How Exercise Helps With Menopause
If you’re going through menopause, you may be familiar with the discomfort of hot flashes, mood swings and difficulty sleeping. Maybe a friend or family member who has gone through it even offered some home remedies—like putting a bag of frozen peas under your pillow to deal with hot flashes. What you might not know is that exercise can help relieve the persistent and uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. Just another reason to get moving!
Makes it easier to sleep
Research shows that any exercise can increase your odds of sleeping, but mind-body practices like yoga, BODYFLOW, tai chi, or meditation can be extra beneficial. Just be sure to stop exercising three or more hours before bedtime if working out leaves you feeling wound up and awake.
Reduces risk of osteoporosis
A decline in estrogen means you’re at a higher risk of bone loss after menopause. Luckily, activities like jogging and strength training can increase bone density.
Improves your mood
Hormonal changes during menopause can cause mood swings that are worse than the PMS symptoms you once experienced. Regular exercise (something that feels good for your body that you look forward to doing!) releases endorphins and helps take your mind off of your worries. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease symptoms of depression or anxiety and make you feel better. Exercise may also help keep depression and anxiety from coming back once you're feeling better.”
If you’re having continued issues with mood changes, make sure to talk to your doctor.
Reduces risk of heart disease
Did you know your heart disease risk increases after menopause? Regular aerobic exercise lowers your glucose, blood pressure, and triglycerides while elevating your HDL (often called “good cholesterol”), which reduces your risk.
Helps with hot flashes
This one surprised us, too! Studies have shown that people who exercise experience fewer hot flashes than those who don’t. This may be related to the release of endorphins during exercise or because slow, relaxed breathing can reduce the frequency of hot flashes.