Exercise and Menopause
If you're in the middle of menopause, you may be experiencing challenges such as weight gain, hot flashes or fatigue. Ugh! The good news is that exercise can make a positive difference.
Although there is much more to learn about exercise research and menopause, what we do know supports physical activity as a means to help manage menopausal consequences and protect against heart disease and osteoporosis, says Jan Schroeder, PhD, an associate professor of kinesiology at California State University, Long Beach. Below, Schroeder explains what research says and offers tips for designing a fitness program for this time of life.
Cardiorespiratory Fitness. The goal of a cardiorespiratory fitness pro- gram is to improve your aerobic condi- tioning and body composition. Choose a weight-bearing activity, such as walking, to help protect bone density.
Resistance Training. Improvement in bone mineral density (BMD) is site- specific. Only those bones attached to the exercising muscles are affected, owing to specificity of stimulation. Therefore, choose exercises to strengthen the small and large muscle groups of the spine and hip, the most common sites of osteoporotic frac- tures. In addition, pick exercises that help with posture and realign the spine and pelvic girdle (e.g., upper-back and leg/hip exercises).
Flexibility Training. Until there is a clearer understanding of the most appropriate flexibility design, follow ACSM's flexibility guidelines. The or- ganization recommends performing a static stretching routine that exercises all major muscle groups at least 2-3 (preferably 5-7) days per week, hold- ing each stretch for 15-30 seconds to mild discomfort, with 2-4 repetitions per stretch (ACSM 2006).
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). 2006.
ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing & Prescription (7th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Bemben, D.A., et al. 2000. Musculosketal responses to high- and low-intensity resistance training in early postmenopausal women. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32 (11), 1949-57.
Krumm, E.M., et al. 2006. The relationship between daily steps and body composition in postmenopausal women. Journal of Women's Health, 15 (2), 202-10.
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2007 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.