Menopause & Exercise

December 23, 2009

We never outgrow our need for some things in life. Love and encouragement, the support of people who care about us, and a healthy sense of who we are, all work together to keep us in balance and connected to others-from birth until death. We also need medical help on occasion, good nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices to ensure our bodies last as long as we need them to last.

A Round Of Applause For Mass Media

By now, the reality that exercise is critical to good health is well known and readily accepted. Thanks to media coverage, and the involvement of stars such as Oprah in proper eating and exercise programs, women of all ages become active. The benefits of exercise are far reaching and we can all recall from our childhood days that being active helps to create strong bones and a strong heart.

Exercise Benefits Women

It is especially important for women to include exercise in their daily routines, especially as the years creep by. Aging can be the best or worst of times, often depending upon the state of health and the state of the body. To help protect health and body, exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help control weight, and contributes greatly to a sense of well-being. Mood swings, a common occurrence in menopause, can be helped with exercise because exercise induces those wonderful endorphins, otherwise known as mood hormones. The day just looks better when exercise is part of it.

Inactive people suffer from all manner of diseases, from coronary heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression. In some cases, even dementia can be traced to physical inactivity.

Menopause Ailments, Exercise Cures

Menopause provides a huge platform for all kinds of ailments as the cessation of hormone production becomes a precursor for ailments that are both physical and emotional. Anxiety, stress, (the stress hormone can cause osteoporosis) depression and mood swings are all part of menopause. However, they can all be helped or alleviated with exercise. It is no secret to the medical community that exercise is one very effective way for menopausal women to stay healthy throughout the transition and beyond.

Maintain Your Health And Your Strength With Exercise

Even though hot flashes do not disappear with exercise, research indicates that postmenopausal women who engage in high levels of exercise benefit by maintaining a healthy body, bone density levels, and good mental health. Osteoporosis, prevalent in older women, can be kept under control with exercise. Even a moderately paced walking program cannot only keep weight in check, but it also lowers the risk of stress, anxiety, and depression-all of which tend to show up liberally during menopause.

Weight bearing exercises maintain muscle strength as well as bone density. That doesn't necessarily mean a workout using barbells and weights (but that won't hurt), rather using body weight, bands, and balls can do the same job. Walking and running have been proven to increase bone mass and it's really nice to know that muscle tissues can be rebuilt very quickly when weight bearing exercise is incorporated into a daily routine.

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