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Exercise and Menopause: What a Personal Trainer Wants You to Know

When a woman permanently stops getting her period, she has reached menopause, which is often called the "change of life." This ends a woman's ability to give birth to children, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Menopause comes with various challenges, from hot flashes to moodiness, muscle loss and weight gain. To shed light on the importance of exercise during menopause, a personal trainer offers insights on the types of exercises that can help you stay strong and healthy.

1. Why is exercise during menopause important?

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A sedentary lifestyle isn't good for anyone. But if you're approaching menopause (perimenopausal) or already in menopause, being active can significantly improve your quality of life and ease some symptoms as you transition.

One study showed that menopausal women who engaged in a year-long exercise program experienced significant improvements in their mental and physical health, said Dr. Jennifer Payne, a sports medicine specialist at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, who wrote in a Penn website. Women who did not exercise saw their symptoms worsen, the study found.

2. Can exercise help with menopause symptoms?

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“Exercise helps to manage mood changes by releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones," Greaves explained. "Exercise can also improve self-confidence. Achieving weight lossincreasing your strength or even training to run a 5K can be a huge self-esteem booster."

3. What kinds of exercise should you do during menopause?

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A well-rounded exercise routine that combines strength trainingflexibility and cardio can support women through menopause.

"Weight-bearing exercise [such as walking, strength training] is crucial during menopause to prevent loss of bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis due to decreasing estrogen levels," Greaves said.

4. How to get started exercising during menopause

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“Start simple by simply walking more," Greaves advised. "Get a fitness tracker and make goals to increase your daily steps. For a strength training workout, consider watching workout videos for women in midlife, or if you prefer one-to-one support, look for a personal trainer who can help you achieve specific fitness goals. You can also join local fitness classes at the gym, community center, or specialized fitness centers for Pilates or yoga.”

5. Source and more information

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