Exercise during menopause, especially if it makes you hot, sweaty and fitter, can reduce the number and intensity of hot flashes, says a study published in The Journal of Physiology.
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of a woman’s menopause. They are characterized by feelings of intense heat, reddening of the skin caused by increased blood flow, sweating and reduced brain blood flow.
A hot flash lasting 2-3 minutes can increase cutaneous vasodilation, or surface blood flow, by around 80%; and sweating can be five times more than usual. This is comparable to changes brought about by 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling, which tends to raise core body temperature by around 0.4-0.6° Celsius.
This puts hot flashes in the category of moderate-to-severe thermoregulatory events.
What causes them is not entirely understood, but they have been linked to raised blood lipids and insulin resistance, which are also potential risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.