Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Exercise Your Way Through Perimenopause

It?s unfortunate, but most women don?t realize how crucial a role regular fitness and exercise is to reducing many symptoms associated with perimenopause. As women approach menopause they begin to gain weight, especially around their mid-section. This abdominal weight is quite common and the result of declining hormone levels, which may cause the metabolism to slow down significantly.

As you may know, excessive abdominal weight plays a significant role in contributing to heart disease, the number one killer of middle-aged and older women. Not to worry; the weight you?ve recently gained can be managed quite easily by simply getting into a regular fitness or exercise routine. Fitness and consistent exercise really are the keys to decreasing weight and avoiding the pitfalls of aging. By committing to a regular exercise routine - one which includes weight training - 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. This rate increases to 2%-3% per year after menopause, but 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 consistently exercising, women can indeed reduce this risk.

Exercise and fitness can also be beneficial in reducing the incidence of hot flashes, a common symptom women experience as they approach 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.

In summary, making fitness and exercise a priority will benefit most women who are experiencing symptoms of perimenopause, and the positive results - both physical and emotional - are well worth the extra time you?ll spend once you begin and continue a regular exercise routine. It's easy to make excuses to not make time to ensure that exercise 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 extremely beneficial to you and those you love.

Susan Megge is the founder of, a website designed to assist mature women as they approach and experience menopause. Susan, a health and fitness expert, started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally. This led to her discovery that menopause can be a very manageable, and even wonderful time in a woman's life. Susan Megge is the author of "Being Beautiful Beyond 40", a book dedicated to helping women to be inspired, confident and beautiful as they approach menopause.

Labels: , , , ,