Exercise and Menopause

Menopause is an important transition in women's lives and one that every woman experiences differently. The symptoms can be mild and pass quickly for some and for others, it’s an explosion of hot flashes, mood swings, confusion, even the sense of losing your confidence. We've often heard women speaking of not feeling themselves and almost being on the verge of depression.

The good news is you can adopt lifestyle changes to help cope with the changes occurring in your body.

Why Exercise is important?

Although there is no scientific proof that exercise is a means of reducing menopausal symptoms, it can ease the transition greatly by helping to relieve stress and enhance your overall quality of life.

Exercise during and after menopause offers many benefits, including:

  • Boosting your mood. If you're physically active you have a lower risk of depression and cognitive decline.

  • Strengthening your bones. Exercise can slow bone loss after menopause, which lowers the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

  • Preventing weight gain. Women tend to lose muscle mass and gain abdominal fat around menopause. Regular physical activity can help prevent weight gain.

  • Reducing the risk of cancer. Exercise during and after menopause can help you lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight, which might offer protection from various types of cancer, including breast, colon and endometrial cancer.

  • Reducing the risk of other diseases. Menopause weight gain can have serious implications for your health. Excess weight increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise can counter these risks.

What kind of exercise should I choose?

Ideally, you should do a mixture of different types of exercise on a continuous basis to feel the benefit. For most healthy women it is recommended to do moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes a week or vigorous aerobic activity for at least 75 minutes a week. In addition, strength training exercises are recommended at least twice a week. Stretching exercises are recommended after each type of exercise and can be done as part of a relaxation and meditation session as well.