Regular Workouts Reduce Hot Flashes
Exercise is known to cure many evils in this world, from obesity to IBS, but recent studies have shown that regular workouts could also relieve those nasty hot flashes you have been experiencing. Findings published in the Journal of Physiology showed that while exercising briefly could bring on a hot flash rather than eliminate them, regular workouts on an ongoing basis lowered the number of symptoms dramatically.
Understanding Hot Flashes
Unfortunately, hot flashes are still a mystery, and while hormone therapies have offered some help in this department, there is no one cure that alleviates them altogether. These flashes of heat can be compared to the type of warmth felt after sprinting for half an hour. Skin can become pink, sweating begins, and blood flow to the brain is reduced, making it difficult to focus on one thought or problem solve.
Some medical professionals believe that the severity of hot flashes may be related to insulin resistance and blood fats, but nobody has pinpointed their exact cause.
Breaking Down The Results
The most up to date research surveyed women in a study who were undergoing menopause. Some of the participants exercised, while others did not. The findings were very clear; those women who exercised found relief. Medical News Today reports; “In the exercise group, when hot flashes occurred, the amount of sweating was significantly reduced. Blood flow to the skin decreased by 9% at the chest and 7% on the forearms. Blood flow in the brain was minimized. The hot flashes increased heart rate, skin blood flow and sweating, but reduced mean arterial pressure and blood flow in the brain.”
Women who were not in the exercise group continued to have hot flashes regularly, with no difference in severity. The reason behind this change could be due to the body becoming used to a rise in heat, or it could be caused by the heightened overall health and immune system that regular exercise offers.
These findings are important in the discovery of new menopause treatments. It is a big step toward the possibility of living in comfort during this transition in a woman’s life. Along with hot flashes, many women will also undergo mood swings, restless leg syndrome, and symptoms associated with menopause.
More studies on the subject of exercise and menopause have offered results concluding that sedentary lifestyles increase symptom severity for those undergoing the change. CNN reports; “Researchers in Central and South America asked more than 3,500 women living in several Latin American cities about their menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, irritability, insomnia and depression. They also asked the women how many times a week they have recently engaged in at least 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking or jogging, bicycling or swimming. The researchers found that women who were sedentary, meaning they exercised fewer than three times a week, were 28% more likely to report having severe menopause symptoms than those who exercised more.”
This exercising can be anything from dancing to yoga, so long as women participated regularly. Strengthening muscles, lungs, and the heart certainly seems like a straightforward way to sooth negative symptoms associated with menopause.
Ways To Get Active
Not every woman has the time or finances to pay for a monthly gym membership and attend every day, but you can make time when you find it. Swimming, walking, jogging, and biking are great ways to start the ball rolling. Start small with ten to twenty minutes each day and increase this number as it feels right. Of course, it isn’t just cardio that helps ease hot flashes. You can also make yourself more comfortable during menopause by weight training. Healthline.com explains; “Because osteoporosis risk skyrockets following menopause (estrogen is needed to help lay down bone), strength training is especially vital. Strength training exercises will help to build bone and muscle strength, burn body fat, and rev your metabolism. At home, opt for dumbbell sand resistance tubing. In the gym, choose from weight machines or free weights. Select a level that is heavy enough to tax your muscles in 12 repetitions and progress from there.
Find ways to get active outside, around your community, and at home. Climb the stairs when possible, take a parking spot at the far end of the shopping mall and walk to the doors. Create movement where you can, and eventually it will become an easy to follow routine which evens out symptoms and makes it easier for you to enjoy these golden days of your life rather than wallowing in the frustration and discomfort caused by hot flashes and other symptoms.
Take It To The Doctor
If exercise isn’t working for you and your hot flashes are out of control, speak to your doctor about possible treatments and medications that might work for you. Sometimes, natural remedies aren’t enough to ease the discomfort felt during this time, and your doctor may be able to help you through the worst of the symptoms and offer some relief.
You may also want to speak to a nutritionist regarding your hot flashes and see if there are certain foods and vitamins that could be decreasing the severity and length of your symptoms.
If you have any underlying medical conditions that could prevent you from regular exercise, ask your physician about less intense workouts that you can try, which might aid in hot flash reduction. Something like yoga or a swim aerobics class could be just what you need.
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