Menopause and exercise

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Abstract

Objective:

Accumulating data suggest that regular physical exercise reduces mortality and extends the functional life span of men and women. This review seeks to describe the current state of the medical literature on this topic.

Methods:

A narrative review of the current medical literature including randomized clinical trials and clinical guidelines that address the benefits of physical fitness and regular exercise on the health of midlife and postmenopausal women.

Results:

Reduction and avoidance of obesity and its related comorbidities (hypertension, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and heart disease) are one major benefit of exercise. However, long-term physical exercise is also associated with reduced rates of cancer, dementia and cognitive decline, adverse mood and anxiety symptoms, and reduction of osteoporosis, osteopenia, falls, and fractures. Beneficial physical activity includes exercise that will promote cardiovascular fitness (aerobic), muscle strength (resistance), flexibility (stretching), and balance (many of the preceding, and additional activities such as yoga).

Conclusions:

Given that it is unambiguously beneficial, inexpensive, and minimal risk, maintaining a healthy exercise regimen should be a goal for every participant to enhance lifelong wellness. Clinicians should use a number of behavioral strategies to support the physical fitness goals of their participants.

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