Aerobic exercise, mood states and menstrual cycle symptoms

J Psychosom Res. 1994 Apr;38(3):183-92. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(94)90114-7.


This study examined the effects of regular, moderate exercise on mood states and menstrual cycle symptoms. A group of female regular exercisers (N = 97), and a second group of female nonexercisers (N = 159), completed the Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MDQ) and the Differential Emotions Scale (DES-IV) premenstrually, menstrually and intermenstrually. Multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVAs) revealed significant effects for exercise on negative mood states and physical symptoms, and significant effects on all measures across menstrual cycle phase. The regular exercisers obtained significantly lower scores on impaired concentration, negative affect, behaviour change and pain. No differences were found between groups on positive affect and other physical symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Age Factors
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menstrual Cycle / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires