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Cardio Exercises Can Reduce Menopause Symptoms

The effects of menopause can cause women over 45 to experience several years of discomfort. From hot flashes and night sweats to persistent insomnia and fatigue, menopause often disrupts what might be an otherwise happy, contented life.Science has shown that regular, rigorous cardio exercise can help reduce the unpleasant physical symptoms of menopause, resulting in better sleep, healthy weight control, and improved overall health and well-being.

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This type of exercise also helps aging women avoid osteoporosis and heart disease, two conditions that sometimes accompany the onset of menopause.

Choosing Exercises Tailored for You
If you are beginning to experience menopausal symptoms, exercise might provide you with an easily manageable way to retain your health, your vigor, and your zest for life. And, not a small benefit, regular exercise often improves your sex life. It’s good for your heart, your weight, and even your mood. Browse the following cardio exercises to find a method that fits your needs—or better yet, mix and match to avoid boredom.

Walking: If you have a largely sedentary lifestyle, start with several gently paced 10-minute strolls per day and work up to 30-60—minute power walks or marathon hikes. According to the experts at healthywomen.org, gently or vigorously walking for half an hour several times per week can add long-lasting health benefits to your entire life.

Running: Running outdoors or on a treadmill builds muscle and helps prevent reduced bone density in menopausal or perimenopausal women. Additionally, cardio exercise like running reduces weight gain, boosts cardiovascular health, and improves your outlook and quality of life.

Gym Equipment: Elliptical machines not only give you a healthful workout to keep you fit, they help increase your heart rate, build muscle, and increase your bone density for the prevention of osteoporosis. Other gym machine choices are stair climbers, treadmills, and stationary bikes, each of which provides the same benefits as elliptical machines. Using the elliptical machine or bike might be kinder to knees, if that’s your problem, and if you work the handles on the elliptical machine, you’ll exercise both upper and lower body.

Rowing and Rowing Machines: Most people don't consider rowing among the top cardio exercises, but this activity is an excellent way to get your heart rate up to a healthy level if you’re experiencing menopause. It also reduces menopausal stress and improves cardiovascular health.  The rowing machine also works your upper and lower body.

Classes for Cardio: Many women like to seek out cardio exercises that also offer a chance to socialize and feel like part of a group. Signing up for cardio-based classes at your local gym is a great way to get started. Aerobic kickboxing really ramps up your heart rate to healthier levels, improves overall fitness, and helps you feel better. If kickboxing doesn't suit you, dancing workouts, such as Zumba®, and spinning classes provide the same cardiovascular health benefits along with the stress-reducing camaraderie of exercising with like-minded people. A vigorous spinning class can burn more calories than most other exercises in the same amount of time.

Biking: In addition to improving cardio health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis, riding a bike several times per week or exercising regularly on a stationary bike helps reduce stress, manage weight, and improve your overall health. Some medical professionals also believe this type of vigorous activity can help reduce hot flashes and insomnia in menopausal women.

What’s really critical is finding a cardio exercise or two that you really enjoy and that keep you motivated. The best way to maintain a regular exercise program is to vary what you do from one session to the next. Start off with moderate goals and work up to your personal best.

Get Proper Guidance
It is important to check with your physician before you begin a rigorous exercise plan, especially if you’re currently inactive. Be sure to report unusual chest or leg pain as well as general weakness, shortness of breath, and recurring health problems. Cardio exercises will help you through menopause and emerge feeling better than ever in mind, body, and spirit. ♀

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