Healthy living

Having a healthy lifestyle can help you to manage your periods. Healthy eating and exercise can help with the physical and emotional symptoms that may come with PMS.

Healthy eating

Maximising your health by healthy eating will help to reduce physical, emotional and PMS symptoms that might come with your period. To help maintain a healthy diet:

  • eat regular, healthy meals, including plenty of vegetables, fruit, mixed grains and cereals (see our webpages on healthy eating for more information).
  • eat small meals to maintain stable energy levels
  • drink less caffeine, particularly if you are suffering breast tenderness
  • reduce salt and salty foods to help lower fluid retention
  • drink 6-8 glasses (1.5-2 litres) of water each day

8 glasses of water

Exercise & physical activity

Regular physical activity is important, particularly during the week before your period. Physical activity increases endorphins ('feel-good' hormones), which can reduce menstrual symptoms. Endorphins also act as natural painkillers and help you feel more relaxed and in control. Choose a – or a variety of – physical activity you enjoy, and aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, if not all, days, especially when symptoms are at their worst.


  1. Ryu A, Kim TH. Premenstrual syndrome: a mini review. Maturitas. 2015 Dec;82(4):436–40.

Last updated 23 July 2018 — Last reviewed 10 July 2018

This web page is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your health practitioner. The information above is based on current medical knowledge, evidence and practice as at July 2018.

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