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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > September 2019 > Your questions answered

Your questions answered

Essential advice from our team on everything from whether running can help combat period cramps, to how to avoid calf pain, plus how to attach a race number without wrecking your t-shirt


Q I get really bad cramps during my period and have been told running can help. Is this true?

A It’s off en pain rather than the amount of blood loss that stops women exercising during their period, and cramps are sometimes worse in the pre-menstrual week before bleeding starts.the wall of the uterus is made up of muscle that contracts to encourage the lining of the uterus to come away. Small blood vessels in the muscle get compressed, reducing the blood supply, which leads to further contraction and cramping.there’s a distinct lack of medical research to really prove whether running reduces period pain. thankfully, as the topic is generally becoming less taboo in general, studies are starting to emerge. A recent one from St Mary’s University revealed 78 per cent of the women found exercise helped to reduce period-related symptoms, of which pain was one. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals that can help to increase wellbeing and reduce pain. Moderate-intensity exercise seems to be the most effective, so start with a brisk walk and increase to a gentle run. Distraction and relaxation both play an important role in how much pain affects you, and going for a run can off er both of these, particularly if it’s a chatty run with a friend. Don’t let pain put you off and relaxing in a hot bath affterwards can help cramps, too.JM

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About Women’s Running

In the September issue of Women’s Running, we want you to banish the guilt and claim your running for you! We look at some incredible locations where you can regroup, get some me-time, and run your socks off. Go on - you deserve it. If you’re looking to push your training to the next level, we’ve got the ultimate introduction to triathlon, and how a bit of swimming and cycling can benefit your running in so many ways. And now that it’s back to school time, we’ve also included a no-time 10K training plan, for those of us with more than one schedule to juggle. Plus, we speak to the incredible and inspirational Anna McNuff, who is currently mid-way through a 2,620-mile tour of Britain - on foot, and barefoot. As a Girlguiding ambassador, she’s on a mission to inspire girls everywhere to be brave and seek adventure.