Why fitness will guide you through the menopause maze.
We’ve all heard it before. Run more. Lift more. Eat less. Do this every day, of every week, of every month, of every year of your life and soon enough you’ll be the next Victoria Beckham..
Or, will you be sat at home on a Saturday night with a hand full of frozen peas while your dearest friends and family are out enjoying themselves? Relishing in all the delicious food’s life has to offer. Enjoying a nice glass of merlot at a dinner table (a glass of wine does have as many calories as a slice of cake!?) feeding themselves what they deserve and proudly unbuttoning their jeans to leave room, quite literally, for dessert?
But First.. Love Yourself
Before I go on to give you an article on what you should and shouldn’t be doing to look a certain way, please remember to take a moment to appreciate who you already are. Appreciate every dimple. Every wrinkle. Every stretch mark, Every inch of cellulite. You ask why? Because it is yours! They are a definition of a life that’s been lived and maybe even given life! Own them, be proud of them, let's not shame them!
Now, let’s get down to business! Or maybe not quite down and low as we may not get back up again. I’m sure we’re not alone in our daily ‘get off the couch’ struggles. Let me start by shedding a little light on why this dreadful torture some like to replace with a bottle of wine is so beneficial to us...before we crack open that bottle of wine that is of course!
What are the benefits?
Investing a small portion of energy into some highly beneficial lifestyle modifications, such as regular exercise, soon allows for the results to speak for themselves:
- Wave ‘goodbye’ to Insomnia, one of many symptoms when hitting the menopause. Exercising frequently can improve your quality of sleep immensely!
- Brain health. Exercise activates and creates new neural pathways, improving memory, ability to multi-task and focus.
- Ultimately there isn’t anything better that could reduce your risk of illness or chronic disease as much as physical activity does. (With exception to a nutritious diet *cough* wine
- And last but not least, feel good in your skin! No matter what shape or size! Exercising will help you form a new relationship with your body. A relationship full of love, appreciation and trust! Exercise for yourself but also for those who love you. Those who want you to continue thriving!
So What Exercise is Best?
With so many versatile professional opinions out there, so many ‘do’s’ and ‘dont’s’ , the one most important bit of advice I can give you is, If you find something that keeps you active and you enjoy? Then you stick to that and do it with a 100% commitment! You will always see the most spectacular results when you are doing something you actually enjoy doing. Why? Because it keeps you committed to your goal and consistent on the path of achieving it. If however you are new to exercise and are struggling to find things you will enjoy and be able to commit to without any of that pesky joint pain! Here are some ideas for you to check out and fall in love with.
- Walking. Oh the power of the walk we so gracefully underestimate! Not only does it improve your cardiovascular (heart) health, it also enables a steady increase in weight loss without applying high amounts of stress on our joints such as when we’re running! Both outdoors or on a treadmill walking can perform wonders! (Top tip* If you do find yourself walking on a treadmill, try walking on a high incline! )
- Classes. (an option for post-lockdown of course but there are online classes running at the moment or at-home training youtube videos!) Group classes can be a fantastic way to get in shape and get in touch! Connect with your body but also with new people! Classes are the perfect opportunity to share your journey with those on a similar path as you! Make some friends whilst busting some moves in a fun and energetic Zumba class, stretching and balancing (falling ...) in a mindful yoga class, riding into the sunset on a spin bike or getting that pump on in one of the world’s most infamous class organisations, Les mills! Don’t be afraid to jump into whichever class takes your fancy. Fitness instructors are obliged to offer progressions and regressions for all ages, sizes and capabilities! You will always be supported if you need a helping hand!
- Swimming. I don’t think I could think of a better form of exercise that protects our joints but really helps excel weight loss, core strength and endurance! If you suffer with bad hips, knees, water retention, poor posture/weakened core or simply like to perv on a young hunky lifeguard, then swimming is the one for you!
So, there it is. Here is your beginning, your chance to make a small but life-changing alteration to your lifestyle. One that will send you leaping ahead of the menopause maze one step at a time! Also read our article on how mindfulness meditation can help you better deal with menopause symptoms here