Women's Running: Health Q&A

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Can I run my way through the menopause?

It isn’t clear if running alleviates the symptoms of menopause. Some studies suggest running may help reduce the level and frequency of mood disturbances and hot flushes, and one study found that female runners were less likely to experience the weight gain associated with menopause. However, there is evidence that runners hit menopause before non- runners. The reasons for this are unclear. 

Some women report a falloff in athletic performance during menopause, but, again, it’s not clear whether this is a result of the menopause itself or if it’s the effects of ageing. Here are a few tips to help you through the menopause:

Incorporate strength or resistance training at least twice weekly to develop and maintain active muscle tissue. Your metabolism will rise and your bone density and joint stability, both of which decline post-menopause, will improve.

Keep track of the calories you burn and consume. Some of the weight you put on may be related to fuel quantity or quality, while some may be due to hormonal shifts and a natural decline in your metabolism. 

Among the most common side effects of menopause are hot flushes and sweats. Because they come without warning, it can be hard to track your sweat rate. One way to keep tabs is to note the colour of your urine. If you are well hydrated, it should be pale yellow, except first thing in the morning, when it’s likely to be darker. 

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Discuss this article

I've been running for half a year, now, but I haven't had the guts to participate at a competition, because I'm afraid everyone else is better than me ... I am physically healthy, I've even had a tele radiology test last week to check myself. I should probably buy the book, reading usually gives me a lot of confidence.

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 14:19

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