If you’ve ever had hot flashes — racing heartbeat, sweating, reddening of the skin, and allover over-heating — you know how miserable they can be. While there are tons of natural or chemical therapies out there, the first line of defense may just be weight loss. Reducing your body weight or body fat percentage by watching what you eat and starting (or improving) your exercise program can be your most successful way to reduce the frequency and intensity of these annoying flare-ups.
Studies have shown that obese or overweight women have more intense and more frequent hot flashes. It is not clear if losing body weight is the direct cause of the reduction of hot flashes, or if there are other dietary factors that influence it, like eating healthier or getting a plethora of vitamins. However, about half of the women in the study claimed to have a marked reduction in the severity of their hot flashes in the University of California, San Francisco study.
According to the study, exercise and food intake are not known to be the reason for the reduction, although they are considered. This is because the scientists and doctors directing the study feared that the participants would not be accurate in reporting their food consumption or exercise levels. The fact is that since women with a lower BMI experience fewer and less intense hot flashes, losing weight is one of your best bets to easing your way out of hot flashes (also known as hot flushes).
More than half of menopausal women women are overweight or obese. That makes for a lot of women who could be feeling better fast! The lower the weight circumference, the fewer hot flashes they experienced. It’s suggested that this is due to lower blood pressure and a lower resting heart rate. Your heart doesn’t have to work as hard if your body is smaller.
What To Do
Set some goals to lower your weight by increasing your exercise habits. Plan to take 4-6 months to lose about 7% of your body weight so you are able to keep it off when you have reached your goal. Quick weight loss plans usually result in weight re-gain later. Start a program that includes intense cardio sessions and strength training as well. This combination will help you lose weight faster and keep it off longer.
Your cardio workouts should include at least one interval session per week to burn more calories and increase fat loss, especially visceral fat loss. Visceral fat is the fat that is deep in your abdominal area, cushioning your organs, and causing heart disease, diabetes and other health issues, like hot flashes.
See Your Doctor
Before starting your new weight loss journey, see your doctor for any recommendations or precautions that you should take. He will recommend your best active heart rate for the first few weeks of the plan.
Time It Right
Now that you’re scheduling in your exercise regime, be sure to hit the gym at least 3 hours before bed. Late night sweat sessions can lead to night sweats, waking you up in the middle of the night.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated for your workouts and to keep your body sweating when it should be. That could keep it from sweating when it shouldn’t!