A new study from Penn State is dispelling the myth that exercise can aggravate hot flashes. In fact, they found it does "just the opposite in a group of women who reported "mild to moderate" menopausal symptoms. The 92 women who participated in the study wore accelerometers to monitor their physical activity, as well as monitors to measure skin conductance, which varies with the moisture level of the skin. Each woman also recorded her own hot flashes. After 15 days of gathering data, the researchers compared the women's reports with results from the monitors. The study team defined a "true" hot flash as an event that was reported by a woman and recorded by her monitor within five minutes of each other. The investigators found that the average woman in the study experienced fewer hot flashes after exercising, although they reported that overweight and less fit women noticed the smallest reduction in symptoms. They added that it's too soon to say whether diet and exercise to lose weight would cut down on hot flashes but suggested that more study is warranted."
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