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: :   Lifestyle Exercise Exercise: the Rx for Hot Flashes

Exercise: the Rx for Hot Flashes

HFN 011 Exercise 1 26380435You can hardly read a lifestyle magazine or website these days without seeing an article about the benefits of exercise. At any point in life, it's one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health.

But it is especially recommended as one of the gifts you can give yourself when you're under stress, such as during perimenopause and menopause and when feel under attack by hot flashes.

Exercise is your best friend now not only because women have a tendency to gain weight during and after menopause, but also because physical exercise, particularly weight-bearing ones such as brisk walking, dancing, and working out with weights, helps fight osteoporosis, the decrease in bone density that commonly occurs as we age. This is one of the risks associated with menopause and why doctors prescribe calcium supplements when we enter the menopausal years.

In addition, exercising is the most natural "prescription" to fight anxiety and depression, two side effects many women experience during menopause. While cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise helps so many aspects of your health—blood pressure, weight, endurance—working with free weights or cable machines (anaerobic exercise) has a positive effect on toning and strength. So experiment with various types of exercise and pick one or, better yet, a mix that you can stick with.

Before undertaking any exercise program, it's wise to check with your doctor. In addition, if you decide to join a health club, it likely offers a free orientation to all the machines. It would also be money well spent to sign up for at least one session with a personal trainer to learn how to use all the equipment properly, maximize their effectiveness, and avoid injury. And check out the group exercise schedule. Classes like Zumba®, step, spinning, kickboxing, and Pilates are great ways to get your body moving and your heart pumping. ♀

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