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Why fitness is so important during and after the menopause
Health experts say that up to two thirds of menopausal women experience hot flashes and sweats. These are the most common complaints at this time. Sleep disorders or mood swings also often occur. There are several ways to relieve menopause symptoms. Regular exercise is also important.
According to some health experts, the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms is hormone treatment, but even without therapy, the symptoms in almost all affected women subside over time and eventually go away on their own. Various natural remedies are also available. For example, chaste tree or black cohosh can regulate the hormone balance. And lemon balm, valerian or passion flower help with sleep disorders. Regular exercise is also recommended.
The benefits of physical activity
Experts from the renowned Mayo Clinic (USA) explain on their website the benefits of physical training during and after the menopause:
Prevent weight gain
Women tend to lose muscle mass and accumulate belly fat during menopause. Regular physical activity can help prevent weight gain.
Reduction of cancer risk
Exercise during and after the menopause can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. This may offer protection against various types of cancer, including breast, colon and uterine cancer.
Strengthening the bones
Exercise can slow down bone loss after menopause, reducing the risk of broken bones and osteoporosis.
Reduce the risk of other diseases
Gaining weight during menopause can have serious health effects. Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Regular training can counteract these risks.
Improve the mood
Physically active adults are at less risk of depression and cognitive decline.
Improve the quality of life
According to the Mayo Clinic experts, obesity or a BMI of more than 30 (obesity) can be associated with hot flashes, but further investigation is required. Exercise is not a proven way to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep disorders, but regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and improve quality of life.
But which physical activities are recommended? The U.S. Department of Health recommends moderate aerobic exercise of at least 150 minutes per week or intensive aerobic activity of at least 75 minutes per week for most healthy women. In addition, strength exercises are recommended at least twice a week. The training can also be spread over the whole week.
The specialists list the individual training options and their advantages:
Aerobic activity can help you shed extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Try brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or water aerobics. If you are a beginner, start with ten minutes a day and gradually increase the intensity and duration.
Regular strength training can help you lose body fat, strengthen your muscles, and burn calories more efficiently. Try weight machines, hand weights, or fitness bands. Choose a weight or resistance level that is heavy enough to tire your muscles after about twelve repetitions. Gradually increase weight or resistance as you get stronger.
Stretching can improve flexibility. Take time to stretch after each workout, when your muscles are warm and receptive to stretching.
Stability and balance
Balance exercises improve stability and can prevent falls. Try simple exercises, e.g. B. stand on one leg while brushing your teeth. Activities like tai chi can also be helpful.
So you stay motivated
Set realistic, achievable goals. For example, take a 30-minute walk every day after dinner instead of swearing to do more exercise. Update your goals regularly when you reach a higher level of fitness. Working with a partner, friend or neighbor can also make a difference.
Remember that you don't have to go to the gym to exercise. Many activities like dancing and gardening can also improve your health. Whatever you choose, take the time to warm up and cool down safely. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Mayo Clinic: Women's Wellness: Fitness tips for menopause, (accessed: 23.09.2019), Mayo Clinic