A brisk walking routine may be an effective, natural way for women to reduce an array of psychological symptoms associated with menopause.
From 1996 through 1997, researchers from Temple University, lead by Deborah Nelson, Ph.D., collected a sample of 380 women with an average age of 42 living in the Philadelphia area. These women were followed for eight years while they reported their physical activity levels and menopausal symptoms including stress, anxiety, depression and hot flashes.
Research revealed exercise alleviated psychological effects such as stress, anxiety and depression, but did not have any effect on physical symptoms like hot flashes. The sub groups of women who benefited the most from physical activity were post-menopausal women and African American women, both showing lower levels of stress than those who did not exercise.
“Physical symptoms like hot flashes will go away when you reach menopause, but mental health is something women still need to think about post-menopause,” Dr. Nelson said.