Exercise improves women's quality of life and helps alleviate the symptoms of menopause. That's the finding of a newly published study, which backs up the idea that working out can be a wonderful benefit to women in balancing their hormones. There are other reasons why an effective fitness regime can be positive for menopausal women, whatever symptoms and level of discomfort each individual woman is dealing with.
A Finnish study conducted by a health promotion institute surveyed 2606 women who were all aged 49 at the time of the study. Out of this group, 28% were menstruating regularly, 31% were in the perimenopausal stage and 23% had not had any menstruation in the past year. The remaining 18% of women were involved with hormone replacement therapy.
The women were asked about quality of life and how they perceived their own health. They were asked about their body mass index and classified as physically active or not. The research determined being physically active as moderately exercising for two and a half hours a week with some strength or balance training a couple of times a week too. Out of the group, 51% of women met this criteria.
Anxiety levels were higher and feelings of depression more prevalent in the less-active women. They also reported greater memory and concentration problems and more hot flashes, a common menopause symptom. The more active women had perceived themselves to be healthier than the less-active women did, with a greater quality of life.
What benefits can working out bring menopausal women?
As well as potentially relieving some menopause symptoms, exercise can help relieve stress, which all feeds into making this often physically and mentally challenging transition in a woman's life potentially far easier to deal with. There are other gains too:
- Strengthen bones - During menopause women are more likely to begin to lose bone density and this needs to be guarded against. Strength training can keep bones strong and this reduces the chances of postmenopausal problems such as osteoporosis and the risk of fractures.
- Build muscle mass - Another symptom of the menopause is the loss of muscle mass. A good strength training and cardio regime can keep your muscles toned and keep your body powered up so that you can burn off fat more easily and also keep in shape.
- Keep menopausal weight gain off - Changing hormones affect women on different levels, but weight gain is a real concern for many women already suffering with menopausal symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes. This excess weight is a result of reduced muscle mass.
- Potentially protect against health issues - Weight gain can lead to a raft of health concerns, such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues. There is some evidence to suggest that fitness has a role in protecting against certain cancers too, such as breast cancer.
- Boost your mood and outlook - A good workout makes you rejuvenated and can really boost some of the negative emotions which can sometimes affect women approaching or going through the menopause.
Fitness is beneficial for women of all ages, so now is the time and age to get in shape. We are waiting for your call if you are not already working out with us.