Benefits of Exercise in Common Health Conditions in Women

February 19, 2019 | By | Reply

Menstrual cramps and the effect of exercises on them:
Primary dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation in the absence of any gynecological disease or disorder is one of the most common complaints of women in the menstruating age. More than 50% of women who menstruate have a painful menstruation experience. Although not life-threatening, primary dysmenorrhea causes a major shift in the quality of life of women suffering from it.
Causes: One of the major causes of primary dysmenorrhea is reduced blood supply caused due to release of prostaglandins and other inflammatory mediators in the uterus, which in turn leads to uterine contractions/cramps.
Treatment options: The available treatment options are oral contraceptives, pain killers/analgesics, hot water fomentation, skin electrical stimulation, and exercises.

  • According to the recent studies aerobic exercises can reduce or prevent the occurrence of dysmenorrhea. Exercises are the only non-invasive, safest mode of treatment available currently. Aerobic exercises, “cardio”, increase your breathing and heart rate.
  • Along with the aerobic exercises, moderate intensity core strengthening and stretching exercises could also be extremely beneficial to alleviate the pain. These exercises should be done on a regular basis for at least a couple of months. Apart from having an analgesic effect, these exercises also help in overall physical and mental fitness of the body.



Osteoporosis and the effect of exercises:
Osteoporosis is characterized by a low bone density which predisposes the affected patients to an increased risk of a fracture. Although it is quite common in both the genders, women are at an increased risk of getting osteoporosis in their post-menopausal phase. This is due to the declining oestrogen levels in the body, which helps in the formation of new bone as the old one keeps getting replaced.

Screening: Dual-energy X-Ray absorptipometry (DEXA) is the most validated technique to diagnose osteoporosis. Although, most guidelines recommend DEXA screening for women more than 65 years of age, screening is also recommended for women

Risk Factors: The various lifestyle risk factors are alcohol, frequent falls, high caffeine intake, high salt intake, immobilization, inadequate physical activity, low body mass index, low calcium intake etc.

Prevention and Treatment: The various available options include adequate combined calcium and vitamin D intake, antiresorptive therapy, weight-bearing exercise, tobacco avoidance, and avoidance of trip or fall hazards. To get the best results, it is advised to follow all the aforementioned strategies together. Weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises help to improve agility, posture, balance, and strength, which help in the prevention of falls.



Role of exercises after pregnancy:
A woman’s body goes through many changes post pregnancy. There are many changes that a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy. After delivery, the new mother’s body begins it’s period of recovery and returns back to normal.

During this period, she could face many problems like-

  • Diastesis recti (Diastesis recti is the separation of the rectus abdominis muscle at its midline. It usually presents itself as no pain at rest, but discomfort, pain, and bulging of the abdomen during physical activities.),
  • Low back pain
  • Pain in the perineal area
  • Pain in the upper back
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Post-partum depression – to mention a few.

The mother also has to take care of the baby, which can be very stressful physically.

How to deal with these problems?

It is advisable to learn the correct postures and ergonomics while feeding and taking care of the baby to prevent any aches/pains that could be caused or aggravated by the same. Pelvic floor exercises and core strengthening are specifically stressed upon during this stage along with overall strengthening of the other large group of muscles. Exercising and taking electrotherapy during this phase won’t only help to address the specific problems, but also aid in overall physical and mental well-being.

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