Exercise and Menopause: A change for the better.

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The American College of Sports Medicine recommends this treatment to reduce the effects and symptoms of menopause:

Most women enter menopause in their early 50s when estrogen levels drop dramatically, culminating in the cessation of ovulation and monthly periods. With declining estrogen, they face increased risk of:

– Heart disease
– Bone and muscle loss
– Weakened pelvic muscles
– Joint stiffness
– Weight gain

Women who stay physically fit can often prevent future medical problems and improve their general health and well being now.

Research indicates physical activity may also help reduce vasomotor symptoms ? hot flashes, flushes, dizziness, palpitations, sweating and sleep disruptions typical of menopause.

Weight gain after menopause is less likely in women who maintain a physically active lifestyle. Exercise that protects muscle mass and burns calories can be instrumental in regulating body fat, particularly abdominal fat, after menopause.

Strength training: Lifting weights improves heart, builds muscle and reduces bone loss. Fit in 2-3 strength-training sessions a week.

Flexibility and stretching exercises: Activities such as dance, yoga and martial arts reduce joint stiffness and injury risk. Perform stretching daily.

Aerobic exercise: Weight-bearing activities such as fast walking and tennis protect against bone loss and help control abdominal fat and weight gain.

Try to accumulate at least 30 minutes of activity every day. One study of 40,000 postmenopausal women found that those who were moderately active (walking fast least 30 minutes most days) had a 41% lower rate of premature death than non-exercise.

The fitness measures noted above, along with a healthful diet and not smoking, can help protect bone and heart health and possibly reduce fatigue, weight gain and other symptoms of menopause.

Consult your provider before significantly increasing your exercise level. The key is to gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts.

Source: The American Institute for Cancer Research

Author: Dots Rego- USA


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