Menopause Doesn't Slow Tennis Moms

Aggressive physical activity empowers your attitude

(RxWiki News) Menopausal symptoms may bring one down occasionaly, but a challenging tennis match might help rid you of those feelings. Experts are now saying passoniate competition will lift your spirits and keep you healthy.

A recent university study shows that intense physical activity benefits women more than just moderate exercise. Researchers explain why this is true and provide suggestions on moderate activities.

"Enjoy tennis competition for its health benefits, not just the score."

Lead author, Steriani Elavsky, from Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania told Reuters Health that women who participate in strenuous exercise were twice as likely to have more energy and feel confident. These women were also more likely to reduce stress and become anxious, as compared with a less active group of women.

The study's participants were not on hormone therapy (HRT).

The research study included 225 women between the ages of 40 and 60 who were asked to either do moderate or vigorous/intense exercise. They were asked to keep a diary of activity, record their feelings and to wear an accelerometer to track their duration of exercise and energy expenditure. The researchers also monitored their reactions during physical activity during the two week test.

Both groups of women used a treadmill. The intense group used a treadmill to the point where they could no longer handle the stress. While the moderate group used the treadmill for 30 minutes at a speed they set themselves, that could be considered moderate.

The women in the intense activity group reported that they had more energy, realized an overall greater feeling of wellbeing and self-efficacy, Elavsky said. This type of exercise was even more beneficial for women who were out of shape or obese, Elavksy adds.

Jack Newman, the C.E.O at the Austin Tennis Academy, agrees with this study's conculsion. Newman says, “Our coaching experience with female tennis competitors within this age group confirms their study's finding. We believe ladies leave their weekly tennis clinics or USTA team matches with more energy and far greater self confidence.”

Moderate level activities include:

  • Tennis
  • Brisk walking
  • Ballroom dancing or line dancing
  • Biking on level ground or with few hills
  • Canoeing
  • Gardening that includes raking, trimming shrubs
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Water aerobics

Newman suggests these activities will enable women to feel stronger and more secure in their own abilities, regardless of age.

The research was presented at the North American Menopause Society meeting in Washington, D.C.

Review Date: 
September 30, 2011