One of the best ways to alleviate menstrual cramps isn’t the usual ibuprofen-and-heat method. Though exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing when your monthly cramps set in, your best bet to get rid of those nagging cramps is to get up and move! Exercise will keep your mind on something besides cramps, and your insides will heat up, relieving the pain. According to WebMD’s Ob/Gyn, Gustavo Rossi, exercise releases beta-endorphins, which are basically “human morphine.” So exercise really is the best medicine! Here are some of the best exercises for alleviating that nagging pain from your period:

Walking. A good cardio workout from a nice long walk gets your heart rate up while releasing those endorphins. Stand up tall and tighten your core. Walk for a good 20-30 minutes each day for maximum relief.

womanwalking

Yoga. Yoga Journal recommends the Legs-Up-The-Wall pose to relieve discomfort. To do this pose, sit on the floor with your side towards the wall. Lift your legs straight up on the wall as you lie down perpendicular to the wall. Rest your palms up next to your head. Hold this pose for as long as you feel comfortable. If cramps are more in your lower back, try the Wide Child’s pose. Place your knees on the floor in a wide stance, fold forward, and extend your arms above your head. Rest your forehead on the floor. Hold pose as long as you are comfortable.

widechildspose

Stretching. The seated butterfly stretch works wonders for relieving painful cramps. Sit on the floor with knees bent, soles of your feet touching. Place your hands on your ankles and lean forward. Hold stretch for 60-90 seconds and repeat. Another great stretch to try is the stomach stretch. Lie on your stomach with legs stretched behind you. Keep your knees touching the floor and bring your feet as close to your body as possible. This particular stretch can eliminate pain in stomach and back.

butterflyseatedstretch

While you are trying all of these different pain-relieving methods, don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated with lots of water. Water will flush your system and keep you feeling energized. Here’s to a pain-free month!