Exercise Eases Symptoms Of Menopause

Photo Credit: Catherine Scott CC-BY-SA-2.0

When women reach their 40s, the production of hormones begins to slow down. Most women will begin to experience menopause around age 50. Menopause can be a difficult time, physically and emotionally, for women. Hormone fluctuations and reduced levels of hormones can cause physical symptoms including hot flashes, intense sweating and disruption of sleep patterns. Some women may also experience loss of bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis if left untreated. The risk of cardiovascular disease is also increased. Many women will experience stress, anxiety and even depression. Weight gain is also common among menopausal and post-menopausal women. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can provide relief for some women, but there may be some health risks associated with HRT. Women who choose HRT are at risk for blood clots and some types of cancer. 
Regular physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart disease and delay or prevent osteoporosis. Aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise can help keep your heart healthy. Weight-bearing exercises and strength training can help replace lost bone density and prevent further bone loss. Women who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis should avoid high-impact exercises, such as running, jogging and high-impact dance-style aerobics and jumping rope. For those with bone loss, low-impact aerobic exercises, such as walking and bicycling might be a better choice to reduce the risk of bone fracture. Strength training, lifting weights and body-weight exercises, improves bone density and rebuilds lost muscle mass. Aerobic exercise also helps prevent weight gain, especially around the belly. 
Exercise has a positive psychological effect on the mind. Physical exertion stimulates the brain to release endorphins, or the feel good hormone. Endorphins produce a general sense of well-being so that your mood is elevated following exercise. Women who exercise may also sleep more soundly and awake feeling more rested. A healthy diet, plenty of sleep and exercise may help you deal with the physical and psychological effects of menopause. 
For more information about hormone replacement therapy, see:

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