By MJ and Gabrielle Neuhaus-Harsh
We all know that there are a number of benefits to working out, that only increase as you age. Working out can make you feel good and those “feel-good” chemicals can be even more important for you as you go through menopause. Now, the type of exercises you do after forty compared to in your twenties is very different. The changes that you are going through during this time can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful but the best treatment for these menopausal symptoms is exercise.
1: Weight Management
Some common things that happen to many women during menopause are the slowing down of
the metabolism and the increase in hormonal changes that make it easier to gain weight. Exercise
can help you lose weight as well as make up for any loss in muscle mass. You should do regular
exercise that will help reduce the risk of weight gain. Strength training can increase muscle mass
and metabolic rate, which can cause you to burn more calories even when you are at rest.
2: Healthy Bones
Women are at higher risk for osteoporosis as they age because of the drop in estrogen causing
accelerated bone loss. Exercise can help build and maintain bone density. Activities such as
jogging, strength training, and weight-bearing exercises can increase your bone density.
3: A Healthy Heart
A woman’s risk of heart disease increases significantly after menopause, so much so that it is the
major cause of death in women. There are many factors for this such as an increase in bad
cholesterol, a reduction in HDL cholesterol, and an increase in weight and blood pressure. All of
these problems can be solved with something as simple as regular aerobic exercise.
4: Overall Symptom Relief
One of the most common symptoms associated with menopause is hot flashes. Studies show that
women who exercise rather than live a sedentary lifestyle have less severe symptoms. This may
be related to the fact that during exercise you are releasing endorphins which has been shown to
relieve the symptoms. So, you may consider replacing or reducing your medications with a little
bit of exercise.
5: Better Mood
Now we know the physical benefits, let’s talk about some of the psychological benefits as well.
Just like our periods affect each of us differently, so does our time through menopause. A lot of
women might not be feeling the greatest during such a big life change. So, let’s add a better
mood to the list of benefits of exercising! While you are exercising you are being flooded with
hormones, therefore, causing you to relax overall. This in turn causes you to be in a better mood!
The best thing we can do is live a more balanced lifestyle all around. That means eating a
balanced diet with fruits and veggies. Make sure you are getting the recommended amount of
good quality sleep. Studies have shown that stress reduction and exercise have been linked to
improvement in memory. If you are interested in getting into exercise during menopause, don’t
hesitate to reach out to one of our trained professionals. We are here to help!