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Attitude may be the key to how exercise impacts menopausal women. This is according to researchers from Penn State who identified two types of menopausal women – one experiences hot flashes after physical activity while the other experiences fewer.
“The most consistent factor that seemed to differentiate the two groups was perceived control over hot flashes,” said Steriani Elavsky, assistant professor kinesiology. “These women have ways of dealing with 9hotflashes) and they believe they can control or cope with the in an effective way on a daily basis.”
“The bottom line for research is that people need to look at individual differences,” explained Elavsky. “It’s not enough anymore to do a study and look at overall impact of an exercise program on symptoms. It’s very clear that we need to look at the different responses that women might have, and try to understand these individual differences more.”
At the beginning of the study the women filled out evaluations that asked about their depressive symptoms, chronic stress, perceived control over hot flashes and personality. Their hormones and body composition was measured.
They found that women experienced fewer hot flashes the day after participating in vigorous to moderate exercise were more likely to feel they had control over their hot flashes. Women who had more hot flashes following exercise were more likely to be part of a group who felt they had few strategies for controlling those hot flashes.
Elavsky states that the differentiation into two groups was surprising. “Maybe the reason why we don’t see the associations in larger studies is because they cancel each other out.”
Source: MedicalNewsToday, Penn State
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