Fitness tips for menopause: Why fitness countsRegular physical activity is crucial for women facing menopause. Consider what physical activity can do for you — and how to apply fitness tips for menopause to your daily routine.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Menopause is an important transition in a woman's life. Use it as a reminder to take good care of yourself. Start by considering these fitness tips for menopause.
Why bother with fitness during menopause?
Whether you've exercised faithfully for years or you haven't been active, physical activity during and after menopause offers many benefits. For example, regular physical activity can:
- Prevent weight gain. Women tend to lose muscle mass and gain abdominal fat around menopause. Even slight increases in physical activity can help prevent weight gain.
- Reduce the risk of breast cancer. Physical activity during and after menopause can help you lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight, which might offer protection from breast cancer.
- Strengthen your bones. Physical activity can slow bone loss after menopause, which lowers the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
- Reduce the risk of other diseases. Menopause weight gain can have serious implications for your health. Excess weight increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Regular physical activity can counter these risks.
- Boost your mood. Physical activity can improve your psychological health at any stage of life.
How does physical activity affect menopause signs and symptoms?
Physical activity isn't a proven way to reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and sleep disturbances. For some women, however, regular physical activity during and after menopause seems to relieve stress and improve quality of life.
June 12, 2013
See more In-depth
- Maltais ML, et al. Changes in muscle mass and strength after menopause. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions. 2009;9:186.
- Hagey AR, et al. Role of exercise and nutrition in menopause. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2008;51:627.
- Nelson DB, et al. Effect of physical activity on menopausal symptoms among urban women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2008;40:50.
- Martin CK, et al. Exercise dose and quality of life: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169:269.
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- Kraemer WJ, et al. Progression and resistance training. President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research Digest. 2005;6:1.
- McKeag DB, et al. ACSM's Primary Care Sports Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2007:133.
- The Menopause Guidebook. 7th ed. Mayfield Heights, Ohio: The North American Menopause Society; 2012. http://www.menopause.org/publications/consumer-publications/-em-menopause-guidebook-em-7th-edition. Accessed Feb. 27, 2013.
- Body weight and cancer risk. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/dietandphysicalactivity/bodyweightandcancerrisk/body-weight-and-cancer-risk-effects. Accessed April 3, 2013.
- Keller C, et al. Perimenopausal obesity. Journal of Women's Health. 2010;19:987.
- Herman SL, et al. Four-week dynamic stretching warm-up intervention elicits longer-term performance benefits. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2008;4:1286.