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When it comes to habits that promote overall health, it’s tough to beat exercise. According to  Today, it can lower the risk of chronic illness and improve mental health, as well as help with weight loss and maintenance in people of all ages and genders. But it turns out, exercise is especially helpful for women at four stages of life because it can make transitions easier.

OB-GYN Dr. Kameelah Phillips explains how exercise can help at these key times:

  • Puberty – With all the major changes going on in a girl’s body during her early teenage years, staying active can be really beneficial, even helping them reconnect with a body they may feel strange in.
    • It helps improve body image and increase confidence.
    • And it also helps reduce pain from period cramps, thanks to endorphins.
  • Pregnancy – It’s another time in a woman’s life when her body is dealing with drastic changes and being active can help here, too.
    • It lowers the chance of a C-section and helps to reduce the chance of gestational diabetes.
    • Exercise may also help ease aches and pains as well as get you in shape for the marathon that is labor and childbirth.
  • Postpartum – After the birth of a baby, keeping up a fitness routine is just as essential and not just for the physical recovery a woman’s body goes through.
    • Exercise also helps with post-pregnancy mental health.
    • And it can help with toning and strengthening core muscles, too.
  • Menopause – As women move into this phase of thier life, many find it’s harder to stay fit and lose extra weight, but exercise is an ideal solution. Dr. Phillips points out that strength training may be especially helpful to women during menopause.
    • It improves muscle tone and strength.
    • Picking up weights can also help maintain bone health as women age.

Source: Today

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