Exercising might not cut hot flushes in menopausal women, researchers have found.
According of the findings of a new study, regular exercise does not seem to prove beneficial in easing hot flushes.
For the purpose of the study, researchers looked at 248 women members of the MsFLASH Research Network. The participants, aged between 40 and 62 years, were either approaching menopause or were postmenopausal.
142 women continued to pursue their usual daily activities. These women formed the control group. Meanwhile, 106 women were assigned to undergo professional aerobic exercise training – 3 times a week for 12 weeks.
All women were required to maintain a daily diary of hot flashes and night sweats and quality of sleep. They were also required to fill in questionnaires detailing insomnia, depression, and anxiety symptoms, if any.
Furthermore, each woman was randomly assigned to take a daily capsule of fish oil or a placebo. This “factorial design ensured that all participants could believe that they were receiving some intervention and, hence, had an expectancy of benefit,” the authors explained.
Findings Of The Study
At the end of 12-weeks, researchers found no significant effect of exercise on hot flashes. However, exercise did boost sleep quality and reduced symptoms of insomnia and depression in women in the exercise group.
“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,” Dr. Barbara Sternfeld, from the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, California, said.
“There’s nothing wrong with exercise, but it won’t cure your hot flashes,” Sternfeld concluded.
The findings of the study are reported online in the July 29 issue of Menopause. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health (MsFLASH) Research Network.