In a recent study titled “Body Composition and Cardiometabolic Health Across the Menopause Transition,” valuable insights have been offered that highlight critical health transformations women undergo during menopause. This research is particularly insightful for fitness professionals who specialise in women’s health, offering a blueprint on how to tailor fitness programmes during this key transitional period.

Study Overview

The study investigates the impact of menopausal changes on body composition and subsequent effects on cardiometabolic health. Conducted over several years, it involved tracking a cohort of women as they navigated through the stages of menopause. The focus was primarily on the changes in fat distribution and muscle mass during this time and their relationship with various health markers.


To provide a detailed analysis, the study utilised dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans for precise measurements of body composition, alongside regular blood tests that gauged cardiometabolic health indicators such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity. These clinical assessments were complemented by evaluations of lifestyle factors, including diet and physical activity.

Key Findings

  1. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases and Type 2 Diabetes: The study noted that the shift towards more abdominal fat and reduced muscle mass contributed to a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. These conditions are influenced by the adverse effects on cardiometabolic health markers.
  2. Role of physical activity: It was also observed that women who engaged in higher levels of physical activity during this transition managed to maintain a more favourable cardiometabolic profile. This underscores the protective role that exercise plays against the negative health impacts of menopausal changes.

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Practical Applications for Fitness Professionals

  • Emphasis on Resistance Training: To counteract the loss of muscle mass, strength training should be a core component of fitness routines. This not only helps in maintaining metabolic rates but also improves insulin sensitivity.
  • Promotion of Cardiovascular Exercises: Aerobic activities are crucial for weight management and enhancing heart health, both of which become increasingly important as women age and their susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases rises.
  • Nutritional Guidance: Advocating a diet that is rich in whole foods and low in processed sugars and fats will aid in maintaining muscle mass and supporting overall health.
  • Holistic Approaches: Fitness programmes should also include strategies for stress management and improving sleep quality, as these factors significantly influence metabolic health and weight control.

The study underscores the critical role of targeted lifestyle interventions in managing health risks associated with menopause. Fitness professionals have a pivotal role in guiding women through tailored exercise and wellness programmes during this challenging phase.

Fitness professionals looking to deepen their understanding and refine their training programmes are encouraged to consult the full study available through PubMed Central. This will enrich their knowledge and enhance the support they can offer to their clients experiencing menopause.


Marlatt KL, Pitynski-Miller DR, Gavin KM, Moreau KL, Melanson EL, Santoro N, Kohrt WM. Body composition and cardiometabolic health across the menopause transition. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2022 Jan;30(1):14-27. Click here to review the full research article.

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Exercise & Nutrition for Menopause – Distance Study

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