Health buffs, listen up! According to a new Japanese study, women who exercise a lot increase the possibility of their reaching menopause earlier than expected. Those who are ardent heart-healthy eaters are also in the same boat.

These findings came about when researchers studied 3,100 premenopausal women for 10 years. Results revealed that those who exercised for 10 hours or more were 17 percent more likely to hit menopause early than those who didn’t. Meanwhile, women who concentrated on consuming food rich in polyunsaturated fats (often found in fatty fish and vegetable oils) were found to be 15 percent more likely to become menopausal earlier than expected.

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Typically, women experience menopause between ages 41 to 55, says Dr. Margery Gass of the North American Menopause Society. To become menopausal earlier than the abovementioned age bracket due to a healthy lifestyle might seem a tad unfair, but the study also highlights one important benefit of hardcore training.

Since women who reach menopausal stage are no longer capable of producing eggs, they are less exposed to high estrogen levels, which are said to be a contributing factor to breast cancer. Having a significantly lowered risk of this hormone creating breast tumors, women can at least breathe a little easier.

However, Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, President of the North American Menopause Society, does not see the study’s findings as black and white. Other factors beyond women’s food intake and physical regimen might have had a hand in early menopause as well.


For more on menopause, try this article:

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(Photo by lululemon athletica via Flickr Creative Commons)

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