Tough news today for women going through menopause. A new study conducted by researchers with the MsFLASH Research Network shows that exercise will not help to ease hot flashes.
The study, published in the North American Menopause Society's journal Menopause, looked at 248 women, both menopausal and postmenopausal. The women kept hot flash diaries describing their flashes, night sweats, and sleep troubles. 106 of them were put on an aerobic exercise regime three times per week for 12 weeks.
Overall, the study found that the women who exercised did not show a significant improvement in their hot flashes. Specific groups of women did see small improvements, however. White women who exercised in the study saw hot flash improvement while black women in the study did not. Also, women who were already relatively healthy at the beginning of the exercise regime did see a small improvement in hot flashes,
Though the exercise did not improve hot flashes, the good news is that it did improve several other health factors. Notably, the women who participated in the aerobic exercise saw improvements to insomnia, depression, and the quality of their sleep.
"Midlife women cannot expect exercise to relieve [hot flashes and night sweats] but may reasonably expect it to improve how they feel and their overall health," wrote the study's authors.