Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life, marking the end of her reproductive years. While it’s a significant, unique and inevitable transition, it often comes with a myriad of physical and emotional changes.
One effective way to manage the symptoms and improve overall well-being during menopause is through movement.
In this blog post, we will explore how incorporating regular physical activity can make a positive impact on your journey.
What is the Menopause?
Menopause is characterised by the cessation of menstruation and a decline in oestrogen levels. This hormonal shift can lead to a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, and bone density loss. It usually affects women between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can happen earlier.
How can movement help with the Menopause?
Mood Regulation: Menopause often brings about hormonal fluctuations and can impact mood whilst increasing stress. Regular exercise, particularly cardiovascular activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, and dancing releases endorphins which are the body’s natural mood enhancers.
Weight Management: Many women experience weight gain during menopause which is quite often around the abdomen. Combining cardiovascular and strength training can help maintain a healthy weight and prevent muscle loss.
Bone Health: Oestrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining bone density, and its decline during menopause can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Strength training can help preserve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. It’s never too late to start focusing on bone health!
Hot Flash Relief: Regular exercise that enhances cardiorespiratory fitness can decrease self-reported hot flashes. This improvement is probably due to better temperature regulation in response to increased core temperature and improved blood vessel function in the skin and brain.
Improved Sleep: Sleep disturbances are prevalent during menopause, often attributed to hormonal changes and other symptoms. Regularly exercising can promote better sleep by reducing stress and anxiety.
How to incorporate movement into your routine
It’s key to find an activity that you enjoy and can stay consistent with. Whether it’s a brisk walk, Yoga, swimming, dancing, wild swimming, martial arts, boxing, team sport. If you are finding it difficult to start, consider investing in a fitness expert to support you.
Here are our top tips to help you incorporate movement into your routine during menopause:
Try different activities until you find what you enjoy
Wear breathable clothing to regulate body temperature
Look to incorporate some form of strength training into your routine
Listen to your body when fatigued; opt to keep moving with a leisurely walk
Find a supportive community to help keep you motivated
If willpower is an issue, get a workout buddy - a friend, partner or workmate and keep each other accountable. You are less likely to cancel and it will make it more fun!
Prioritise your sleep: see sleep as an investment to give you more energy to work out
Don’t make excuses. Your health is a priority, and you can always make time to exercise. Once you get into a routine, you’ll be amazed how quickly it becomes part of your schedule.
Menopause is inevitable, how you decide to navigate it is in your hands
Menopause is a unique journey, but movement will benefit any symptoms of the menopause. Incorporating regular movement in your life can significantly impact your physical and emotional well-being.
Try to embrace exercise to help you through this phase by prioritising your health and making positive changes to your menopausal experience through movement.
Don’t go through this alone.
We offer a supportive and inclusive environment at The Barn KT9. If you are struggling or you’re not sure where to start, please send us a message and we can arrange a chat with one of our coaches.