The social scenario of menopausal and perimenopausal women in our country is sadly one of reduced activity.
As women enter menopause, they tend to exercise less, leading to weight gain. Additionally, the metabolism decreases during this time, making it even more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
However, exercise during and after menopause offers numerous benefits, making it essential for women’s overall health and well-being.
First, let’s discuss why fitness is essential during menopause?
- Preventing weight gain: Menopause often leads to muscle loss and weight gain, especially around the abdomen. Regular physical activity can help avoid this weight gain by preserving muscle mass.
- Reducing the risk of cancer: Exercise during and after menopause can aid in weight management, reducing the risk of various types of cancer, such as breast, colon, and endometrial cancer.
- Strengthening bones: Menopause can accelerate bone loss, increasing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Exercise can slow down this process and promote stronger bones.
- Reducing the risk of other diseases: Menopausal weight gain may increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise can counter these risks and promote better overall health.
- Boosting mood: Physical activity is associated with a lower risk of depression and cognitive decline, helping women maintain a positive outlook on life.
How does exercise affect menopause signs and symptoms?
While exercise may not directly reduce menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and sleep disturbances, it plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, and improving quality of life.
Best physical activities to try:
- Aerobic activity: Engage in moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes a week or vigorous aerobic activity for at least 75 minutes a week. Activities like brisk walking, jogging, biking, swimming, or water aerobics are excellent choices.
- Strength training: Regular strength training can reduce body fat, strengthen muscles, and improve calorie-burning efficiency. Incorporate weight machines, hand-held weights, or resistance tubing into your routine.
- Sporting activities you enjoy: Don’t worry if you are a bit rusty. Taking part in something that can bring you fun & enjoyment (with or without healthy competition) can be a fantastic way to bring exercise back into your life.
How can you stay motivated?
Stay motivated with these tips:
- Set realistic goals: Start with achievable goals, such as a daily 30-minute walk after dinner, and adjust them as your fitness levels improve.
- Partner up: Find a workout buddy, whether it’s a partner, friend, or neighbour, to keep each other motivated and accountable.
- Explore various activities: Exercise doesn’t have to be confined to the gym. Explore different activities, classes, or outdoor exercises to keep your routine fresh and exciting.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. When you can lean on friends, family members and professionals, you can draw on their skills, experience & gain a new perspective.
Exercise during menopause is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being.
By staying physically active, women can prevent weight gain, reduce the risk of various diseases, and improve their mood and quality of life.