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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

TWomen's Health Conceptshere are several reasons to recommend strength training to women, including postmenopausal women – weight management, prevent decline in muscle mass, bone density, and now hot flashes!!

A new clinical trial suggests that it is effective for the hot flashes of perimenopause/menopause.

When it comes to exercise, some studies suggest that exercise may help reduce hot flashes but others show no effect. The researchers of the current study randomly assigned 58 women experiencing at least four moderate-to-severe hot flashes or night sweats daily to 15 weeks of resistance training or to a control group in which the women did not change their physical activity routine. None of the women in either group were regular exercisers or had used hormone therapy for the two months prior.

The strength training workout group had a regimen of 45 minutes sessions, three times per week which included six exercises on resistance machines and two using body weight. Women started with lighter weights for the first three weeks, then progressively increased their weights and loads. Prior to the workout regimen, the exercise group averaged 7.5 hot flashes or night sweats a day and after 15 weeks were having an average of 4-5 per day. There were no changes in the control group.

Commentary: I always like to see studies on hot flashes and night sweats that offer women more lifestyle options, that actually can work. If one is not already engaged in regular exercise including some kind of strength training, starting with lighter loads for the first 1-2 weeks is important in order to avoid injury. There are many non-hormonal and hormonal options to relieve hot flashes and night sweats…including dietary influences, botanicals, nutraceuticals, hormones and non-hormone prescription medications. In the case of strength training, as I said in the beginning, there are other meaningful benefits as well. Other forms of exercise are also full of benefits including a decreased incidence of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, bone loss and cancer. The “women’s movement”, can mean.. let’s get women moving!!!

Reference: Berin E, Hammr M, Lindblom M, et al. Resistance training for hot flushes in postmenopausal women: A randomised controlled trial. Maturitis. : 2019; 126:55-60

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