Menopause and Women Who Exercise – WHAT???
We are encouraged to exercise pretty much from the time we learn to walk and are strongly encouraged to continue to exercise as we age. There are many reasons why this is so strongly encouraged, as it is believed that exercise is:
• Good for muscle strength
• Good for healthy heart and lungs
• Good for our emotional health
• Keeps our joints flexible
• Inactivity is as risky, they say, as smoking
• Helps prevent disease
• Helps increase stamina
• Controls weight
• Improves quality of life
This list could go on and on as to why it is believed that exercise is such a good thing. The last item on the list above “improves quality of life” is certainly one that says it all in four simple words. But, a new Japanese study might make you question that “quality of life” point.
A new Japanese study has suggested that women who devote a good deal of time to exercise and who maintain a heart healthy diet appear to reach menopause earlier than those who do not. What??? Details on the study:
• 3100 premenopausal women tracked over a 10 year period
• Those who exercised between 8 and 10 hours a week were 17 percent more likely to start menopause early
• Those who ate polyunsaturated fats were 15 percent more likely to start menopause early
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This study, conducted by Dr Chisato Negata and associates at Gifu University involved giving food and activity questionnaires to women between the ages of 35 and 56 years of age. During the study 1800 women went through menopause and the study suggested that very active women as well as those who ate diets high in polyunsaturated fats were more likely to reach menopause early. It’s important to note, however that there have been other studies done which had contradictory results.