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An Active Approach to Managing Menopause

Get Moving to Relieve Discomfort


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This is the best bit of motivation for me. I'm hopeful that if I commit to exercise the way many experts advocate that I'll reap these particular benefits. Yay exercise! Report
I really beleive this is true for me! : ) I am 47 and have been in peri-men. for years already. I have chronic back problems and have had 5 back surgeries. A year ago I started walking, and watching what I eat, and have lost 30 pounds and dropped 3 sizes! I feel so much better! My back pain is very minimal and have cut back my prescription pain medicine to a minimum. The hot flashes and night sweats have decreased, as well as the fatigue and weakness issues. I still have those symtoms, but I feel better now than I have in many, many years! : ) Report
I have been working out for years and it did nothing to help manage the Menopause. The only thing that solved the problem was Sottopelle BIHRT pellets imbedded in my butt. I feel like I did when I was 30 (PMS included) and the freaking hot flashes stopped. Sottopelle was the best thing I have ever done.
This all makes perfect sense, but I'm not seeing any of the positive results you mention from my exercise regime.

I started training for and participating in half marathons (walking) four years ago (age 44 at the time) because I was hoping to see all the positive effects of exercise mentioned in this article. I was also hoping to lose some weight, but I knew that I needed a goal - like race day - to motivate me to get out to walk. Well, I've walked 85 miles in a month, I've done 12 half marathons, and I haven't lost more than 2 pounds.

I eat as healthy (whole grains, veggies and fruit, no red meat, little alcohol, no sweets) as I always did, but I still have hot flashes, I still have little to no energy, I'm still irritable most of the time, and I still have a hard time focusing. I'm trying OTC remedies like Estroven, B12 and iron, but so far nothing helps.

With my last race of 2011 behind me, I've decided to shake up my work-out routine by adding a few classes at the local gym, but I'm at a loss as to what to try next. My older sister tells me to stick with it, it'll pass and life will be normal again soon. Little solace at this point when I'm ready to throw up my hands and give up.

Any concrete ideas? Nothing warm and fuzzy please. I've read and heard it all. I need solid, actionable advice please. Report
I read with interest the comments by those of us who had surgically induced menopause. This deserves a separate article, as our experience is NOT "normal". My body was nowhere near ready for menopause. I suffered horrific nightsweats that made me dread going to bed. I'd been working out hr a day, which made no difference at all. I finally found a dr who put me on bio-identical HRT, even though I'd had cancer. Over time, the estrogen in it was tapered down. Without exercise, I have 1-2 sweats a night and moderate sleep issues. With exercise, no sweats, better if not perfect sleep, and have been able to lose weight. Point: everyone is different, how & when menopause takes place makes a difference, exercise can help but is not a cure-all for every menopausal woman. Report
I agree that exercise is a good thing for all ages. However, I'd like to see a reference on the statement that during exercise the adrenal glands are stimulated to convert the male hormone androstenedione to estrogen and that a few 30 minunte sessions a week can keep your estrogen levels " topped off" . Report
Both my mother and grandmother had hysterectomies before they reached menopause.
I have no one to talk to in my family that has went or is going through menopause.
I am only having to go on what I feel and what I hear and read.
Totally agree with this article. I am 52, exercise at least once a day and feel like I'm 29. No hot flashes, great sleep, lots of energy, feel strong and great way to feel upbeat. Report
I think a lot of info about exercising regularly before menopause to help ward off the weight gain is BOGUS. I was an avid walker..10-15 miles a week and when the peri-menopause kicked in, my progesterone level dropped to the point that I was sleeping a full 8 hrs at night and then another 4 or more in the day. I seen sleep specialists, psychiatrists, and a general practitioner and none of them could help me. Every time the general pr. did lab work, my levels were fine. Which I've been told often happens in peri-menopause. However, with a new dr. now, I've been prescribed oral contraceptives and haven't had a sleepy day since!

Oh and btw, I was still trying to exercise during what I call my year of sleep. Not only walking, but bike riding as well and all it did was make me want to fall asleep either during or immediately after exercise. I just don't think this issue is a one size fits all approach...seeing a competent physician and being treated by them properly is sometimes the BEST approach. Report
In my younger years I had all three of my children naturally and I am determined to get through menopuse the same way .. naturally. It has been difficult. I appreciate this article for the suggestions it offers. I guess I instinctively know that the secret to longevity is too use it, move it or lose even with a desk job that requires long hours I will be focusing on finding ways to keep active. I have had to completely overhaul my diet but I can say that the healthier I eat the better I feel. Report
And for those of you who have been exercising and still feel horrible I would suggest that you check to see if you are hydrated. I'm 53 in the beginning of menopause and every time I find myself in a bad mood and short tempered, I realize that I've had very little water that day. I drink my water and it just relaxes me. If your urine is dark yellow, you aren't getting enough water. It should be pale yellow, unless you are taking vitamins...that will turn your urine bright yellow. Also DIET ladies. Fruit and vegetables are important in making you feel good. Have you ever paid attention to how you feel after a hamburger as opposed to how you feel after a healthy salad. Think about it! Report
While it is true that we are all different therefore our symptoms of menapause will have various levels of intensity, I really like this article. It goes into great detail describing exactly the benefits of exercising for women period. Menopause or no menopause. I'm making copies and taking it to the exercise class that I teach. Report
Hate hot flashes and have been an exerciser for years including running and weight lifting.
I have slept with large ice packs and always sleep with a fan on. Exercise isn't what bothered me it was the 13 lbs that crept up on me from 45-54. What did I find out? I have to eat way less. In order for me to stay the weight I am at I can eat no more than 1400 calories a day. That is with exercise no less than 45 hard minutes a day. Report
I'm 56, been menopausal over a year, have been a runner over half my life.....and have wicked, horrible flashes day and night. I can't count how many I have. I have them when I'm running! I've cut back caffeine, taken just about every herbal supplement there is, tried effexor (don't do it!), accupuncture (expensive) and several on line remedies. Another one is due to come in the mail in a few days. Hope it helps. I'm feeling like the wicked witch of the west, melting into her broomstick. Report
Yes, i've always wondered why i still get cold, etc and now I get it. It's not just the swimming - it's the exercise. I thought maybe the swimming lowered my temperature so that was why i did not get the 'hot flashes' and I'm definitely old enough - just passed 60!! Thanks for the info, Report

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