This study explored multidimensional outcomes that were derived from the adherence to regular exercise among previously sedentary postmenopausal 45 to 64 years old women who engaged in a ~20-week exercise program.
A randomized controlled trial with between-group (intervention and control women) and within-subject measures (baseline, postintervention, and 3-month and 12-month follow-ups) was conducted. HRQoL and several indicators of cardio-metabolic status and fitness were assessed.
After the intervention, the participants experienced a positive change in their short and long-term physical and mental health, with significant enhancements in several HRQoL dimensions, particularly mental well-being (23.3% of change) and menopause-related health and subdomains (17.0% of change) (P < .01). Improvements were maintained or continued (eg, mental well-being) overtime. These outcomes were accompanied by significant improvements in cardio-metabolic status and fitness, including weight, BMI, cardio-respiratory fitness and flexibility (up to 16.2% of change, P < .05). After the intervention, the intervention group exhibited better HRQoL than the control group at each of the measurement phases. Between-group differences were also observed for some indicators of cardiovascular health and flexibility.
Our findings add evidence on the association of positive outcomes on HRQoL with improvements in cardio-metabolic health and fitness status after the adoption of an active lifestyle.