We all know exercise is good for us. For years we have heard the benefits of exercise preached by the health gurus of the day. Every magazine aimed at women has at least one how to article on the subject of exercise.
Yes, exercise makes you look good and feel better, but did you know that exercise could ease the transition from the perimenopause into menopause? There are many benefits of a regular exercise program during the perimenopause years.
One of the most common complaints women have during perimenopause is the anxiety attack. Regular exercise can help by reducing stress. Even better, by participating in just a few minutes of vigorous exercise you can stop that panic attack that you feel coming on. I have done this and was a little surprised to find that it really does work.
A regular exercise program reduces the chance of developing metabolic syndrome during the perimenopause years. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain, high cholesterol levels and a host of other physical problems that women who have entered into menopause are plagued with.
Osteoporosis is a disease that is characterized by the weakening of the bones. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation approximately 55 percent of the American population that is 55 years or older is affected by the disease. Exercising regularly makes for strong bones; perimenopause is the time of life when women lose bone density. Protect yourself with a regular exercise routine.
Exercise makes the body produce endorphins, these are neurotransmitters that are known to relieve pain and cause a sense of well-being or euphoria. Endorphins are what make you feel good when you exercise. The changes the endorphins make in the brain can last for hours. They will help relieve the depression and feelings of uncertainty that many women experience during perimenopause. They will also help your body relax so you will not have to suffer so much from the insomnia that often comes with perimenopause.
Studies have shown there is three types of exercise that that most benefit women in perimenopause.
1. Aerobic exercise; this will release the endorphins and help to sooth the anxiety and depression. It will also help you to combat insomnia, maintain weight control, and may even help to keep the hot flashes at bay. Examples of aerobic exercise are walking, running or dancing.
2. Strength training works well for women in perimenopause by increasing lean muscle mass and increasing bone strength. This will give your metabolism a boost, and aid in the prevention of osteoporosis. Examples of strength training exercises are: lifting weights or using a strength-training machine.
3. Deep breathing exercises are very helpful to women in perimenopause. Focused breathing exercises such as belly yoga have been shown to reduce hot flashes as much as 5o percent according to studies done at Wayne State University. A yoga or tai chi class is a good way to learn deep abdominal breathing.
A regular exercise program will not only give you the benefits of easing the transition from perimenopause into menopause, but is also will help you to establish a healthy foundation for many years to come.