Get Moving in Menopause: 50 Benefits of Walking
Going out for a walk is one of the easiest steps you can take to manage menopause symptoms and feel better—physically, mentally, and emotionally—right now!
When scientists at the University of Alberta looked at what happens when women start walking, they found overwhelmingly positive results. Nearly all of the 77 different walking programs that they studied showed that women felt better and were healthier after walking. Ninety one percent of the programs resulted in improvements in at least one menopause symptom or issue, such as mood, cardiovascular disease risk factors, body weight, self-esteem, and quality of life.
Nearly 7,500 midlife women participated and benefitted. Now it’s your turn to walk away from the trials of menopause and walk into the next stage of life feeling strong, vibrant, and confident.
Here are 50 more reasons to join Gennev’s Get Moving Walking Program for Women and start walking today!
- Boost your mood. In as little as 10 minutes, walking can lift you up when you’re feeling down.
- Short-circuit stress. Stress can negatively impact nearly every system in your body from headaches to stomach upset, and it can amp up menopause symptoms. Taking a walk dissipates stress and prevents its negative side effects.
- Improve sleep. Getting your steps in during the day can affect how well you sleep at night. In one study, midlife women reported sleeping better and longer on days they walked more than on days they did less.
- Tame anxiety. Within five minutes of starting to walk, your body’s anti-anxiety effects start to kick in to ease worries.
- Minimize joint pain. Walking increases synovial fluid in joints like your knees and hips which lubricates them and brings more oxygen and nutrients to the cartilage. Exercise also activates genes associated with rebuilding cartilage.
- Love how you look. After walking three times a week for four months, women ages 45 to 65 were happier with their appearance even if they didn’t lose any weight.
- Cut your risk of breast cancer. A review of research found that exercise like walking could lower your risk by 20 to 30 percent.
- Fight belly fat. Fat around your middle is associated with more health problems. But exercise seems particularly adept a targeting deep, dangerous belly fat. Women, whose exercise levels decrease during menopause, tend to have the greatest gains in their waistlines.
- Avoid a heart attack. Logging 25 minutes a day reduced the risk of dying from a heart attack or heart disease by 35 percent, according to an eight-year Harvard University study of more than 70,000 women ages 40 to 65.
- Beat fatigue. For a healthier pick-me-up, take a quick jaunt around a block or two instead of reaching for a caffeine- or sugar-boost.
- Form stronger relationships. Whether it’s with a family member, friend, acquaintance, or coworker, walking together can help you get to know each other better. There’s something about taking a walk that just gets the conversation flowing.
- Reduce your risk of diabetes. A 15-minute walk after meals improves your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, which can help stave off the development of diabetes.
- Burn calories. The faster you walk the more calories you’ll burn, which can help you to maintain a healthy weight.
- Strengthen bones. Walking is a weight-bearing activity unlike swimming or cycling in which your body weight is supported. Weight-bearing activities stimulate your bones to help keep them strong.
- Raise cardio fitness. Aerobic exercise like walking conditions your heart and lungs so you’ll have more stamina for activities like climbing stairs and chasing after kids.
- Fight depression. Walking for 30 minutes three times a week was found to be as effective as antidepressants in one study. (But don’t stop taking any prescribed medications without checking with your doctor.)
- Short circuit cravings. A 15-minute walk can curb a sweet-tooth and chocolate cravings.
- Moderate bad genes. A daily brisk walk may inhibit a genetic tendency to be obese. Research on how behaviors like diet and exercise impact genes is just beginning, but it appears that exercise may help you beat a family history of a host of health problems.
- May ease hot flashes. In one study that followed 438 women in midlife for eight years, those who exercised daily were 49 percent less likely to report having hot flashes than those who exercised less. Women whose exercise frequency decreased during the study, experienced more hot flashes. Research isn’t conclusive, and for some it may trigger hot flashes
- Less risk of injury, than higher impact activities like running. The risk is one to five percent for walkers versus 20 to 70 percent for runners.
- Stay sharp. As you get older, your brain starts to shrink, which may contribute to memory problems. But research shows that logging five to six miles of walking a week can counter the decline.
- Connect with others. It could be your walking partner or people you see along your route. Maybe you stop to chat with a neighbor. Even a simple “hello” as you pass other walkers counts as a social connection. The more social connections people have the healthier and happier they tend to be, according to research.
- Protect your heart. Just 21 minutes of walking a day reduces your risk of heart disease by 30 percent.
- Save money. The more you replace driving with walking the less you’ll spend on gas, and maybe even car repairs.
- Clear your head. Whether you’re ruminating over a difficult work assignment, a relationship issue, or a bigger problem in your life or the world, stepping outside for a relaxing walk can be a welcome break
- Ease digestive woes. It can help with bloating and gas.
- Solve problems more easily. Walking helped people come up with twice as many creative solutions to problems compared to just sitting and stewing, according to a Stanford University study. The effect lasted even after they sat down.
- Decrease risk for colon cancer, by up to 50 percent. Not only has exercise been shown to protect against this type of cancer, it can also reduce many risk factors for colon cancer such as excess weight, insulin resistance, impaired immune function, and high triglycerides.
- Feel more satisfied. Three hours of walking a week helped midlife women feel more satisfied with their lives.
- Slow the effects of osteoarthritis. The joint pain and stiffness from arthritis can impair your functioning. But just 10 minutes of walking a day can prevent disability and keep you active.
- Rev up your immunity. Workers who walked 20 minutes, five days a week took 43 percent fewer sick days than those who walked once a week or less, during a 12-week study. If the walkers did get sick, their symptoms were milder, and they were back to work sooner.
- Enhance self-esteem. When you start walking, you start to feel better about yourself.
- Prevent weight gain. Both aging and hormonal changes during menopause have been implicated in gaining weight and fat. But exercise has been shown to slow the weight creep and, along with dietary changes, may prevent it entirely.
- Stay strong. A decline in strength has been associated with menopause, however being physically active has been found to be a strong predictor of increased strength during this transition.
- Pump up your energy. Going for a walk enhances oxygen flow in your body and triggers hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine that boost energy levels.
- Relieve cramps. Walking improves circulation that can help relax constricted blood vessels in the uterus that result from cramping. And the feel-good endorphins it produces can block pain signals to offer relief.
- Be a good role model. Got kids or grandkids? Walking with them can help them learn to enjoy exercise and build a lifelong healthy habit.
- Remedy constipation. Walking helps to get things moving.
- Lengthen your life. You may live three years longer ensuring you get 150 minutes of brisk walking in a week. And those years will likely be better quality ones than if you’re sedentary.
- Boost good HDL cholesterol. In one study, walking an hour five times a week raised HDL levels nearly 10 percent after 24 weeks.
- Gain a new perspective. You’ll notice more and appreciate the world around you more when you’re walking instead of driving. Even reversing the direction that you walk a typical route changes what you see.
- Reduces back pain. A research review found walking to be an effective strategy for dealing with back pain.
- Preserve muscle mass. Your muscles fuel your metabolism, meaning that you burn more calories throughout the day. Unfortunately, muscle mass tends to decrease as you age, and menopause speeds up the loss. While strength training is the best way to maintain muscle, all types of exercise, including walking, may help slow the loss.
- Lower bad LDL cholesterol. Even leisurely walking has been shown to have a positive impact on this risk factor for heart disease.
- Turn down anger. Instead of lashing out, take a walk to blow off steam and avoid saying something you might regret later.
- Lower blood pressure. Research shows that walking improves blood pressure whether you have hypertension or not.
- Decrease stroke risk. Hit the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity like walking a week, and you could cut your chances of having a stroke by 24 percent. Double it (an hour, five days a week), and you’ll slash your risk by nearly half.
- Protect the environment, if you walk instead of drive. Going 1½ miles on foot instead of in a car reduces the amount of greenhouse gases produce by about 75 percent. Cut out 10 miles of driving each week, and you’ll eliminate roughly 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
- Reduce your risk of falling. Walking improves lower body strength and balance, factors the will help to keep you more stable.
- Mitigate a myriad of menopause symptoms. When researchers grouped symptoms into psychological ones (depression, irritability, anxiety), somatic ones (sweating, heart complaints, joint and muscle pain), and urogenital ones (sexual issues, urinary problems, vaginal dryness), they found that walking helped in all areas. In the study, women who started walking with other women for an hour, three times a week, reported fewer symptoms after four months than women who didn’t walk.
Join Us and Get Moving
Join the Get Moving Walking Program for Women to receive two 30-day walking programs designed by women for women, support from certified fitness instructors and health coaches, special offers and incentives.
Be part of our Get Moving Walking Community for Women for daily motivation to keep moving, share your walking experiences, receive encouragement, and have the support of other women.
Always check with your physician before beginning any new exercise program.
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