Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Can Exercise Ease Menopause?

There comes a time when every woman begins to undergo the big change. That’s right, we’re talking about menopause. And if you’re a woman who has gone 12 months in a row without a period, chances are you’ve reached the mark for menopause. During the course of menopause, your body will undergo many changes with varying symptoms. Many women experience weight gain, changes in mood, hot flashes and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Although the symptoms of menopause can’t be avoided, there are lifestyle changes that can help ease the transition process. By exercising regularly, women can reduce the effects of menopause and improve their overall health. Exercise during menopause can provide the following benefits:

Improved mood. To combat mood swings, make an effort to exercise, which increases levels of mood-boosting chemicals in your body. These chemicals, called endorphins, are released in the brain providing improved mood that lasts for several hours. Sunlight is also known to raise your endorphin levels, too. For a double dose of endorphins, try going for a walk outdoors, ride your bike on a local trail or make a splash at your community pool.

Lower stress levels. Undergoing stress can aggravate and trigger hot flashes for menopausal women. It can also lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Reduce your stress by engaging in activities such as yoga or meditation. Through relaxation methods and exercise, you can reduce stress in your life and decrease bothersome effects associated with menopause.

An energy boost. Staying active not only helps you relax, it also gives you more energy. Aerobic activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, biking or dancing will give you a boost of energy by moving oxygen throughout the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy women should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. These activities can also give you a boost in sex drive as some menopausal women begin to experience a dip in their interest for sex.

Improve & maintain bone density. To prevent chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, it is important to maintain healthy levels of bone density. Weight-bearing activities such as walking and jogging can help maintain and increase bone mass while keeping your muscles strong. You can also start strength training at home as a great way to maintain bone density, as well as support heart health.

Expert health care for every stage of life. Menopause can be an overwhelming and stressful transition for many women. But it’s important to remember that there are simple techniques that help to ease the symptoms of menopause and support overall health and wellness. 

However, because menopause can vary from woman to woman, it’s important to work with your primary care provider to find relief for your symptoms. With experienced, compassionate providers, Gwinnett Medical Group Primary Care offers the support and care you need to successfully navigate your health at every age.