Menopause & Exercise
Menopause. What a scary word.
All transitions can be scary as we don’t know what to expect and everyone experiences them differently. Menopause it not often talked about and can be scary to voice your feelings or fears.
Since I’ve worked in fitness for so long and I’m relatively healthy, watch what I eat and exercise I was convinced that I wouldn’t go through the change. Nope. Not me. No way.
Of course, I was wrong. I have had night sweats, I find my mood is lower in the winter when its not as sunny outside and I have a tendency to be down. I’ve also noticed a change in how my body responds to exercise and what I eat in ways it never did before!
I know my husband had no idea what’s going on and once I finally accepted what my body had been trying to tell me, I had to sit him down and try to explain it to him. That was a hilarious conversation!
Here’s the technical bit about how your body is changing with age. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn, even when you’re resting. The fact is, we loose muscle mass faster as we get older which means we gain weight quicker and easier because we are burning less calories. How unfair!
I have noticed that when I trained when I was younger, I would gain muscle very easily and get bulky, which I hated. Now, it’s just the opposite, I can train just as hard and barely create any muscle. This adds to the feelings of disappointment and does nothing for my motivation when I don’t see results!
The acceptance of menopause was the most important thing for me. Some people cruise through it and some people don’t. Don’t compare yourself to others and try now to give your self a hard time! I know, that’s easier said then done, but still, it is very important.
The next step is to get moving. We know that exercise strengths your bones and reduces risks for other diseases like type 2 diabetes, so any movement is good movement!
After accepting that my body is changing I’ve changed my diet and visited my doctor to check my vitamin levels. This is key to figuring out what you should have in your diet to ensure you’re getting the right balance.
Then reassess, how am I feeling? What needs changing?
Here are a few tips to help kickstart you to feeling just a bit better and down the road to a healthier lifestyle.
EXERCISE - Any exercise is good exercise – get outside into the sun!
HAVE FUN - Dance around the kitchen! Put some music on and just let loose.
HYDRATE - Try to drink 1.5 litres of water per day, not just cups of tea!
BALANCED DIET – It is important fruit and vegetables because our bodies need the vitamins. Calcium, carbs, protein and iron are more important as we get older.