Benefits of exercise in menopause
We know that we are beating the same drum over and over again, suggesting to you to exercise in menopause. You must feel like the pressure to exercise is too much, but we hope to convince you to do it and help you feel and look better and, most importantly, be healthier.
So, this is a short blog with just bullet points about why it is so important to move your body more during this phase of your life.
Exercise causes your body to produce the happy hormone endorphin which reduces feelings of pain and makes you feel better. If you elevate your heart rate (by brisk walking, for example, or dancing) for more than 40 minutes, endorphin remains in the body for more than 8 hours after your exercise.
Endorphin is produced when you are in love – thus the overall good feeling.
It is also secreted for only 15 min after you eat. Often people turn to emotional eating when they are depressed. Obviously, it is much better to move than to eat to get the same good feeling for a much longer time.
Reduce menopause symptoms
Many of the perimenopause and menopause symptoms also can be reduced by exercise:
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- mood swings
- joint pain, back pain, muscle pain
- weight gain
- brain fog
Keep your bones strong
One of the main concerns in menopause is your bone strength. It is important to prevent osteoporosis which is loss of bone density. It causes the bones to be brittle and to break easily. Exercise, in general, has been scientifically proven to be a great way to prevent osteoporosis. A little weightlifting is especially effective.
Many types of cancer can be prevented by moving your body on a regular basis. The risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and other types of malignant tumors can be prevented by being persistent in taking part in an activity that raises your heart rate, fills your lungs, and moves your muscles.
Young and sharp brain
Being active also contributes to a healthy and youthful brain. Research has proven that exercise not only helps with mental health (depression and anxiety) but also dementia. It may seem like something we do in our early 50s can’t influence our late 70s, but think again. What we do today directly influences how we will feel tomorrow.
Stress is one of the main issues in modern life. Get off your chair and move, even if it is just to dance to your favorite tune. It can reduce the harmful effects of stress on your body.
Boosting your mood and fending off cognitive decline. Exercise makes you feel better and helps with mood swings in menopause. It also helps you stay mentally fit and keep a sharp and clear mind. Exercise has also been proven to help very much with depression.
Keep your waist under control
Weight gain is one of the main issues for most women in menopause. You lose muscle mass in menopause and, therefore, have a slower metabolism. This leads to weight gain although you are not eating more than you used to. Exercising in order to keep our muscle mass, and to be strong and healthy, is a very good reason to get off that couch.
Start slowly and have realistic expectations. Small steps are much better than overexerting yourself and giving up after just a few days. You can begin with 2 days a week and work up to time to 4 or even 5.
It would be fantastic if you could reach a goal of doing at least 3.5 hours a week of some kind of exercise. That is only half an hour a day and you can split it up into small chunks of time that suit your lifestyle.
What would work for you?
Find what works for you. There are so many ways to keep fit. These are just some of our suggestions. We are sure you can think of many more.
- Tai Chi
- lifting weights
- using elastic bands
- using weight machines
- doing push-ups or planks
Be sure to not exercise before bed. Try and do your exercise at least 3-4 hours before your bedtime. The ideal time is the morning, but many of you can’t organize their lives in that fashion, so do what works, but do make time for exercise.
You can try and see how exercise affects your hot flashes in our free Hot Flash Help app which you can download here: