Menopause brings on many changes for women. There is a change in hormones and the drop in oestrogen levels can often lead to some unpleasant symptoms. Often women notice a change in their weight. The average woman can experience a gain of 5 to 7 pounds during menopause. Often the weight gain can be around the mid-section.
For some women exercise may have never featured as a priority in their life and for many the very thought of exercise is the last thing on their mind when experiencing menopausal symptoms. Symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats may leave women feeling tired and lacking energy.
Although not proven, there is evidence that shows staying active can help many women cope with the symptoms better and that maintaining an exercise regime can help to ease symptoms by relieving stress and enhancing the quality of life – leading to a happier healthier menopause. Studies also state that a woman’s risk for certain medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure,breast cancer rises during (perimenopause) and after menopause (postmenopause).
Therefore, exercise is important for women who are facing the transition of menopause. Use it as a reminder to keep yourself active. Eat good wholesome food and take care of yourself both physically and mentally.
Exercise during and after menopause offers many benefits:
Often most of the weight gain associated with the menopause will be gained around the abdominal region. This belly fat is both detrimental to the health and frustrating from a body image point of view. Keeping active combined with correct nutrition can help prevent weight gain.
During the menopause women are more prone to lose muscle mass. Exercise will strengthen the bones and stimulate the formation of new bone and can slow bone loss after menopause. This lowers the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Aerobic activity combined with regular strength training can help you shed excess pounds, burn calories more efficiently, reduce body fat, strengthen your muscles and maintain a healthy weight. Stretching can help improve flexibility, stability, balance and this in turn can help prevent falls.
Menopause can often lead to depression, stress and anxiety. Keeping active is proven to help reduce stress and boost your mood and decreases the frequency and severity of hot flushes as it raises our levels of beta-endorphins in the brain – this can improve, relieve depression and reduce stress.
Women going through the menopause will not need as many calories as before, due to their metabolism charging. Experts recommend eating about 200 fewer calories a day than you consumed in your 30’s and 40’s. Ensure the calories you consume are quality ones: choose leaner sources of protein such as fish, chicken, and turkey, and leave room for plenty of healthy options.
Although exercise isn’t a proven way to reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and sleep disturbances it can help you maintain a healthy weight, relieve stress and improve your quality of life. Keep active and make the changes to your lifestyle. This will help ensure you remain healthy during this stage of your life.
Thank you for reading!