Key points: Every woman goes through menopause and the effects of lower estrogen levels including hot flashes and the struggle to lose weight. In addition, menopause is associated with an increase in cardiovascular disease and stroke- the number one killer of women today. Controlling weight, hormonal shifts, and preventing heart disease is paramount to helping women live long and healthy lives. Many studies have examined nutrition and exercise for postmenopausal women, but few have found statistical significance with these lifestyle interventions. However, the latest study done led by Dr. Débora Godoy-Izquierdo and published in Menopause did see a significant change in weight loss, well-being and cardio-metabolic health with the implementation of targeted lifestyle interventions.
Over 200 participants who were age 45-65 and postmenopausal were randomly assigned to a 20-week intervention of a supervised, multi-component exercise program; active exercise; or a sedentary group. Quality of life, cardio-metabolic markers, and fitness levels were assessed at baseline, after the intervention and at the 3 and 12-month follow-ups.
A multi-group analysis was conducted showing that the intervention significantly increased well-being and that the increase was maintained long after the intervention ended. Significant improvements were also seen in cardio-metabolic status as well as fitness as measured by weight, BMI, and flexibility.
Having a more personalized exercise routine for one hour, three days per week can have significant effect on well-being, weight loss, and cardiovascular biomakers for postmenopausal women. This study also found that hot flashes were being effectively managed with exercise- giving women options other than hormone replacement to manage symptoms.
Why is this clinically relevant?
- Structured exercise can help postmenopausal women lose weight and improve cardio-metabolic markers
- A 20 week exercise intervention had positive effects on well-being and those effects lasted for up to 12 months
- Hot flashes were more effectively managed with consistent exercise