How does exercise help menopause symptoms?
As featured in Female First – LINK
There seems to be an endless list of symptoms that women can experience once they reach the peri-menopause phase of their lives. This part of life, generally speaking, starts to happen after the age of 40, but varies from woman to woman. Some of the key symptoms that women start to notice include fat beginning to store more around the mid-section, a loss of energy, increased aches and pains, sleep disturbance, hot flushes, a decrease in muscle mass, and significant mood swings. The start of the menopause brings with it hormonal changes and a decrease in oestrogen levels which affects bone density. This can lead to higher risk of osteoporosis as we age. So, how can exercise help with menopause symptoms?
Muscles and Bones
In our last blog article, we looked at the benefits of strength training as we get older. The points raised are definitely applicable for helping with the menopausal symptoms of decreased muscle mass and decreased bone density. Strength training using resistance and weights and practiced regularly will help counteract these factors, helping to relieve problems that can occur due to them.
Sleep and energy levels
Research has shown that aerobic exercise can help with insomnia. Simple, light, regular exercise improves your sleep quality. Vigorous exercise leaves your body needing rest in order to recover fully, and therefore increases your sleep drive. Exercise releases endorphins and increases your energy levels. This in turn helps to alleviate daytime sleepiness.
It’s important to work with your body though. If you have had a sleepless night, or are just feeling particularly exhausted, start with something gentle like yoga or Pilates, or a walk outside. You’ll still receive numerous benefits from these forms of exercise, but you won’t feel like you’re dragging yourself up a hill after you’ve already completed a marathon.
Aches and pains
Exercise, in particular low-impact exercise, can be fantastic for helping with bodily aches. It’s important to stay mobile. Keep working on your flexibility and keep your joints and muscles functioning fully. Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise. Pilates, Yoga and walking are also hugely beneficial for relief from these symptoms. Even a 10 min “end of day” easy stretching routine before bed can make all the difference to how your body feels.
There is no doubting the fact that regular exercise can aid in the prevention of weight gain. A good benchmark to work from is to 30 minutes a day, but this can be modified according to the type of exercise you are enjoying.
Exercise increases serotonin, THE hormone for regulating our moods.
As you can see, there are LOADS of reasons why exercise can help menopause symptoms. Don’t dismiss it as something “extra” for your life, but learn to see it as an essential to help you feel fabulous, at any age.
Written by Becky Barrett.
Becky Barrett is an international talent manager and personal fitness coach with over 15 years’ professional experience and a 1st class Honours degree in Business & Law.
Driven by her unique values of compassion and a holistic approach to talent management, Becky has devised an innovative solution to take on the fitness industry with a brand-new personal fitness concept that aims to inspire and boost ‘new normal’ approaches to exercise routines.
Features include: Health & Wellbeing, Natural Health, Arden University, The Telegraph, BBC, Time & Leisure, Bdaily News, The Stage.