Home » Physical activity during menopause? Swimming (but in cold water) is a cure-all

Physical activity during menopause? Swimming (but in cold water) is a cure-all

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Physical activity during menopause?  Swimming (but in cold water) is a cure-all

Elena Meli

Swimming in unheated pools not only relieves hot flashes, but also other frequent symptoms of menopause, such as anxiety or mood swings

«Swimming in cold water is phenomenal, it saved my life. In the water I can do anything, all the physical and mental symptoms of menopause disappear and I feel at my best.” So a fifty-seven-year-old who took part in a recent study at University College London explained what swimming in freezing water or so means to her. And she is not the only one: research has in fact shown that this activity is a panacea for women in menopause, for many reasons.

I study

The authors, who published their data on Post Reproductive Health, interviewed over a thousand women, mostly already in menopause, to investigate the effects of swimming in cold water on climacteric symptoms. The results indicate that in 47 percent of women swimming reduced anxiety, in 34 percent it improved mood swings, in 30 percent it reduced hot flashes, which are therefore not the main effect of a dip in the water. as frosty as you might think. Similar data was also obtained on peri-menopausal participants, who were still menstruating but starting to show menopausal symptoms including irritability, anxiety and mood swings. For the participants, swimming in unheated water is curative and two out of three practice it to reduce the symptoms of menopause; according to the data collected, the colder the water, the more evident the healing effect becomes. Many swam outdoors and this greater contact with nature was further appreciated; the advantages were more evident in those who swam longer and more often.

The precautions

The authors underline that swimming in cold water has already been associated with benefits for health, on mood and stress for example, while ice baths are widely studied for their possible advantages also in athletes, for the effect on muscle recovery; However, they specify that it is not necessary to dive into a frozen lake, but rather it is advisable to take some precautions. «The cold can cause a thermal shock and favor alterations in the heart rhythm, by exaggerating you could expose yourself to hypothermia. If you choose to swim in natural lakes or streams, the risk of infections due to the presence of microorganisms cannot be excluded”, specify the researchers. Perhaps it is better to go to the swimming pool, preferring those that are not too heated: the important thing is to do physical activity and swimming has a peculiar invigorating power and control of menopause symptoms which makes it particularly suitable for women over fifty.

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February 21, 2024 (modified February 21, 2024 | 12:29)

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