How important is exercise after menopause to prevent heart disease?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Does Dr. Mike love salmon burgers? The benefits of exercise are as extensive as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection, especially as you go over the hill. After menopause, your body has to cope with a lot of changes, including an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. But exercise helps keep that risk in check by reducing blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and inflammation. It also raises healthy HDL cholesterol levels. So get those 10,000 steps a day (or exercise 30 minutes 5 days a week). The key is finding an exercise program that you will enjoy doing so that you keep it up long term. And if it’s been a while since you’ve used a jump rope or gone for a long walk, you can gradually ramp things up so your body and muscles are more accustomed and acclimated to exercise.

Being active is important for older women to keep the heart healthy. Exercise also reduces other risk factors like weight, stress, and blood pressure. A reasonable goal for exercise is 30 to 40 minutes at least 3 times a week. Exercise doesn't have to be high-intensity. Walking or gardening can be ways that you can begin to be more active for improved heart health.

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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.