Women in midlife find many excuses not to exercise, what they may not know is that exercise can relieve some symptoms of menopause.
I rarely think about the negative effects of menopause anymore. My friends think I’m either lucky or a bit crazy for saying so. As my body transitioned from perimenopause to menopause, these same friends, who were older than me at the time, told me it was not going to be easy. Except for occasional hot flashes and mild mood swings, I managed to keep my weight and energy levels in check. You might say I developed a “sweet tooth” for exercising and I am a firm believer that this reduced menopausal symptoms for me—and inspired me to create my business!
According to the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, 2010, most women in menopause were more than likely to start and stop their exercise practice than their younger counterparts. They would exercise for a short time and then quit. There were many reasons. They felt it was too hard to keep up with class routines, had soreness or pain for days afterward, did not like to sweat, or lacked commitment. The study also affirmed there was a correlation between our hormones during menopause and raised cortisol levels which aide in keeping inflammation at bay in our muscles and joints; reduced cardiac performance and increased hot flashes, anxiety and depression. I can’t blame them for quitting.
When our hormones change, we have sleepless nights and struggle with weight management and more. These are all part of aging and we need new strategies for exercise if we want to produce positive results. Click here to read more about menopause and exercise.
Adopt healthy strategies for your exercise routine:
- Recognize when you are too tired and cannot give 100%.
- Reduce the high intensity exercise and modify, especially in the evenings when the “high” from exercising can disrupt your sleep.
- Follow the recommendations for exercise standards for women in your age group, based on the American Heart Association 2007 guidelines. For example, women 55 to 59 years of age should average 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days per week.
- Continue to do functional strength exercises to minimize sarcopenia (muscle wasting).
- Practice deep breathing exercises to relax.
For more information about menopause and exercise, here are some additional articles:
Beard et al, (2016) The World report on AGEING AND HEALTH: A POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR HEALTHY AGEING. The Lancet, 387, 10033, 2145-2154
American Heart Association (2013)
Hentges, S. (2014) Women and Fitness in American Culture. Jefferson, N.C. McFarland and Company, Inc.
For more information about specific exercise programs to improve your menopausal symptoms, or general confidence in your ability to exercise for success, contact us. You can also refer to our FAQ page aka Questions and Answers, follow us on Facebook or check out our website at www.lorimichielfitness for other important fitness information, email us or simply call us at 818-620-1442 for a consultation.