Every woman experiences menopause differently. For some, the symptoms are mild and pass quickly. For others, it’s an explosion of hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. The good news is you can adopt lifestyle changes to help cope with the changes occurring in your body.
Though frequent workouts haven’t been proven medically as a means of reducing menopausal symptoms, they can ease the transition by helping to relieve stress and enhance your overall quality of life.
Regular exercise is also an excellent way to stave off weight gain and loss of muscle mass, which are two frequent symptoms of menopause. Most healthy women should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week.
Aerobic activity that makes use of your large muscle groups while keeping up your heart rate is a good thing.
Your options for cardio are limitless. Almost any activity counts, for example:
Because osteoporosis risk escalates following menopause (oestrogen is needed to help lay down bone), strength training is especially vital. Strength training exercises will help to build bone and muscle strength, burn body fat, and rev up your metabolism. At home, opt for dumbbells and resistance tubing. In the gym, choose from weight machines or free weights. Select a level that is heavy enough to tax your muscles in 12 repetitions and progress from there.
Bodybuilding.com, the world’s largest online fitness community, is designed to inspire you to enjoy and improve your fitness levels. Just a brisk walk or work-out can add extra years to your life and scientists have discovered that a 20-25 minute walk every day can help prevent you from dying prematurely.
Andrew Ivers, Senior Marketing Manager at Bodybuilding.com says: “Many of our members are within the menopause and post-menopause age brackets and our world-leading expert team are ideally placed to advise on the best routine for each individual. Managing the diet is also very important and our nutritionists tailor programmes, depending on weight loss and maintenance goals.”
Expert nutritionist Layne Norton explains: “As they age, too many people in their middle years and older take what is effectively a haphazard approach to their diet. If they want to lose weight, they keep eating the same things in the same balance, but simply cut serving size. If they want to gain muscle, they eat their normal diet, plus a protein shake or bar every now and then.
“That can work to a limited degree for certain people, but it’s far from ideal. Getting a bit more systematic about what you’re eating to go along with your training and you can amaze yourself with what you’re able to achieve at any age!”
Sharon, a grandmother in her mid-50’s says: “Getting the combination of exercise and diet right is working for me. It is too tempting to ignore the inevitable changes which ageing can exact on the body, so learning a new all-round routine has been great. I also have more energy for my young grandchildren, which is a great boost.”
Expert Advice, Guidance and Support for the menopause
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Bodyspace, an app within the bodybuilding.com community, is especially supportive, with its online forums and community networks – ideal for discovering new ways to help your fitness levels and encouraging each person to keep going!