“Moderate-intensity exercise may not cut your hot flashes, but it will help with some other menopause-related problems, including sleep, depression and anxiety”.1

Umbrella
What may the Physical Activity and Menopause Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Active Living
  • Exercise
  • Fitness
  • Menopause
  • Perimenopause
  • Physical Activity
  • Postmenopause

Definition

What is physical activity?

DotS the definition of physical activity may vary. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition is:

“WHO defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure – including activities undertaken while working, playing, carrying out household chores, travelling, and engaging in recreational pursuits”.2

Health Benefits

Is there an association between health benefits and physical activity?

Yes. In Physical Activity the WHO elaborate on:

“Regular and adequate levels of physical activity:

  • Improve muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Improve bone and functional health
  • Reduce the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer), and depression
  • Reduce the risk of falls as well as hip or vertebral fractures; and are fundamental to energy balance and weight control”.3

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and physical activity?

Yes. In Sitting Can Sabotage Your Health Habits: But Don’t Give Up Your Workouts the North American Menopause Society elaborate on:

Physical Activity and Menopause“Here’s what exercise can do for women at menopause and beyond:

  • Aerobic exercise improves memory and thinking skills and increases blood flow to key regions of the brain, especially areas linked to thinking skills in later life and to Alzheimer’s disease
  • Moderate activity (like brisk walking) cuts your stroke risk, helping offset the increased risk with hormone therapy
  • Moderate-intensity exercise may not cut your hot flashes, but it will help with some other menopause-related problems, including sleep, depression, and anxiety…”.4

Hot Flushes

Is there an association between hot flushes and physical activity?

DotS, yes or no. The (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

“Some studies have suggested that exercise can reduce hot flushes, but overall there is insufficient evidence to show this”.5

In Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are Drugs the Only Answer? the author explains:

  • “What About Exercise? Moderate physical exercise (eg, brisk walking) sadly does not appear to improve hot flashes. However, exercise is so important to many aspects of health, that this should not discourage exercising! Keep your exercise routine strong. It is important to your brain, heart, and bones (among other things)”.6

Mood

Is there an association between mood and physical activity?

Yes. In 5 Things You Should Know About Stress: 4. There Are Ways To Manage Stress the (United States) National Institute of Mental Health note:

  • “Get Regular Exercise. Just 30 minutes per day of walking can help boost your mood and improve your health”.7

In Physical Activity Basics: How Much Physical Activity Do You Need? the (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain:

“The evidence is clear—physical activity can make you feel better, function better, and sleep better. Even one session of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces anxiety, and even short bouts of physical activity are beneficial. Being physically active also fosters normal growth and development, improves overall health, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases”.8

Never Too Late To Start

Is it never too late to start physical activity?

According to the JH:

“It’s never too late to become more physically active. Beginning or resuming exercise at any age will benefit your health”.9

Aerobic Activity?

How much aerobic activity do adults require?

In the second edition of Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: Key Guidelines – Adults published in 2018, the (United States) Department of Health and Human Services elaborate on:

  • “For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week”.10

Weekly Activity Diary

Where may I find a Weekly Activity Diary?

In Physical Activity & Exercise: Tools To Help the JH include a Weekly Activity Diary and elaborate on:

“A weekly activity diary helps you become more aware of your activity needs and the importance of not trying to fit too much in”.11

Health Care Provider

What if I am going to start doing physical activity?

If you are going to start doing physical activity, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Physical Activity: Information – Getting Started the (United States) MedlinePlus note:

“IMPORTANT NOTE: Talk with your health care provider before starting an exercise program if:

  • You have diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or another long-term illness
  • You are obese
  • You have not been very active lately
  • You get chest pains or shortness of breath when you are active”.12

In Fitness: In-Depth – Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity – The Bottom Line on Exercise the (United States) Mayo Clinic caution:

“Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any concerns about your fitness, haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis”.13

The JH also caution:

“If you have a medical condition, are overweight, are pregnant, over 40 years of age or have not exercised regularly for a long time, see a health professional for medical advice before increasing your activity. They can refer you to an accredited exercise physiologist who can help you design an activity plan that is safe and helpful to your individual needs”.14

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Physical Activity and Menopause?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Physical Activity and Menopause?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Sitting Can Sabotage Your Good Health Habits: But Don’t Give Up Your Workouts. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/exercise-and-diet/sitting-can-sabotage-your-good-health-habits Accessed: 21 June 2020
  2. Physical Activity: What Is Physical Activity? 23 February 2018. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity Accessed: 21 June 2020
  3. Physical Activity. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/physical-activity#tab=tab_1 Accessed: 21 June 2020
  4. Sitting Can Sabotage Your Good Health Habits: But Don’t Give Up Your Workouts. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/exercise-and-diet/sitting-can-sabotage-your-good-health-habits Accessed: 21 June 2020
  5. Menopause Management: Healthy Living – Lifestyle & Menopause Symptoms. Last Updated: 07 April 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 21 June 2020
  6. Thurston, R. Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are Drugs the Only Answer? 14 August 2017. https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2017/08/14/hot-stuff-what-s-new-about-hot-flashes Accessed: 21 June 2020
  7. 5 Things You Should Know About Stress: 4. There Are Ways To Manage Stress. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml Accessed: 21 June 2020
  8. Physical Activity Basics: How Much Physical Activity Do You Need? Page Last Reviewed: 19 May 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/index.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fphysicalactivity%2Fbasics%2Fpa-health%2Findex.htm Accessed: 21 June 2020
  9. Physical Activity & Exercise. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Revised: 17 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/physical-activity-exercise/ Accessed: 21 June 2020
  10. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: Key Guidelines – Adults (Second Edition). Content Last Reviewed on 01 February 2019. Department of Health and Human Services https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans/index.html Accessed: 21 June 2020
  11. Physical Activity & Exercise: Tools To Help – Weekly Activity Diary. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Revised 17 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/physical-activity-exercise/ Accessed: 21 June 2020
  12. Physical Activity: Information – Getting Started. Update Date: 13 May 2019. Page Last Updated: 02 June 2020. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001941.htm Accessed: 21 June 2020
  13. Fitness: In-Depth – Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity – The Bottom Line on Exercise. 11 May 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389 Accessed: 21 June 2020
  14. Physical Activity & Exercise: Starting An Exercise Program – Exercise Physiologists. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Revised: 17 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/physical-activity-exercise/ Accessed: 21 June 2020
Topic Last Updated: 21 June 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 21 June 2020
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