Friday, December 7, 2007

The Importance Of Fitness During Menopause

Learn About the Crucial Links Between Fitness and Menopause

Did you know that a regular fitness or exercise routine plays a major role in reducing the symptoms of menopause? One particular symptom of menopause is weight gain, which, unfortunately seems to develop just as a woman finally reaches a point in her life when she's mature and self-confident, and then the fat starts piling on. This weight gain is quite common and the result of declining hormone levels which causes the metabolism to slow down significantly, even in pre-menopausal women.

The majority of women will especially notice an increased amount of fat deposition around their mid-section, which plays a significant role in contributing to heart disease, the number one killer of middle-aged and older women. Not to worry; this weight can be managed quite easily by simply getting into a regular fitness and exercise routine. Fitness and consistent activity really are the keys to decreasing weight and avoiding the pitfalls of aging. By committing to a regular exercise routine, one which includes weight bearing exercises, women will change the muscle-to-fat ratio, enabling them to increase their metabolic rate and burn calories, even at rest.

In addition to weight gain, women in their thirties begin to lose bone mass at a rate of approximately 1% per year and that rate increases to 2%-3% per year after menopause. Studies have shown that exercise can actually increase a woman's bone density, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis and the incidence of falls and bone fractures associated with osteoporosis. Unfortunately, osteoporosis often goes undetected until bone fractures occur, but by taking preventative measures, such as getting into a regular fitness routine, women can indeed reduce this risk.

Exercise and fitness can also be beneficial in reducing the incidence of hot flashes, a common symptom of menopause. Hot flashes can contribute to impaired sleep patterns and a decreased energy level. Additionally, hot flashes can also affect one's overall mood, which has the potential to negatively affect both personal and professional relationships. While estrogen replacement therapy has been shown to decrease these symptoms, for many women a regular exercise routine appears to be a very viable alternative.

Simply stated, making fitness and exercise a priority will benefit most women who are approaching or experiencing menopause, and the positive results, both physically and emotionally, are well worth the extra time required to begin and continue a regular exercise routine. It's easy to make excuses to not make time to ensure that fitness is a priority, but it's crucial to understand that being regularly active will lead to overall good health now and in the future. The only results you'll see from your added physical activity will be those that are very beneficial to you and those you love.

Susan Megge founded to assist women with issues related to menopause, such as weight gain, hot flashes, mood swings, etc. Susan Megge is the author of "Being Beautiful Beyond 40," a book dedicated to give women the confidence and inspiration to experience menopause with minimal symptoms and learn to embrace these years.

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