Just 60 minutes a day…

Posted by on Dec 5, 2011 in aging, exercise, menopause | 2 comments

keeps the symptoms at bay?

You know that I’m all about exercise, not only to maintain fluctuating weight but also to chase those moody blues away . But did you know that increasing your workout to at least 60 minute a day may actually improve  wellbeing and lessen menopausal symptoms?

I stumbled across this piece last week and just knew that I had to share. And I am especially interested because it appears that too much exercise can set off early menopause (I’m still looking into this story). But to the study at hand.

Researchers, intrigued by the relationship between physical activity and menopausal symptoms, randomly assigned menopausal women to one of three groups:

  • Less than 30 min/day physical activity
  • Maintained or increased  physical activity from 30 to 6o min/day
  • Maintained or increased their physical activity to  more than 60 min/day

During the time that participants were studied, their regular, habitual activity was defined as whenever they did something active for at least 10 minutes, e.g., household chores, transportation, etc. Additionally, all  were encouraged to be more active (e.g. taking stairs versus an elevator) or at the very least, maintain their current activity levels during the time that they were enrolled in the 12 week study period.

Granted, while the outcomes were modest, the research did show that women who engaged in moderate to rigorous activity for at least an hour a day benefitted both in terms of feeling more positive about themselves and begin able to focus as well as in their personal relationships compared to peers who did 30 minutes or less a day. Overall, almost all menopausal symptoms were also lessened with the highest degree of physical activity. And, the researchers likened the improvements in mental wellbeing to the ability to, at the very least, maintain weight.

An hour of moderate physical activity daily? That’s a lot when your life is filled to the brim and your hours, maxed out. But, at the same time, mid age changes in body composition, hormonal fluctuations and increased risk of heart disease all point to one conclusion: it may be worth it to make the time. If you can’t get to the gym, at least take the stairs.

Treat yourself. You’re worth the hour.


  1. 12-5-2011

    Great advice, Liz. The thing I sometimes have to keep in mind is if I somehow don’t have the 60 minutes, 45 or even 30 minutes is way better than 0. (Obvious, but I’ve ditched a few short swims for “reason” of not having time for a full session).

    • 12-5-2011

      Thanks Elaine. I battle that myself – and always come to the conclusion that 30 min is better than none.


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