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  • Carol Michaels

Exercise and Hot Flashes Part 2

Part 2 of the interview:

You also note that you decrease the exercise intensity-- what exactly do you do? If they are jogging on a treadmill do you decrease the speed?

There are many ways to decrease the exercise intensity. For example, walk instead of jog on a treadmill. If performing a squat or lunge only bend the knees slightly and if an exercise requires jumping, just lift the heels off the ground. When performing strength training, use a lighter weight.

Do you offer more rest time between sets?

More rest time is required in between sets if the flash does not subside.

Do you say let's step away from this HIIT session and maybe do some ab work?

You can modify a HIIT session by performing modified versions of the high intensity exercises. If the flashes are very severe than HIIT would not be appropriate and ab work, Pilates, or strength training using light weights would be a better choice. You would not want the client to stop exercising on a regular basis because she is so miserable during the sessions.

Looking for specific examples for in-the-moment when a hot flash is occurring as well as a reason for your choices.

When a hot flash is occurring drink cold water and make sure a fan is positioned on the client. If the flash is severe it may be necessary to just take a short break and march in place until it subsides. Every exercise can be modified to an easier level. It is necessary to know how to regress an exercise. For example, when performing a push-up, it may be necessary to regress to a push-up on the knees. If she is using a 20-pound weight, try a lighter weight. If performing a jump squat, keep the toes on the ground.

Drinking cold water helps to cool the body. It is helpful to take a towel and wet it with cold water and place it on the wrists and the and face. Don’t chug the water-take sips. If one experiences hot flashes while exercising, make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.

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