Let's Talk Menopause & How Exercise Can Help You Through It...Dec 07, 2021
Today I wanted to chat to you about Menopause, it's been in the press a lot at the moment and almost all of us have encountered someone who has experienced a rocky time surrounding this period of life. So, I wanted to share my thoughts about exercise and how it can be totally crucial to maintaining a positive perspective and a healthy body throughout with a view to help.
Every woman experiences menopause differently. For some, the symptoms are mild and pass quickly. For others, it’s an explosion of hot flashes and mood swings that feels like it lasts an awfully long time.
Positive lifestyle amendments like being mindful of moving more and enjoying a nutritious diet, packed with the types of food to ease inflammation and support bone density and muscle preservation are key to managing these changes and can really help reduce stress and anxiety surrounding this time.
If you are living with someone who is going through the menopause, this could be an interesting read, to offer support and a better understanding of what can be done without medication to help your person feel more positive, steady and healthy.
Honestly, exercising through the menopause is such a wonderful way to reduce symptoms, improve your quality of life and improve your perspective. It’s really common to both lose muscle mass and gain weight, especially around your tummy, exercise, particularly strength training, is a brilliant tool to offset this.
You generally want to be aiming for 150 minutes of movement across a lovely broad range of activities across the week. I would always recommend frequency over duration, so my personal thoughts would be to aim for x5 30 minute sessions every week with a blend of cardio, strength work, stretching and balance.
Here are the types of session you could be doing and why;-
It’s not everyones cup of tea, but I defy anyone NOT to be able to find some sort of cardio that appeals to them… It might be ball room dancing, doggie walking, it might be hiking or a roller disco.. if you get creative, you are bound to find something you love. Get your minds away from running being the only type of cardio there is.. As you practice and improve your cardiovascular output, you can build up the intensity of the sessions.
That being said, a gentle workout is just as useful as a harder one in the right context.
If you are feeling stressed and anxious or just plain irritated, getting outside in the fresh air and having a walk is always something that instantaneously improves my mood.
This is particularly pertinent surrounding the menopause, muscle loss occurs as a result in the shift in the hormones and a decline in oestrogen. The way to beat this, is to load your body, get some weight moving through it. That means squats, lunges, push ups, step ups, seated band rows. Not only does this reduce your risk of osteoporosis but it will ramp up your metabolism and help you to maintain a healthy body composition. STRENGTH TRAINING IS ESSENTIAL…
So think dumbbells, bands, bodyweight.
Stretching and Relaxation
This is the one everyone always dodges… I don’t know why, I love a good stretch!
Stress and anxiety are common symptoms of the menopause and working on breathing, stretching and relaxing is a practical strategy to combat this. Elongated stretches with breath work can alleviate hot flashes, bad moods and excessive tiredness. It can also really help you drift off to sleep, something which can be a little problematic too. Don’t miss this component out, it is really important in maintaining positive mental health and a steady attitude.
This might sound a little obvious but balance exercises improve joint and global stability and can help prevent falls. Being able to maintain a positive posture and good balance helps you stay upright and steady. Balance training is also amazing for cognitive function, regularly partaking in balance exercises over a period of time improves memory and spacial awareness. Brain fog and a lack of ability to concentrate are really common symptoms of the menopause and so this is a super strategy to combat this. It can be as simple as using a dining chair and balancing on one leg, to coming up onto your toes. When you gain confidence with this, get rid of the chair and start to freewheel it!
Pilates is an amazing method to help improve balance, coordination and strength, bringing this type of session into your routine will not only help promote relaxation but also give you the joint stability and control to really make progress with your balance too.
Weekly Schedule Example…
All of these sessions are available in your library, so get involved and pick the ones you like the look of.
- Monday - Pilates
- Tuesday - Off
- Wednesday - Strength Training
- Thursday - Balance Session with Stretching and Mindfulness (Guided Meditation)
- Friday - Cardio based workout - Dancing
- Saturday - Strength Training (optional)
- Sunday - Walk and Stretch
Scheduling sessions is such a positive way to keep you engaged, as is arranging to do a session with a pal or a family member. You will keep each other motivated if your enthusiasm starts to dip.
The key is enjoyment, if you can keep a sense of fun and achievement in your sessions, you will stick to it. If you stick to it, you will really feel the benefits of the exercise over a period of time. Remember, this is a phase of your life that will pass, and you can only do the things you can do to help yourself. So, take control, stay positive and get moving!
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