How Regular Exercise Can Help The Menopause

The menopause is an important transition in a woman's life, and a lot of us are afraid to talk about it or even admit that we are struggling with the process. Use it as a reminder to take good care of yourself, and that you're not the only one that's going through the same thing you are.

Why is it important to exercise during the menopause?

Most women will begin to experience signs on the menopause between 45-55 years of age, and with the change of hormones can cause hot flushes, irregular periods, night sweats, mood changes, depression, anxiety, restlessness, headaches and muscle and joint aches. Although these are a selection of different experiences it can be different for each individual. 

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There is strong evidence that exercise benefits the process of the menopause. Aerobic exercise supports fat loss, reducing the risk of heart disease, and enhancing mental health. Resistance exercises or weight training is also a great way to increase fat loss and strengthens the joints, muscles and bones to help keep that body strong and healthy. 

Not only is it the physical changes that the menopause largely effects women but also the mental changes. Due to hormone imbalance of oestrogen and progesterone, it can often lead to signs of depression and anxiety. Exercise in general is a great way for increasing mood due to the release of endorphins, and can make you feel happier and more motivated. Exercise such as Yoga is also a great way to help relax the body and mind, helping you to connect with your inner self and releasing any stress, or worries than you may be facing in your day to day life.

What is the best type of exercise to try?

Everyone is very different when it comes to what exercise benefits them, or what they enjoy to make them feel good, and it is very important to understand your body and choose the right programme so you can achieve the best out of each and every workout.

Consider and try a few of these options and see how they may benefit your well-being;

Aerobic activity: Aerobic activity can be anything from a brisk walk, jogging, biking, swimming, treadmill, aerobic class, Zumba... the list is endless. If you like getting outdoors this exercise would be a great choice for you. Or on a rainy day come down to the studio and try an indoor cycling or Zumba class!

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Strength Training: Regular strength training can help reduce body fat, strengthen the muscles and burn calories more efficiently. Weight training can be anything from, free weights to resistance machines and can be used in a variety of ways to change intensity, and help increase muscular tone and strength. We can provide many classes which will help with weight training from Body Torque, Kettlebells and Bootcamp and each class has a different style to keep you focused and motivated.

Stretch, stability and conditioning: Stretching can help improve flexibility and prevents injury and strain on the muscles, which is very important during the menopause with the increased risk of muscle and joint weaknesses. Balance exercises are a great way to maintain stability within the core, helping to maintain posture and keep the pelvic core strong. Here we offer Pilates which is a great way to help think about engaging the muscles correctly, and is proven to increase balance strength, muscle strength and joint mobility. We will soon be offering Yoga, which is also a great way to connect with the body, improving flexibility and joint mobility.

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How can you stay motivated?

Always make sure you set yourself realistic, achievable goals. Rather than throwing yourself into to doing more exercise, start will something small and simple, and overtime gradually build up the intensity. This way you will always have something new to work towards. Try teaming up with somebody, such as a partner or friend. This can make a huge difference not just with staying motivated but also confidence too, which can make a huge difference with what you can achieve within your sessions.

Here at PNF we are always here to help guide you through your fitness journey. If you have any further questions, or would like any advice with what exercises you should be doing, do not hesitate to call us on 01751 475363.

Rachel.