1493258790134 - Auckland study about the affect exercise has on menopause in need of volunteers

Auckland study about the affect exercise has on menopause in need of volunteers

Older Auckland women are being sought for a study looking at the affects of exercise on menopause. 

University of Auckland professor Heather Smith, along with other academics and postgraduate students began a six-month study in March looking at what effects pre-menopause exercise had in the long term. 

Menopause is a normal condition experienced by women when they stop menstruating, occurring between the ages of 45 and 55. 

Menopause symptoms can include muscle loss and weaker bones. 

READ MORE: 
* Powering up: Why women should get in training for menopause
* Mystery of menopause before 40

The study hopes to find out if exercise before menopause could reduce these symptoms, and increase understanding of muscle changes due to exercise in middle-aged women.

Muscle-focused resistance exercises, like powerlifting and weightlifting, help increase muscle fibre in older women. It helps fight sarcopenia, an age-related disease of the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass quality and strength.

“Muscle-focused, resistance exercise is effective in increasing physical function in adults, including the over-65s,” Smith said.

“This research would inform evidence based practices for maintaining muscle health in women as we age.”

The study involved 36 women from 40 to 65 years old, who were in good health, did not have diabetes or heart disease, were non-smokers and of normal to moderate body weight.

They were also not too physically active.

Smith said that, while the study had attracted a number of participants, they were still in need of women between 50 and 65 years old to volunteer.

Held at the university’s Tamaki Innovation Campus, participants learn about their muscle health and fitness with three sessions a week of physical assessments and supervised exercise sessions aimed at increasing muscle fitness.

Smith said participants would receive a summary of the findings after the study was completed, and it was going to be published in scientific journals.

To volunteer, contact 09 923 6889 or email h.smith@auckland.ac.nz.

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