The study focused on 164 volunteers, all of whom were mostly sedentary prior to the study. The women were then divided into three groups. One of these groups met three times each week in order to walk together for an hour. Another group gathered in order to perform 90 minute yoga sessions. The final group did not exercise at all.
The study found that the women who exercised enjoyed an improved outlook and mood. When it came to hot flashes and night sweats, however, the results were mixed. Half of the women in the study reported an improvement in these areas, with most of them being women participating in the exercise groups. Those participating in the walking group, which is aerobic exercise, enjoyed greater benefits than those in the non-aerobic yoga group.
“It’s a nice reaffirmation that exercise is beneficial for lots of different things.” – Dr. Charles Castle, Lancaster gynecologist and member of the Pennsylvania Medical Society board of trustees
The study is not conclusive, however, as it did not account for the various stages of menopause. As such, it is possible that some of the women’s symptoms may have lessened on their own. The study was also unable to determine if the exercise actually decreased the symptoms or if women were simply in better moods after exercising.
With menopause affecting approximately 1.5 million women between the ages of 45 and 55 in the United States per year, any steps that can help improve the symptoms is sure to be well received.