Whilst working out at the gym, Dr Rosanne Woods would notice that her friends who were the quintessential “cardio-bunnies”, were the women who were complaining about their severe menopause symptoms, most specifically hot flashes and night sweats. These fall under the umbrella of vasomotor symptoms.
Vasomotor symptoms affect up to 80% of women during menopause, and whilst the exact reason for them happening still seems to elude researchers, there is a lot of data to support the “thermoregulatory zone” is narrowed for menopausal women. It appears that fluctuations in core body temperature are more pronounced in postmenopausal women, and while we know that adding back estrogen can re-widen the thermoregulatory zone, making those hot flashes subside, we also know that other factors play a major part in this. You are more likely to have severe issues if you are obese, suffer from anxiety/depression or from certain ethnic backgrounds – African/Americans are more likely to have these symptoms compared to Asian who rarely suffer from them.
Dr Rosanne Woods was curious about the impact on cardio vs. strength training on the severity of these symptoms, and in particular the amount of lean body mass compared to body fat percentage. She recently received her Doctorate of Health Sciences for her paper which shows the association between lean body mass and menopausal symptoms. They found that if women maintained and build lean body mass, from resistance training versus moderate cardio, they would be 70% less likely to experience hot flashes.
This is a really great show, I hope you find it helpful!!