Physical activity and regular exercise is vital if women are to counter the, sometimes debilitating, effects that menopause can have upon their bodies.
Symptoms of the menopause
Hot flushes, anxiety, sleep deprivation, brain fog, plus incessant muscle and joint pain. These are all symptoms that women suffer as they hit menopause. Then there is the added risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. The risk of both diseases increase with menopause.
So how can exercise help menopausal women counter these threats to their health?
When it comes to joint health, then mobility exercises and sustained movement will help keep the joints lubricated and loose. Incorporating some mobility exercises into a daily routine is something that every woman can do. Whether in the office, at home or during the daily commute, these exercises will help with joint mobility. Ankle circles, knee bends, shoulder rolls, spine twists, had circles and fist clenching on a daily basis will be really beneficial.
Putting up a resistance to the menopause
To counter the decrease in muscle mass, then resistance training is a must. This could be exercise using body weight, such as press-ups, tricep dips, squats and lunges. Equally, resistance training can be down using weights or resistance bands. A women going through the menopause should try to do resistance exercises at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes on each occasion.
Muscle pain and stiffness can be eased by regular stretching. Again, this is something that can be done while at home, or in the office. If muscles start to ache then just take a few minutes to stretch the offending muscle group. Hold each stretch for a minimum of 15 seconds, longer if possible.
Look after your heart
Heart health is something that can be impacted by the menopause, so any preventative activity is a good thing. NHS guidelines suggest 20-30 minutes of medium to hard physical activity three or four times a week – any more than that is a bonus. Power walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling, rowing, dancing – the ways in which you can improve your heart heath are numerous, but the effort is definitely worth it.
Improving your physical health is vitally important in the push to overcome issues faced by menopausal women. It is equally important to spend time looking after mental health, especially taking the time to be calm and relaxed.
Fighting the mental impact of menopause
When a woman hits menopause, her ovaries stop producing estrogen and the adrenal glands step in to help out, which means these glands can become overworked. The overworked glands will contribute to feelings of stress, tiredness and a sense of being overwhelmed.
Meditation is great way to de-stress. Whether it is ‘formal’ meditation, within a Yoga class or simply taking bit if time out to sit quietly and concentrate on breathing and relaxing, it will help calm both mind and body. There are plenty of meditation apps available to download and just 10 minutes of practice each day could help.
There is little doubt that for menopausal women, this can be challenging time of life, physically and mentally. However, a little self-care will go a very long way and exercise and physical activity is at the very heart of that.