Struggling with weight loss and hot flashes after menopause? A new study shows exercise can help. The study appeared this week in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
The study involved 234 Spanish postmenopausal women ages 45 to 64. The women had been sedentary for at least 12 months. During the study, the women participated in a supervised 20-week exercise program.
After completing the program, participants experienced positive changes in physical and mental health, including:
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Weight loss
- Lower BMI
- Better-managed hot flashes
NAMS says this is especially good news for women who prefer not to use hormones or drugs to manage menopause symptoms. “Growing evidence indicates that an active lifestyle with regular exercise enhances health, quality of life, and fitness in postmenopausal women,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “Documented results have shown fewer hot flashes and improved mood and that, overall, women are feeling better while their health risks decrease.”
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults perform at least:
- 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week, or 75 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity, or a combo of both
- Resistance/weight training 2x per week
The Mayo Clinic also recommends adding balance and flexibility work to the exercise routine of menopausal women.
Make time for exercise during menopause to reduce symptoms and increase overall health!