Exercise helps in reducing menopausal symptoms
A study says that exercise improves the quality of life in menopausal women.india Updated: Mar 24, 2006 13:46 IST
Regular exercise can reduce severe symptoms in menopausal women and improve their quality of life, according to a study in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Researchers from the University of Granada in Spain found that the number of women suffering severe symptoms fell by a quarter after they took part in a 12-month supervised exercise programme, while problems increased among women who didn't exercise.
Fifty per cent of the 24-strong exercise group had severe symptoms at the start of the programme compared with 37 per cent at the end. 58 per cent of the 24 women in the non-exercise group reported problems at the start of the study and this rose to 67 per cent over the same period.
"The group that improved took part in three hours of fully supervised exercise a week for 12 months" explains lead researcher Professor Carmen Villaverde-Gutierrez. "This comprised cardio respiratory, stretching, muscle-strengthening and relaxation exercises.
"As well as monitoring severe symptoms, we also looked at the women's quality of life and found that the average scores for the exercise group improved while those for the control group decreased."
Before each twice-weekly session the exercise group were assessed by the physiotherapist leading the programme and a nurse. The women's mobility, flexibility, balance, co-ordination were checked, together with elements such as cardio respiratory strength.
The control group did not exercise but they did attend monthly meetings where their blood pressure and general health was checked to ensure that no medical issues had developed that could affect the final results.
"Joining the regular exercise programme improved the women's health and also gave them the chance to join a sociable group activity and reduce feelings of loneliness" says Professor Villaverde-Gutierrez.
"Our findings suggest that regular exercise programmes can help to alleviate some of the physical symptoms associated with the menopause and improve women's health and quality of life.
We would like to see exercise programmes offered as an integral part of primary healthcare for menopausal women. At the very least, women going through the menopause should be encouraged to join a local exercise group suitable for their age and health so that they can share the benefits experienced by the women in our study," she said.