Menopause can bring about some negative health consequences, but new research shows postmenopausal women who exercise have reduced bone loss, reduced back pain, and lower cholesterol levels.
For the study researchers included 50 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who were not on any medications and had no diseases that affect bone metabolism. These women participated in an exercise program twice a week for 26 months as well as two at-home exercise sessions each week. Researchers also studied 33 women who did not exercise.
Researchers say they found that women in the exercise group were 36 percent more physically fit compared to when they started, while women who did not exercise were only 1.7 percent more physically fit. Researchers also found bone mineral density remained stable in the exercise group and decreased in the group that did not exercise. The women in the exercise group also reported less pain and had a reduced cholesterol level compared to the women who did not exercise.
Thus researchers say their findings suggest that long-term multipurpose exercise program with emphasis on bone density not only offsets bone loss but also improves physical fitness and lower back pain and reduces some coronary heart disease risk factors in early postmenopausal women.