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Walking Off The Effects Of Menopause

April 15, 2010

Researchers from Quebec's Laval University found that a regular program of walking may improve health and emotional wellbeing of pre- and postmenopausal women, along with preventing some of the weight gain that goes with menopause. The 16-week program involved walking for 45 minutes every other day and helped sedentary, overweight but otherwise healthy women lose a few pounds, increase lean body mass and experience greater quality of life. The premenopausal women lost an average of 4.4 pounds, about three times as much the postmenopausal women, and lost more fat. The postmenopausal women experienced a larger drop in their waist size and gained more lean body mass— they also reported larger gains in health-related quality of life scores for pain, daily physical functioning, general health, emotional and mental health while premenopausal women had the greater gains in all physical activities, vitality and social functioning. Though the study size was small—35 women started the program and 30 finished, the researchers feel that moderate-intensity and moderate-frequency exercise has its advantages, especially since the 45 minutes can be broken into shorter segments throughout the day with the same beneficial effects, making it easier to incorporate into daily life.