Staying active and fit should be a choice of life style, but during menopause it gains even further importance. It has not been proven in studies that frequent training can reduce the symptoms of menopause, but exercising can definitely help by reducing stress levels and increase your general quality of life.
Like with most things in life, every woman experiences menopause differently. Some find the symptoms mild and short lasting, others are bothered with hot flushes and mood swings.
Two very common side effects of menopause are weight gain – especially around the waist, and muscle loss. But it also increases the risks of various types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Working out on a regular basis and maintaining a healthy weight can lower those risks.
According to studies it is recommended to do moderate aerobic exercises for about 2.5 hours per week or roughly 30minutes per day. If you are an exercise beginner, start with 10 mins daily and then slowly increase the duration. Ideal cardio exercises are those that use your larger muscles. Walking, jogging, biking – either outside in the fresh air, or in the Gym on the elliptical. Swimming is fantastic as well. And if you find all of that too boring try out dancing or Zumba. One reason for the extra need of cardio training in menopause is the dropping of oestrogen levels, which are thought to protect your heart, which results in an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to the Cardio training you should also strengthen your muscles. The risk of osteoporosis increases immensely after menopause – again due to the decrease of oestrogen. Strength training can result in more muscle strength, which also supports your frame and can increase the bone density. For strength training use either weight machines, free weights or resistance bands. The Pilates method, either on the mat or on the Pilates machines is very beneficial as it also focuses on breathing.
Centering your mind during Yoga and meditation can help alleviate symptoms like hot flushes, fatigue and irritability. Find the relaxation method that works best for you.
Set yourself realistic goals, like going for a 30min walk 3 times a week. Make an appointment with a friend or join a group. And of course there are Personal Trainers, qualified to design the best suitable workout regime for you.