests that the cramps/pains can be more manageable with weekly exercise on the treadmill.

Leica Claydon-Mueller, from UK’s Anglia Ruskin University explains that women with painful periods actively avoid exercise, as it is the least attractive thing to someone in pain.

Researchers recruited 70 women aged 18 to 43 years who suffered from dysmenorrhea, or painful menstrual periods. These women were supervised in workouts on a treadmill three times a week for a month, starting the day after the end of their period. The treadmill exercise continued on at home for six months. A control group of women who did not follow the workout regimen were also part of the study.

The results then show that the women who exercised felt 6% less pain after four months, and an estimated 22 percent after six months. The physical exercise was also seen to improve their daily performance and quality of life, after about seven months. Claydon-Mueller emphasises the significantly reduced pain levels in the women who exercised, but agrees that larger-scale research is necessary to establish stronger clinical proof of the benefits of treadmill exercise for period pain and health-related quality of life.