Wellness Matters

Combat the Belly Pooch

November 05, 2014

By: Debbie Kinney, RN
Cone Health Wellness Nurse
Spears Family YMCA

Exercise Can Slow Menopausal Weight Gain

Women tend to begin gaining weight in their abdomen during and after menopause, which increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Exercise can help combat the weight gain commonly associated with the onset of menopause.

Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, playing tennis or aerobics, are essential for building strong bones and decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. The earlier in life women begin this form of exercise, the better. Exercise can also help with the symptoms and changes that commonly occur with menopause.


  • Promotes sleep
  • Helps with mood and stress levels
  • Builds stronger bones

Strength training is also important. People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3 to 5 percent of their muscle mass per decade after age 30. It is recommended for women to exercise at least 30 minutes each day, incorporating strength-training sessions into their routine at least two to three times a week.

A woman’s risk of developing heart disease and osteoporosis also increases during and after menopause. Women going through this period should be extra mindful of keeping a heart healthy diet, especially avoiding foods high in saturated fat and/or sodium. Including plenty of calcium in your diet is a good idea.

Before beginning a new diet or exercise routine to help with the symptoms and changes of menopause, it is important to discuss with a medical professional your condition, and how to safely modify your lifestyle.

The Women’s Health Network, based at Cone Health MedCenter High Point, is dedicated to educating women about menopause, and providing treatment to help them transition through this period with a high quality of life.


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