If there's one thing all mid life women have in common it’s menopause – it’s either happened, happening or will happen. 😉 It’s the period of time when estrogen and progesterone production diminishes and can cause changes to our health, sleep, energy levels, bone density, weight control, and heart health.
The period before menopause – perimenopause – can be rough. Hormonal swings and symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, depression, anxiety, irregular periods and weight gain (especially around the abdominal area) are all common.
So what can we do about it?
One thing that can help is to exercise. Especially moderate intensity cardio and weight training. Exercise during and after menopause offers the following benefits:
Helps with mood regulation. It’s well documented that exercise boosts feel good hormones. Including exercise in your day will help with the depression and anxiety symptoms so many of us experience.
Helps mitigate weight gain. The change is hormone balance causes us to lose muscle mass and gain abdominal fat. The loss of muscle mass slows our metabolism even further. Adding (or continuing) a moderate intensity strength training program will increase our muscle mass and metabolism.
Promotes healthy sleep. Studies suggest that exercise can have the same effect on sleep quality as sleeping pills. Some people have trouble falling asleep immediately after exercise and some find exercise right before bed the perfect time to work out. Play around with the timing of your exercise to find the best time for you.
Bone strength. The first five years after menopause are the when we lose the most bone mass – up to 20%! Strength training is vital to maintain bone density and avoid osteoporosis.
Disease prevention. Weight gain (which is common after menopause) increases the risk of many cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many other serious diseases.
Brain power. Physical activity slows cognitive decline.
If you’ve never exercised, start slowly and work your way up to moderate intensity. For help with weight training, consult a personal trainer at your local gym or contact me. I’d love to help!