Experiencing bloating during periods is a common occurrence among many women. So, there is no need to feel alarmed. While it can certainly be uncomfortable, there are effective strategies you can implement to reduce these symptoms and feel better. Let us understand this better. 

Understanding period bloating

Before diving into the tips on exercise and diet in periods, let us understand what bloating means. Period bloating happens due to hormonal fluctuations in the menstrual cycle, particularly an increase in oestrogen and progesterone levels. These hormonal changes can lead to water retention and swelling in the abdomen. They often result in feelings of fullness, discomfort, and bloating. 

You may also experience other symptoms like gas and constipation due to heightened levels of prostaglandins. 

Dietary tips for bloating

Here are practical diet tips to follow to reduce bloating:

  • Limited intake of salt and sodium-rich foods to reduce water retention and bloating.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages and foods high in sugar and artificial sweeteners to prevent gas and bloating.
  • Focus on consuming fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. These promote regular bowel movements and help with digestion.
  • Include probiotic-rich foods such as yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut in your diet. These support a healthy gut microbiome and reduce bloating.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Doing so helps you flush out excess fluids and reduce bloating.
  • Indulge in mindful eating habits. Chew food properly and eat slowly to aid digestion and reduce bloating.
  • Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. This prevents you from overeating.

Exercise tips for bloating

The following are tips to effectively exercise in periods to minimise bloating:

  • Engage in low-impact cardio exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling. These exercises promote blood circulation and reduce fluid retention.
  • Practice yoga poses specifically targeting the abdomen, such as twists and gentle stretches. This stimulates digestion, releases trapped gas, and relieves bloating.
  • Try Pilates exercises that focus on core strength and stability, such as pelvic tilts and leg circles. Doing so supports proper digestion and reduces abdominal discomfort.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises, like diaphragmatic or belly breathing, for better relaxation and reduce stress levels. This relieves bloating by easing tension in the abdominal muscles.
  • Perform pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, to strengthen pelvic muscles and improve circulation in the pelvic area. 
  • Indulge in gentle stretching exercises for the entire body, focusing on the abdomen, hips, and lower back. This improves flexibility, reduces muscle tension, and lowers bloating associated with menstrual cramps.
  • While observing proper diet in periods, drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. Doing so helps you stay hydrated and flush out excess fluids, which can cause bloating.


Period bloating may be a monthly inconvenience. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can minimise its impact and embrace each cycle with resilience and grace.