Exercise May Help with Hot Flashes
Posted on December 22, 2015 by Donna Jenkins
No one questions the fact that exercise is good for a person. Exercise provides many benefits such as weight loss, the lowering of blood sugar, cholesterol, and stress reduction. However, recent studies are showing that exercise can help relieve a symptom many women experience.
A study published in the Journal of Physiology reports that exercise, especially exercise that makes you hot and sweaty, can reduce the number and intensity of hot flashes. Hot flashes are experienced by women entering menopause.
Hot flashes are characterized by feelings of intense heat, reddening of the skin, and decreased blood flow to the brain. A hot flash 2-3 minutes in duration produces the same kind of vasodilation and increased sweating that is comparable to spending 30 minutes engaging in moderate intensity cycling.
To measure the impact of exercise on hot flashes, Dr. Helen Jones of the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University created a study. She recruited 21 healthy individuals experiencing menopausal symptoms.
14 of them women engaged in an exercise program while the others made no changes to their daily routines. The participants then completed questionnaires about the the frequency and intensity of their symptoms.
Researches also placed participants in hot water suits to induce a hot flash. They then measured the physiological reactions. These reactions included sweating and skin and brain blood flow.
The exercise group began with 30-minute sessions on the treadmill, bike, or rowing machine and increased to 45-minute sessions. The sessions took place three times per week.
After 4 months, the exercise group reported a reduction in the frequency and intensity of their hot flashes. Researchers again measured and found decreases in blood flow, temperature, and minimized blood flow in the brain.
The group who remained sedentary reported no changes in their hot flashes.
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