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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Exercise Does the Body Good for Menopausal Women

Hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction--menopause can place quite a toll on your body! Referred to as "the change" by many, menopause marks the end to monthly menstruation.  Approximately 37.5 million women enter menopause each year.  The average age of onset is 51.3 years, but can occur earlier or later for some.  Although a natural process, menopause can cause disruptions to daily life and put you at a greater risk for the development of certain health conditions, such as heart disease, breast cancer, and osteoporosis.  Regular exercise can help to alleviate some of the symptoms and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases associated with menopause.

What are the symptoms and body changes associated with menopause?
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep problems
  • Bone loss
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Mood disturbances (e.g., irritability, anger, etc.,)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety/nervousness
How can exercise help ease the transition into menopause?
Aerobic Exercise:
  • Promotes weight management and improves body composition, particularly by helping to reduce abdominal fat which has been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Enhances mood and helps to relieve anxiety.
  • Improves quality of sleep.
  • Increases energy levels.
  • Reduces risk of, and complications from, osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone activity, resulting in stronger bones. 
Strength Training Exercise
  • Promotes bone health and reduces risk of osteoporosis by stimulating bone activity which strenghtens bones.
  • Decreases risk of falls and bone fractures by improving balance and bone and muscular strength.
  • Helps with weight management and improves body composition.
Flexibility and Stretching Activities
  • Increases range of motion and improves balance resulting in a decreased risk for falls and bone fractures.
Relaxation/Meditation-based Exercises
  • There is some scientific evidence to suggest that activities, such as Yoga, may reduce hot flashes during menopause.
How much exercise is needed?
  • Current exercise recommendations are to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, with a goal to increase to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly.  Weight-bearing activities that place demands on the skeletal system are preferable, unless an underlying health condition prevents participation.  Brisk walking, jogging, hiking, and aerobic dance are good choices.
  • Strength training exercises should be performed 2-3 times per week on nonconsecutive days.  At least one set of 8 to 10 repetitions should be performed for all major muscle groups of the body.
Exercise is beneficial for everyone; however, women who are experiencing menopause may find it to be of particular benefit to help them manage symptoms and to enhance self-image.

Note:  Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

Sources for more information
ACSM Fit Society Page, Fall 2009, "Exercise Recommendations for Menopause-Aged Women," Eschbach, C.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The North American Menopause Society

American Council on Exercise

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Anonymous geongia said...

I already bookmarked this for future re-readings. I have skimmed through the page and I see you've written a lot of cool tips. Thanks a lot for sharing the "secret" to the community.


September 4, 2010 at 2:11 AM 
Anonymous Exercise said...

It's really good post.I like this article.good work.

September 14, 2010 at 1:31 AM 

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