That time of the month where some women simply can’t go about their ‘lady businesses’ without experiencing that sort of scourging anguish often characterized by gnashing teeth, or emptying strip after after of painkillers down the throat.
A real pain in the…abdomen, this menstrual cramps; and it’s just unfortunate that it’s effects are sometimes so devastating that some women would gladly give up the female genitalia and its technicalities for good if they had the chance to.
What should have been a smooth monthly activity is now dreaded because it hurts.
But that should no longer be the case- especially if you own a treadmill or know where you can have access to some- because research has shown that running on a treadmill at least three times a week can relieve the discomfort of menstrual cramps.
According to the researchers, women who exercised on the gym equipment cut their pain rate down by 22 per cent after six months, compared to those who didn’t.
Also referred to as primary dysmenorrhea, this troubling condition nearly half of women encounter during their period, is believed to be caused by the activity of chemicals called prostaglandins.
These chemicals force the blood vessels in the uterus to contract, and prevent oxygen from reaching the womb’s tissue, triggering the discomfort in the abdomen.
In the research facilitated by the Anglia Ruskin University, 70 women aged between 18 and 43, who experience primary dysmenorrhea were analyzed.
The women were required to run at between 70 and 85 per cent of their max heart rate on the treadmill three times a week for six months, and their results were subsequently compared to that of a control group, who didn’t do any exercise.
Researchers found women using a treadmill experienced six per cent less pain after four weeks, and that the pain reduction got bigger further into the trial which has been published in the journal Contemporary Clinical Trials.
Study co-author at the Anglia Ruskin University, Dr Leica Claydon-Mueller, explained the findings: ‘Women who have painful periods often take steps to actively avoid exercise – after all when you are in pain it is often the last thing that you want to partake in.
‘However, this trial demonstrated exercise significantly reduced pain for those people taking part in the programme, and they also reported reduced pain levels after four and seven months.’
The study also involved experts at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, University of Otago, and Dunedin School of Medicine, both in New Zealand.
Dr Priya Kannan, of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, added: ‘The improvements in quality of life scores after seven months were noteworthy.
‘Although it was perhaps surprising that there was no significant difference in sleep quality to that of the control group.
‘These multiple benefits might be considered a “package deal” by women.
‘The evidence supporting the use of aerobic exercise for managing pain, improving quality of life and improving daily functioning has been strengthened by the findings from this research.’