Exercise could be the key to keeping those menopausal symptoms under control, a new study claims.
Scientists say that a workout will not only ease symptoms, but provide a safer alternative to pharmacological options without the adverse effects.
Women who are suffering from menopause are often inundated with hot flashes and night sweats and have trouble losing weight, particularly belly fat.
Researchers say that exercise is so effective that even those who've led sedentary lifestyles can use it to cure their ailments.
The study, conducted at the University of Granada in Spain, looked at more than 200 Spanish postmenopausal women between the ages of 45 and 64 who had at least 12 months of sedentary behavior.
Researchers put the women on a supervised 20-week exercise program.
After the intervention, the participants experienced positive changes in both short- and long-term physical and mental health, including significant improvements in their weight, blood pressure, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility.
Improvements in fitness, cardio-metabolic health, and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) levels - or levels of well-being - made the participants in the intervention group comparable with regularly active postmenopausal women.
These changes are linked to improved health status and reductions in the impairments of HRQoL, which have been linked to overweight and obesity during postmenopause.
Menopause is the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months.
It is the time in a woman's life when the function of the ovaries ceases.
The process of menopause does not occur overnight, but rather is a gradual process.
This so-called perimenopausal transition period is a different experience for each woman.
The average age of menopause is 51, but menopause may occur as early as the 30s or as late as the 60s.
Signs and Symptoms:
After menopause your risk of certain medical conditions increases, including:
Women struggle with weight gain particularly because, after menopause, women experience a natural decline in energy expenditure.
Blood levels of estrogen and progesterone decline and this leads to a slowed down metabolic rate, coupled with an increase in appetite-related hormones.
In addition, the women achieved modest but significant reductions in their weight and body mass index, and their hot flashes were effectively managed.
This could mean good news for women who are reluctant to use hormones to manage their menopausal symptoms and are looking for safe but effective nonpharmacologic options without adverse effects.
One regularly used option is Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT), which involves taking the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
MHT can be effective in relieving moderate to severe menopausal symptoms and preventing bone loss.
But MHT also has some side effects, especially if used for a long time, and can increase the risk of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, and gall bladder disease.
Decreased estrogen levels during the menopause transition often create an array of physical and mental health issues that detract from a woman's overall quality of life.
After menopause, women are more likely to have cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack and stroke. Their risk is also raised of getting breast cancer and endometrial cancer, a type of cancer that begins in the uterus.
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