The Effects of Cardiovascular Exercise on a Female's Mood during Menstruation

Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Exercise Science



First Advisor

Amanda Kelley

Second Advisor

Dr. Brenda Davies


Mental fatigue is a common complaint that comes from women who experience a menstrual cycle. Exercise is found to have a variety of health benefits and is known to reduce the risk of serious medical issues. Exercise is a viable option to influence a women’s mood during menstruation due to the multiple benefits that it has on the body. Adding exercise during menstruation could increase endorphins and reduce anxiety, depression, and the pain related to menstruation. This study is aimed at identifying the influence of exercise on the mood of women during menstruation. Throughout this research, 125 female participants between the ages of 18-40 years old, who experience regular menstrual cycles, will be evaluated for a total of three months. During the first month, the women will go through life with their normal routine but without exercise. The next two months will include of a moderately intense cardiovascular exercise program. All participants will exercise four times a week and track their mood at the end of each week by using the Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MDQ). The researchers will use ANOVAs to calculate the differences between all participant’s moods during their month of no exercise and their two months post cardiovascular exercise during menstruation. Tracking the women’s mood will allow the researchers to calculate whether exercising during menstruation can benefit the overall mood of women during the menstrual cycle. By understanding the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and how it affects one’s mood during menstruation, it may be better understood how to improve well-being during the menstrual cycle.

Keywords: cardiovascular exercise, mood, mental health, menstrual cycle

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