Why bother with exercise during the menopause?
During the menopause women tend to lose muscle mass and gain fat around the abdominal area. Even slight increases in physical activity can help prevent weight gain. Exercise can slow down the loss of bone density, in particular weight bearing exercise, yoga and the use of resistance bands. Menopause weight gain can cause serious implications on your health and excess weight increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise can help counteract these risks. Exercise isn’t a proven way to reduce the symptons of the menopause, however regular exercise during and after can improve your mood, and for some women does relieve stress and improve quality of life.
What are reasonable goals for women physical activity during the menopause?
Both aerobic and strength training are particularly recommended during this time, that is at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, preferably spread throughout the week, and strength training at least twice a week. This could include use of resistance bands, or free weights. To keep motivated set achievable goals, workout with a partner, or join a fitness group and encourage each other.
What are the best physical activities to try?
Aerobic Activity – Any physical activity that uses your large muscle groups and increases your heart rates counts. Try power walking, jogging, swimming, and of course, Zumba, Fitsteps and my Full Body Workout class. You can work to your own level and increase the intensity as your fitness improves.
Strength Training - Regular strength training can reduce body fat, strengthen your muscles and burn calories more efficiently. Try resistance bands ( we use these in our Saturday morning class), hand weights, and aim for 12 reps of each exercise and increase over time. Remember at this transition in your life bone density decreases and this type of exercise can really encourage the growth of healthy bones.
Stretching is great for improving flexibility. In my classes you will always warm up and warm down. For the more vigorous exercise more intense stretches are used to reduce the risk of injury and lengthen the muscles.
Stability and balance –
Balance exercises improve stability and can help prevent falls. Exercise such as yoga and Tai chi are particularly good in both of these areas. I am really looking forward to starting my ‘Power Chi Yoga’ class in September, which uses routines for posture, balance, strength and stability, and improves your inner well-being.
I hope my blog has helped a little and encourages you to enjoy the benefits of exercise particularly during the menopause.
Member since: 9th June 2015
Keeping people fit, well and healthy.... Encouraging people to exercise, dance and feel good!