Exercise + Menopause

Navigating through menopause presents challenges for many women, with symptoms spanning from hot flashes to anxiety, making it difficult to feel one’s best. However, research indicates that specific types of exercise can significantly alleviate these symptoms. Additionally, engaging in regular exercise extends its benefits beyond symptom relief, playing a vital role in reducing health risks post-menopause.

Why Exercise Matters During Menopause:

Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Regular exercise provides a proactive approach to managing weight, increasing your metabolism, and preventing unwanted pounds from accumulating.

Preserving Muscle Mass: After 40, we lose up to 10% of our muscle mass per decade, impacting both metabolism and strength. Strength training acts as a safeguard against this decline.

Improving Heart Health: After menopause, women may face an increased risk of heart disease due to lower estrogen levels. Incorporating regular cardio exercise into the routine proves beneficial in reducing this risk.

Better Sleep: Menopause can bring about sleep disturbances, including insomnia. Regular exercise offers a solution by promoting better sleep patterns.

Reducing Anxiety and Low Mood: Hormonal changes during menopause can impact mental health, leading to increased anxiety and low mood. Exercise, through the release of feel-good endorphins, serves as a natural mood enhancer.

Supporting Bone Health: The decline in estrogen levels during menopause can affect bone health. Resistance exercises, such as weightlifting, play a crucial role in supporting and maintaining strong bones.

What type of exercise is best?

The best exercise is the one you’ll do. Assuming you are committed to making this season in your life amazing, here are my best recommendations for exercise:

Prioritize Strength Training: Regular strength training exercises is crucial for preserving muscle mass, supporting joint health, and enhancing overall resilience. Aim for 2-4 times per week of full body strength training. While there are many books and gurus that recommend lifting very heavy, this is only appropriate if you are injury-free and can move without limitations.

Mobility Exercises: Incorporating stretching exercises into your routine can help alleviate stiffness, improve joint range of motion, and reduce the risk of injury. Aim to do activities such as yoga or other gentle stretches most days of the week.

Balance Exercises: While most people don’t think of balance when they think of fitness, balance is very important for maintaining vibrant health and living a full life. Even simple activities, such as walking outside, going up and down stairs, and getting up off the floor require balance. Balance training also improves your reaction time (improving your ability to catch yourself before falling) and muscle tone. Simple exercises like heel-toe walking or standing on one foot are a good way to practice.

Walk and Just MOVE! Walking is a low-impact exercise accessible to almost everyone and serves as an excellent foundation for maintaining health at any age. Brisk walking contributes to cardiovascular fitness, helps manage weight, and supports bone density. Additionally, it is a natural mood booster and can be easily incorporated into daily routines.

To thrive during menopause and beyond, prioritize movement! We are here to help you thrive through menopause and beyond. To learn more about our strength and nutrition program for people over 40, go to http://www.getfitchilliwack.com

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