We all know that exercise is recommended for a healthy lifestyle. But did you know that exercise during menopause is especially important for women?
How Does Exercise Help Women During Menopause?
During menopause, many women experience depression, weight gain and loss of muscle mass. Exercise can help with all of these symptoms.
- Mental Health. Menopause causes many women to feel anxious or depressed. Exercise is considered a great way to reduce these symptoms. Exercise is often prescribed to people with mild to moderate depression as a way to increase their mood.
- Weight Loss. During menopause your body creates less estrogen, making it harder to lose weight. Women who continue to exercise during and after menopause have an easier time keeping off or losing weight.Gaining weight during menopause can cause a variety of negative health impacts such as heart disease and high blood pressure. In fact, a recent study done at the University of Granada found that women who exercise during and after menopause not only lost weight and experienced better mental health, but they also reported fewer hot flashes and night sweats.
- Stronger Bones and Muscles. Your estrogen levels decrease during menopause, causing you to lose bone and muscle mass. Both lifting weights and cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running and engaging in recreational activities like playing tennis can help create stronger bones and muscles, minimizing the bone and muscle loss.
What Types of Exercise Should I Do?
According to the Journal of Midlife Health, postmenopausal women should aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every week. The exercise program should include endurance exercise such as running or walking, strength exercises such as lifting weights, and balance exercises.
Women with osteoporosis should avoid high impact aerobic exercise because of the risk of falling.
Before starting any exercise program it is very important to consult your physician.
For more information on exercising during menopause, see: Why Exercising after Menopause is Important—and How You Should Do It. The caring physicians and staff at All About Women are here to answer any questions you might have about menopause and exercise.