Postmenopausal women can fight off hot flashes and night sweats by performing a weight-training exercise program. These are the findings of a new randomized clinical trial published in the August 2019 issue of ‘The European Menopause Journal.’ According to lead researcher, Dr. Emilia Berin of Linkoping University in Sweden, “Resistance training is already recommended for all women always, but now we can see it may be effective also for hot flashes around menopause.”
Traditional medical treatment protocols promote hormone therapy as the most effective and, for the most part, only treatment for hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause. But some women have trouble tolerating hormone therapy and others simply do not wish to take hormones. Consequently, other strategies to relieve hot flashes are being investigated and exercise is now one of them. Some past studies have suggested that exercise may help relieve hot flashes, but others have found no effect.
However, in this new study, Dr. Berin and her colleagues randomly assigned 58 women who were experiencing at least four moderate-to-severe hot flashes or night sweats daily to either 15 weeks of resistance training or to a control group that did not change their physical activity. None of the study participants exercised regularly before the trial and none had used hormone therapy in the prior two months.
The group following the weight training regimen performed three weekly 45-minute exercise sessions, with six exercises on resistance machines and two using body weight. Those women started working out with lighter weights for the first three weeks and then with progressively heavier weights.
The exercise group averaged 7.5 hot flashes or night sweats a day at the beginning of the study, and after 15 weeks were having an average of 4.4 episodes a day. There was virtually no change in the control group participants, who went from 6.6 to 6.5 hot flashes daily.
Dr. Berin believes that the key to success of this new study was that the exercise program had to be actually challenging for the study participants. “To actually push themselves harder than they were used to was new to them. They had to be encouraged to increase the load more so they would get the effects of the training,” she said. “After they progressed, they enjoyed it and almost everyone continued to exercise after the intervention.”
In addition to preserving muscle and bone mass, weight training exercise has many benefits for postmenopausal women such as decreased incidence of heart disease and cancer. Therefore, the finding that weight training works to reduce hot flashes gives yet another reason to recommend weight training along with cardio exercise and stretching for general fitness benefits.
Do You Want To Start An Effective And Safe Weight Training Program?
Our facility, Performance Sport-Care in Walnut Creek, CA, is the area’s most complete, small, private strength training and exercise rehabilitation and sports chiropractic facility. We offer close, personal, professionally supervised instruction on a variety of state of the art strength training programs that target the calf, hamstring, buttock, low back, and postural muscles as well as abdominal strengthening/toning protocols. Our programs involve the same protocols and equipment used in professional sports, but are custom tailored to be compatible and safe for people of different ages and fitness levels. If you are interested in improving your strength, improving your physical appearance, and reducing injury risk factors please contact us with your questions or concerns.
We are are the leading Sports Chiropractic and Rehabilitation facility located in Walnut Creek, CA. Feel free to contact us with your questions or concerns at (925) 945-1155 or request an appointment.