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What are the Benefits of Exercising after Menopause?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

All women experience the period of menopause at some point in their life. The characteristic menopause symptoms include irregular periods, night sweats, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, weight gain, and irritability. And although, menopause can create many health problems – e.g. osteoporosis and obesity, there are many things that you can do in order to overcome the symptoms and go through the period of menopause without any major problems. You can advise your doctor about the changes in your life that need to be done. Many doctors suggest changes in the diet – introducing more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, stop* smoking, hormone replacement therapy and the last, but not least – exercising! During the research that we conducted on the topic of menopause, the beneficial effects of exercising are what capture our attention the most. That is why we want to explain the benefits of exercising after menopause to make it easier for you to understand why you need to start exercising right now!

What are the Beneficial Effects of Exercising after Menopause?

As we mentioned before, menopause brings many risks into the women’s life, including obesity and osteoporosis as the most common and yet most dangerous ones. Obesity causes hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Weight gain also increases* the risk of breast, kidney, and other cancers. On the other hand, osteoporosis can cause a bone fracture after a minor injury and persistent back pain. But, these are not the only problems that menopause can create. Luckily, exercise has been proven* to help you overcome not only the symptoms of menopause but the problems that may occur afterwards as well. Are you wondering what are the beneficial effects of exercising after menopause? Let’s review them!

Prevention of osteoporosis

– After the age of 40, the bones normally lose* some of their bone mass. However, in a condition as severe as osteoporosis is the bones lost even more bone mass rapidly. The doctors suggest a diet with increased levels of calcium and calcium supplementation, but they also strongly advise their patients to start exercise. Exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, e.g. walking and jogging can prevent osteoporosis successfully.

Prevention of Weight Gain

– Women tend to gain weight with noticeable increased abdominal fat during and after the period of menopause. As we mentioned before, weight gain increases* the risk for many health problems. Regular exercise can successfully prevent the risk of weight gain.

Increasing* of the Muscle Mass and Strengthening the Bones and Joints

– During and after the period of menopause, women tend to lose* muscle mass which noticeably decreases* their muscle strength. By exercising every day, even for 30 minutes, you will not only increase* your muscle, bone and joint strength but you will also decrease* the risk of potential bone fractures at the same time.

Reducing* the Risk of Cancer

– Exercise during and after the period of menopause can help reduce* the risk of weight gain and with that, it will decrease* the risk of various types of cancer that obesity brings.

Reducing* the Risk of other Health Problems and Diseases

– Many conditions, e.g. metabolic syndrome, heart attack and diabetes have an increased risk during and after the period of menopause. This is mainly caused by weight gain and estrogen deficiency which induce the lipid and vascular changes that put the healthy blood vessels at risk. Aerobic exercise will successfully decrease* the risk of any potential conditions and diseases after the period of menopause.

Helps with Weight Loss

– It is not uncommon for women to increase* their body weight during and after the period of menopause. Exercising has been known as a healthy way to lose* weight for many years now. Many doctors will advise you to include aerobic and resistance exercises in your everyday routines in combination with a healthy diet in order to lose* weight in a healthy way.

Helps to Overcome the Symptoms of Depression

– Exercise normally increases* the level of a hormone, known as endorphin, which is considered to be the body’s natural pain reliever. Also, vasomotor symptoms, e.g. – hot flashes, trouble sleeping and joint pain, are found to be less* common among women who have included exercising in their everyday life.

Whichever exercise plan you choose, you must remember to be safe. Before you make a decision, we strongly recommend consulting your doctor. By acknowledging your medical history and any medical problems and conditions from the past or at the moment. Although exercising has proven* to have many health beneficial effects, not only during and after the period of menopause but through the whole life as well, certain exercises are not recommended to be performed by some individuals. Also, the doctor can advise you about the dosage and time spend exercising every day.

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Conclusion

Menopause is a challenging period of every woman’s life. While searching for the right way to relieve your symptoms and overcome the potential risks and problems after the period of menopause, you might feel overwhelmed. There is no need to be worried if you are ready to make a few changes in your life. By changing your diet and introducing exercise into your everyday life, soon you will notice the relieve in your condition. We recommend exercising as one of the most beneficial ways to relieve the symptoms of menopause and decrease* the risk of other conditions and diseases. There are many types of exercises that you can include. This will require an appointment with your doctor in order to get a professional opinion on the matter.

References

  • http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Menopause/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296386/
  • https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/risks