Exercise and menopause

The medical definition of menopause is cessation of menses for 12 months, caused when the ovaries stop making the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. For most women, menopause simply marks the end of their reproductive years. Symptoms of menopause may include: hot flashes, night sweats, bladder and reproductive tract changes, insomnia, headache, lethargy/fatigue, irritability, anxiety, depression, heart palpitations and joint pain.

Regular physical activity can help manage the symptoms of menopause as well as other health concerns like osteoporosis and heart disease.

Exercise can be a great stress reliever, alleviating feelings of depression and anxiety often associated with menopause. It is common for body fat levels to increase during this time. A regular program of cardio and strength training can help keep this under control as well as keep your bones dense and strong.

By exercising regularly you can reduce and prevent the following symptoms:

• Hot flashes; vaginal and bladder atrophy; joint pain; anxiety, irritability, depression; sleep disturbances, insomnia.

• Reduce risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, weight gain.

• Improve and increase strength, stamina, flexibility, energy; function of vital organs; condition of heart, lungs and muscles.

A consistent balanced exercise program of cardio, strength training, and flexibility is very important to reap these rewards. My "Women On Weights" program focuses specifically on these issues many women of varying ages face. For more information on "Women On Weights" and to set up a free consultation feel free to contact me at 605-3549.

Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached at Mountain Riders at 324-9900 or corinna@mtn-riders.com. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.

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