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THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) — After menopause, moderate exercise can help women manage hot flashes, become more fit and feel better, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that a 20-week exercise program helped women boost their fitness levels, lose a little weight and give higher ratings to their physical and mental well-being.

That included a reduction in hot flashes and night sweats — two of the most bothersome symptoms of menopause.

Researchers led by Debora Godoy-Izquierdo, of the University of Grenada in Spain, reported the findings online Feb. 15 in the journal Menopause.

The study offers good news to women who want alternatives to hormones for managing menopause symptoms, according to Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society.

Hot flashes and night sweats are the most common reasons that women seek treatment for menopause symptoms, said Pinkerton, who was not involved in the study.

For some, she said, the problems are severe enough to warrant hormone therapy. But most women can find relief in other ways.

“Exercise, stress reduction and adequate sleep are very important for women who are becoming menopausal,” Pinkerton said. “For a majority of women, lifestyle changes may be enough to get the hot flashes to be less bothersome, as well as help prevent the weight gain and mood changes common during this time.”

For the new study, the researchers recruited 234 women who were at least one year past menopause. Overall, 166 women were sedentary, and half of them were assigned to stick with their usual lifestyle, while the other half started the 20-week exercise program.

The rest of the women were already physically active, and they served as a second comparison group.

The exercise program consisted of three one-hour workouts per week. Each session was supervised and involved moderate aerobic exercise, like fast walking, along with strength training.

The women in this program also received…



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