Researchers have found that women who work up a good sweat through exercise and are active three or more times a week for 30 minutes or more, have reduced menopause symptoms as compared to those who live more sedentary lifestyles.
Sweat to reduce unwanted menopause sweats
One study has even found that losing weight through diet and exercise could ease hot flushes. In the study they found that for every 11 pounds that a woman lost, she was roughly one-third more likely than women who did not lose weight to experience a decline in the severity or frequency of hot flushes.
Increased brain health and better moods
Menopause and perimenopause can cause mood changes and brain fog. If you notice that you’re angry, sad or anxious more than normal, or you can’t remember where you left your car keys even though they’re in your pocket. Or you’ve forgotten your partner’s or children’s names or if they exist, exercise can step in to help.
Researchers have found that exercise, particularly cardio exercise, is vital to balance mood and improve symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve brain health. The benefits of exercise are that it:
- Increases blood flow to our brain that delivers oxygen, which makes you brighter and more alert
- Increases your BNDF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which stimulates the growth and production of brain cells
- Stimulates the production of serotonin (happy chemical) and dopamine (motivation, pleasure and reward chemical) both of which are essential for a more positive mood
- Boosts your levels of endorphins, which can be responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being
- Helps to give you a feeling of accomplishment, which can be a major mood lifter psychologically
- Assists weight loss along with a balanced diet
What kind of exercise should you do during the menopause?
It’s highly recommended that women going through perimenopause and menopause do a combination of cardiovascular training for fat burning and resistance training to build and maintain muscles.
Cardiovascular training helps you to lose weight through a combination of loss of fat and more defined muscle so you look smaller. As well as the brain benefits listed above cardiovascular training benefits include:
- Improved heart and lung function
- Decreased resting heart rate
- Higher calorie burn
- Improve nutrient delivery to muscles
Menopause and perimenopause can be isolating so a way to make this a whole lot less isolating is to exercise with others and find something that brings you joy. Whether it be a dance class, yoga, a gym class, dragon boat racing or having a very vigorous karaoke night with friends – as Nike says – Just Do It!