How should I exercise to help reduce hot flashes?

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The best way to reduce hot flashes is to keep your training intensity low to moderate. Those who exercise at very high-intensities such as sprinting or maximal lifting are at a higher risk for having a hot flash.

Stress is also a trigger for hot flashes and exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels and increase the release of endorphins. So exercise is important, but very high intensity exercise can actually cause hot flashes.

The intensity at which you exercise is vital to hot flashes symptom reduction, with moderate exertion delivering the best results. Cardiovascular exercise performed at an intensity of 65 to 75 percent of your maximal heart rate (220 minus your age, multiplied by 65 or 75 percent) will increase the production of neurotransmitter serotonin, which positively affects mood and the ability to establish restful sleep patterns. Exercise also increases endorphin levels, which can in turn increase your pain threshold. And because brain and the body learn through repetition, repeating exercise is crucial.

Listen to your body and progress slowly. When exercise is performed at a high intensity (you are huffing and puffing), stress -- a major trigger of hot flashes -- can be increased. Moderate exercise repeated three to five times per week will bring better results than intense exercise. Relax!
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.