If you think exercise is something that is more effective when you are younger, then here’s some good news for postmenopausal women.
A study at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has shown that the exercise you perform a bit later in life has a greater impact on your body composition than the effects younger women would get with the same amount of effort. So it’s never too late!
In the study researchers reported that, overall, the 275 postmenopausal women who participated in the study spent less time moving and more time sitting than the 630 premenopausal women enrolled in the investigation.
They also found that sedentary behavior was more strongly linked to waist circumference in the postmenopausal women. Putting weight on around the middle is one of the majority concerns at menopause, so as well as paying attention to your diet and hormones it seems exercise really will make a difference.
Exercise benefits greater at mid life than when younger
However, when the postmenopausal women performed light exercise – even casual walking or housework – their bodies benefited more than did the bodies of the premenopausal women.
“Across the board, for each measure of body composition, we found that light physical activity had a greater impact in postmenopausal compared with premenopausal women,” reported lead author Lisa Troy, Ph.D.
Conclusion? It seems postmenopausal women may have greater control of their weight and shape than they may think, and may realize more benefits from physical activity than their younger counterparts.
Given how clear the benefits of exercise are, it is hard to know why we are often so reluctant to undertake it. The best method is to simply incorporate it into your daily life – it does not have to be frantic or sweaty but a simple brisk walk or dancing round the kitchen 5 minutes a day will all help.
The key is always to find something you enjoy and do it little and often – or just make one or two extra trips up and down the stairs in a day if that helps.
Weight at menopause is often a problem and it is clear that sitting too long will definitely expand your waistline, but so too will hormone imbalance. If you are bloated and uncomfortable it may be you need to look at whether you have symptoms of oestrogen dominance that can be addressed.