September 28, 2022
2 min read
Each year, the CDC recognizes National Women’s Health & Fitness Day to highlight the importance of exercise for all women. This year, the day of recognition falls on Sept. 28.
According to the HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH), being physically active provides benefits to women in different stages of life, including women with overweight or obesity, postmenopausal women and women with disabilities. As such, “any physical activity is better than no physical activity,” according to the OWH.
Also vital to women’s health are dietary habits, which have a variety of effects depending on women’s reproductive status and life stage.
Here are 10 stories from Healio’s coverage of nutrition and fitness’ impact on women’s health from the past year.
Sedentary lifestyles may lead to more nocturnal hot flashes, greater CVD risk
Women with sedentary lifestyles were at an increased risk for hot flashes, which have been linked to a greater risk for CVD, data presented at the NAMS Annual Meeting showed. The findings showed that the duration of sedentary behavior also impacted the frequency of hot flashes. Read more.
Diet, activity reduce gestational weight gain, improve pregnancy outcomes
A structured diet and exercise intervention reduced women’s gestational weight gain and adverse pregnancy outcomes, a study in JAMA Internal Medicine showed. “The health benefits were more significant than expected,” according to the study’s first author. Read more.
2,000 extra steps per day may decrease diabetes risk among older women by 12%
Older women who walked more daily had a reduced diabetes risk. Data also showed that higher intensity walking reduced the risk for diabetes even more. Read more.
Perimenopause may be best time to prevent poor body composition, metabolic outcomes
Researchers found that the change in body composition and metabolism was greatest between pre- and perimenopause. They suggested that this would be the “most opportune” timeframe to implement nutritional and exercise interventions. Read more.
VIDEO: Nutrition has ‘profound impact’ on pregnancy outcomes
In this interview, Kurt R. Wharton, MD, FACOG, discusses the importance of nutrition during pregnancy, and emphasizes that providers need to become more educated on pregnancy-specific nutrition needs. Read more.
Coffee does not increase pregnancy risks, genetic study suggests
A genetic study suggested that coffee drinking during pregnancy does not increase the risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth or high birth weight. The data contradict prior findings on coffee consumption and pregnancy outcomes. Read more.
Women with PCOS have worse diet quality, exercise less than healthy controls
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome spent less time physically active compared with women without PCOS and had worse diet quality. “These findings highlight the importance of early lifestyle intervention at the time of PCOS diagnosis to address modifiable extrinsic factors that can prevent or minimize longitudinal weight gain and associated health complications,” according to the researchers. Read more.
Daily prune consumption preserves, protects bones in postmenopausal women
Eating six prunes per day for 1 year preserved hip bone mineral density and protected against hip fractures in postmenopausal women, data showed. However, eating 12 prunes daily did not demonstrate the same results. Read more.
Risk for hip fracture elevated in women who are vegetarian vs. meat-eaters
Women who adhered to a vegetarian diet had a greater risk for hip fracture compared with those who ate meat regularly. Despite the results, the researchers emphasized that the findings should not be taken as a sign to “abandon vegetarian diets.” Read more.
Greater physical activity, less sedentary time may protect against breast cancer
Increased exercise and less sedentary time were linked to a lower risk for breast cancer, confirming current recommendations for cancer prevention. According to the study’s joint senior author, sex hormones and inflammatory pathways may link physical activity and breast cancer risk. Read more.