Exercise is good for you, regardless of your age.
There have also been many reports over the last few years of exercise reducing menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, fatigue and irritability [1, 2].
But a new study  coming out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and presented at the 2015 annual meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) shows that some types of physical activity have a greater impact on body composition in postmenopausal compared to premenopausal women.
The encouraging part of the study is that postmenopausal women may have more control over their body composition (meaning relative percentage of body fat and muscle) than their premenopausal counterparts since their body composition is more impacted by light physical activity, such as casual walking or yard work, and by sedentary behaviour.
A total of 630 premenopausal and 274 postmenopausal women participated in the study.
Not surprisingly, postmenopausal women, on average, exhibited:
- less total movement and
- more sedentary time than premenopausal women.
Also, as expected:
- higher total movement and physical activity, along with lower sedentary behavior, were associated with a lower BMI, waist circumference and percentage of body fat
- BUT did not hold to the same extent in both groups.
“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,” says Dr. Lisa Troy, lead author from the University of Massachusetts.
Moreover, they found that “sedentary behavior was more strongly associated with waist circumference in postmenopausal women. This is an important public health message because, as women go through menopause, physiological changes may decrease a woman’s motivation to exercise. What we’ve found in our study suggests that doing even a little bit of exercise may make a big difference in body composition.
Regular exercise has so many benefits for women of all ages, from providing more energy and greater mobility to helping to build bone density,” says Dr. Utian. “This study suggests, though, for postmenopausal women, weight management may be improved with a variety of physical activities.”
- For postmenopausal women, all exercise (even light and moderate intensity) has a positive effect in terms of reducing BMI, waist circumference and percentage body fat.
- Take some daily exercise: take a brisk walk, walk your dog, do gardening, housework, Pilates, some resistance training… how about our Friday vitality circuits? It is perfect to reduce body fat and toning up.
Tags: menopause, exercise