Grace Palubicki1, Nevaria Rumery1, Emily Flaskrud1, Emily Lamarche1, Ashley Hall1, Saori Braun1, Jeffrey Janot1. Acute Impact of Aerobic and Resistance Exercise on Premenstrual Symptoms in College-Aged Non-exercising Eumenorrheic Females. 1Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI, USA.


Introduction: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) includes cyclic characteristics of physical, cognitive, affective, and behavioral symptoms and occurs in 90% of females. There is a growing need for research on how forms of therapy can mitigate PMS symptoms. In past literature, there was an emphasis on aerobic exercise (AE). The purpose of this study was to compare resistance exercise (RE) to AE and determine the acute effect that each modality has on PMS symptoms. Methods: Subjects were 11 college-aged, non-exercising females. Subjects engaged in exercise 2 days before and during menses. A total of 4 exercise sessions were completed, 2 AE and 2 RE. Instrumentation included daily basal body temperature tracking and a menstrual symptom questionnaire (MSQ) that included 8 domains. PMS symptoms were tracked pre-, post-, and 2-hrs post-exercise. Results: A two-way ANOVA indicated a difference in pain at pre-menstruation (p=0.034) and during menstruation (p=0.020). For negative affect, there was a significant change in symptoms pre-menstruation (p=0.006) based on the timing of exercise. This effect was also observed for concentration and water retention pre-menstruation (p = 0.004). The difference between modalities (RE and AE) was not significant for any domain. Conclusion: Both RE and AE mitigate PMS symptoms in these specific domains: pain, concentration, water retention, and negative affect. There was no significant difference between the modes of exercise, indicating that AE may not be superior to RE when mitigating PMS symptoms. Therefore, a combined exercise program involving a minimum of two days of AE and two days of RE (two sets of eight repetitions for eight exercises), both at moderate intensities (AE: 40-60% HRR; RE: session RPE of 5-6), should be prescribed as a management strategy to alleviate PMS symptoms.