Anxiety & Panic Attacks

Post image for Study Says Sedentary Lifestyle Makes Menopause Misery Worse

A large study published in The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) journal Menopause, examined the lifestyles of 6,000 middle-aged Hispanic women in Latin America, and determined that a sedentary lifestyle was linked to greater incidences of depression in menopause, anxiety, insomnia and obesity.

The women were ages 40 to 59, attended 20 urban health centers in 11 Latin American countries, and completed standard questionnaires about depression, anxiety, insomnia, and the severity of their menopause symptoms. The women were also asked about their activity levels and whether they were in actual menopause or not.

According to the study, 64% of the women said they lived a sedentary lifestyle.  Sedentary meaning that they did not engage in at least 3 weekly sessions of some sort of physical activity such as walking, jogging, or swimming, which lasted at least 30 minutes.

The study concluded that of those women, 16% reported experiencing severe menopause symptoms, compared to 11% of women who were active during menopause.  The sedentary women also reported higher incidences of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

A PDF copy of the article can be found here.

Staying Active is Always Good Anyway You Look at It

Though this study is not exactly earth-shattering, I have to agree that staying active and engaging in some sort of aerobic exercise is highly beneficial, not just for women dealing with perimenopause and menopause symptoms, but also generally as we age.

Aerobic activity, especially out doors where we are exposed to sunshine, helps shake depression, eases insomnia, and the release of endorphins in the brain from the exercise is also an excellent antidote to anxiety.

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But we live in such a medicated society in the Western world, and our default response is to look for some sort of drug or medicine to help with these issues.  And thought I am a strong proponent of hormone therapy to help ease symptoms of perimenopause, I also strongly believe that we should not underestimate how powerful something as simple as taking a daily brisk walk can be for our health and well-being.

We all know that a sedentary lifestyle increases our risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and can exacerbate so many other health issues.  So, regardless of whether we’re struggling with severe symptoms of perimenopause or not, engaging in some form of daily exercise is highly beneficial any way you look at it.  Agreed?

This study only looked at Hispanic women.  But I think we can safely generalize the results of the study to all women who are sedentary and struggling with difficult and severe symptoms of perimenopause.

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Sources:

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). (2016, January 27). Sedentary lifestyle spells more menopause misery: Large Latin American study links inactivity with hot flashes, more at midlife. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 23, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160127052552.htm

 

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