Exercise is certainly good for you, particularly as you get older. But new research shows it does nothing to ease hot flashes in menopausal women.
The study, published Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society, is based on an analysis of nearly 250 women with frequent hot flashes. About 100 of the women participated in a 12-week aerobic exercise program; the others did not.
All the women kept daily diaries on their hot flashes and night sweats, how well they slept, and whether they experienced insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
Although exercise had small positive effects on sleep quality, insomnia, and depression, the results showed it had had no significant effect on hot flashes for the women overall.
"Midlife women cannot expect exercise to relieve [hot flashes and night sweats] but may reasonably expect it to improve how they feel and their overall health," said the investigators.
The study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health as part of an ongoing study of menopause known as the MsFLASH Research Network (Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health).
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