Women who undergo menopause face many changes that may lead to loss of health-related fitness. Regular exercise has been highly promoted and recognized as the best non-medical treatment for postmenopausal problems. Exercise can reduce severe symptoms in menopausal women and improve their fitness level and quality of life.1 Exercise-induced improvements in heart and respiratory system seemed to have a direct effect on the quality of life in postmenopausal women.2
Researchers from Pennsylvania State University examined the effects of a four-month exercise trial (regular walking or yoga) on mental health outcomes in previously low-active middle-aged women, and they concluded that regular exercise enhances mood and mental health outcomes during menopause.2 The improvements in heart and respiratory fitness were said to have a positive impact on the quality of life of these women.
In addition, a study by German researchers on the effect of an intense exercise program on physical fitness, coronary heart disease, bone mineral density (BMD) and parameters related to quality of life in early postmenopausal women has shown that intense exercise training can be effective in improving strength, endurance, quality of life parameters and even BMD in postmenopausal women.3
- Teoman N, Ozcan A, Acar B. The Effect of Exercise on Physical Fitness and Quality of Life in Postmenopausal Women. Maturitas. 2004; 47(1): 71–77.
- Elavsky S, McAuley E. Physical Activity and Mental Health OutcomesDuring Menopause: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Behav Med. 2007; 33(2): 132–142.
- Kemmler W, Engelke K, Lauber D, Weineck J, Hensen J. Exercise Effects on Fitness and Bone Mineral Density in Early Postmenopausal Women: 1-year EFOPS Results. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002; 34(12): 2115–2123.