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Calm, Cool and . . . Hot

Filed Under: Women's Health at 8:12 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Uncomfortable WomanThe end of menopause can be seen as the light at the end of the tunnel. For the rest of your life, there will be no more bleeding, monthly runs for tampons or pregnancy scares. This is the stage you’ve been dreaming of since age 12 and your first menstrual cycle. This is freedom. If only you weren’t quite so depressed, stressed out and anxiety ridden. If only you could find relief, then you could enjoy this part of your life. But how?

Exercise. Once again, following this simple suggestion will ease what ails you. An eight year study of 380 women found that those who walked anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes a day, five times a week had lower levels of perceived stress. They were able to cope more adroitly with the feelings of stress and anxiety that often arise with the body’s depletion of estrogen. There’s only one problem: It didn’t do a thing for hot flashes.

Researchers found no connection between increased activity and decreased hot flashes, but that was to be expected. Exercise increases the body’s temperature. Logically, it wouldn’t help an individual cool down. But I think you can deal with that.

Hot flashes are usually temporary, dissipating as or shortly after menopause ends, while post-menopause lasts for the rest of your life. It may be 20 years or it may be half a century. That’s a long time to face unnecessary anxiety and depression. So exercise, even if it does nothing for your hot flashes. There are other ways to deal with them. This is one of the best ways to deal with everything else.

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