Fitness tips for the Menopause: Why fitness counts
Menopause can be a challenging time for many. With symptoms ranging from hot flushes to anxiety – it can be hard to feel your best. But evidence shows that certain types of exercise can make a huge difference to your symptoms. And exercising can help to reduce your health risks post-menopause too. Read on for some great Fitness tips for the Menopause
Regular physical activity is crucial for women facing menopause. Consider what physical activity can do for you.
One unfortunate effect of the menopause is that you are more likely to put on weight. Luckily, regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. Similarly, menopause can lead to a loss of muscle mass – which can affect your metabolism and strength. Exercising during this time can counteract some of these effects.
Exercise during and after menopause offers many benefits, including;
Preventing weight gain. Women tend to lose muscle mass and gain abdominal fat around menopause. Regular physical activity can help prevent weight gain.
Reducing the risk of cancer. Exercise during and after menopause can help you lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight, which might offer protection from various types of cancer, including breast, colon and endometrial cancer.
Improve your heart health. After the menopause, you may be at an increased risk of heart disease due to lower oestrogen levels. Helpfully, regular exercise can help to reduce this risk.
Reducing the risk of diabetes. Menopause weight gain can have serious implications for your health. Excess weight increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise can counter these risks.
Strengthening your bones. Exercise can slow bone loss after menopause, which lowers the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
A loss of oestrogen can affect the health of your bones, but resistance exercises can help to keep them strong.
Reduce anxiety and low mood. Physically active adults have a lower risk of depression and cognitive decline.
The hormonal changes during menopause can affect your mental health. Exercise produces feel-good endorphins and can lower stress.
Encourage better sleep. The menopause can sometimes cause insomnia and regular exercise may support better sleep patterns.
How much exercise should I do during the menopause?
For most healthy women, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes a week or vigorous aerobic activity for at least 75 minutes a week. In addition, strength training exercises are recommended at least twice a week. Feel free to spread out your exercising throughout your week.
What types of exercise are best for the menopause?
It’s a good idea to do a range of different exercise. This is because you’ll get more benefits than just doing one type of movement.
Doing cardiovascular exercise will help to improve your heart health after the menopause. Cardiovascular exercise improves how efficiently your heart pumps blood around your body. It also improves the health of your lungs and blood vessels. While everyone needs to do cardiovascular exercise, women are at particular risk of heart disease after the menopause. So, it’s extra important to do this type of movement on a regular basis.
Cardiovascular exercise can also increase your energy levels, boost your mood, and enhance your sleep quality.
After menopause, women experience a loss of oestrogen. One of the effects of this is an increased risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes issues with your bones which may lead to pain and increase your fracture risk. Helpfully, strength-based exercises can reduce this risk.
Regular strength training can help you reduce body fat, strengthen your muscles and burn calories more efficiently.
This can be done using resistance equipment such as weight machines, free weights, kettlebells, body weight exercises, suspension training etc
Doing strength exercises can also help to keep you metabolically healthy. This means you’re at lower risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Studies have also shown that weightlifting and other strength-based exercises can help to improve women’s mental health. This may be useful during menopause when anxiety and low mood may occur.
Balance and mobility exercises
It’s really important to maintain your balance as you get older. This is because it can reduce your risk of falls, and even increase your chance of living longer. Balance and mobility can sometimes decline during the menopause because of a loss of muscle mass.
Another advantage of doing these types of exercises is that they usually involve a mind-body aspect. This means that they can reduce your stress levels and may improve some symptoms of the menopause.
A good fitness trainer will assess you and prescribe appropriate balance and mobility exercises for you
How does exercise affect menopause signs and symptoms?
Being overweight or having a BMI greater than 30 (obesity) might be associated with hot flashes Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, relieve stress and improve your quality of life.
How can you stay motivated?
Set realistic, achievable goals. Rather than vowing to exercise more, for example, commit to a daily 30-minute walk after dinner. Frequently update your goals as you achieve greater levels of fitness. Teaming up with someone — such as a partner, friend or neighbour — can make a difference, too.
Do something that you enjoy. This could be activities such as dancing, walking, golf, gardening etc. Or any sport or activity that you like to do. And remember, three 30 minute gym sessions per week will improve your ability and enjoyment of your chosen activity
Hiring a Personal Trainer can also be a great motivator, especially if you are new to strength training in particular.
You may also be interested in this natural health product that many women have found useful in counteracting the negative effects of the Menopause; Promensil – for symptoms of Menopause discomfort
Contact us now at Lifegym to get a Training Programme and Nutrition Plan to help you with your symptoms of Menopause