Menopause is a condition nearly every woman experiences as they age. Its onset typically occurs in women between the ages of 45 to 55 and marks the end of a woman’s reproductive period when menstruation ceases completely.
For most women, the symptoms of menopause can be challenging. These symptoms include everything from hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, fatigue, depression, irritability, changes in libido, bladder control issues and aches and pains in the muscles and joints.
Yet, a new study has found a relatively simple treatment for combating the symptoms of menopause. Not to mention, it’s safer than such alternatives as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and other pharmacological options currently available.
In 2012, a study conducted by the University of Granada in Spain showed some impressive results among menopausal women who had led sedentary lifestyles for at least one year.
The study included over 200 female participants between the ages of 45 and 64, all of whom were placed on a 20-week supervised exercise program to study the effects of working out on menopausal symptoms. When the results were finally calculated, scientists were astonished at just how much exercise helped relieve some common symptoms participants were facing.
As you’d expect, participants experienced what you would expect from regular daily exercise, including weight loss, lowered blood pressure, and improvements in overall fitness and flexibility. However, what’s interesting about this specific study is how much of an impact it ended up having on those who participated.
The study not only showed an improvement in the mental health and physical fitness of participants, it demonstrated that exercise had a big impact on Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) levels. In fact, researchers found that participants reported having HRQoL levels similar to those found in postmenopausal women, or women who were no longer having symptoms of menopause.
In addition to higher HRQoL levels, researchers saw considerable reductions in weight and body mass index (BMI) in those who participated, as well as decreases in the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
For women who want to avoid HRT or menopausal replacement therapy (MHT), where estrogen and progesterone hormones are given to relieve menopausal symptoms and prevent bone loss, the study shows that exercise is a safer, even cheaper alternative.
It should also be mentioned that many women who undergo HRT or MHT experience side effects from the therapy. These side effects, which range from mild to serious, can include:
If anything, the study could help encourage more women to seek healthier, more natural remedies for common health conditions.
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