Whether you’re just entering menopause or those years are well behind you, recent research has found that you can receive the same benefits from exercise as women who haven’t gone through menopause yet.
Menopause is a time in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods stop, meaning she is no longer fertile. Unfortunately, menopause comes along with a slew of symptoms. Many women experience memory fog, hot flashes, weight gain, as well as declining estrogen levels which increase the risk of many health conditions, including heart disease. (You can easily reduce the risk of heart disease.)
Regular exercise is well known to provide health benefits for women and men alike, helping maintain a strong heart, bones, and muscle mass; however, many menopausal women refrain from exercise, which can further put their health at risk.
A recent study suggests that menopausal women should be definitely partaking in regular exercise as they can benefit from it just as premenopausal women do. The researchers suggest that regular exercise can reduce the negative effects associated with aging and decreasing levels of estrogen (known to protect muscle and blood vessel function).
Although previous studies have stated that postmenopausal women do not experience benefits from exercise, the latest findings suggest otherwise. (Eat this, get stronger!)
The study looked at premenopausal and postmenopausal middle-aged women. The participants underwent a 12-week training program of high-intensity cycling. The researchers tested the effects of the training using a series of psychological tests.
Study first author Dr. Michael Nyberg explained, “The present study pinpoints a possible signaling pathway at the cellular level that may underlie the higher sensitivity to physical activity in recent postmenopausal women. Future studies should, therefore, further explore this pathway in both animal and human models.”
In case you were wary about embarking on an exercise program up until now, this study demonstrates the benefits of working out, especially for menopausal women. Even if you have never exercised in your life, it’s never too late to start – just make sure your workout is suited to your age and fitness level to reap the benefits for your good health.