Menopause and exercise. Have those two words been on your mind recently? Have you looked up some of your health problems and discovered you may have menopause? Perhaps you already suspect or know, and now need some help.
Then you’re in the right place! Read on for a few ideas on the best exercises for menopause.
Note that exercise should only be *part* of your health-related plans during menopause. The right lifestyle plays a big part in your health.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a natural part of every woman’s life. Despite that, it is still a dreaded occurrence and the source of many bad jokes. A lot about menopause is actually unknown to most.
People don’t discuss it as eagerly as breast cancer or AIDS. Because of this, many women only learn what menopause is when it actually happens to them. After that they will try to find the best exercise for menopause. This article will discuss menopause and exercise.
First off, as mentioned above, menopause is absolutely natural and normal. It is not a disease or illness, though it is consider that by many. It is simply the end of a woman’s fertile/reproductive life.
It is not the end of her rational-thinking life or her healthy life. Only her fertility is ended with menopause. It is believed that when a woman has menopause it means that she has already stopped menstruation.
Actually, your menstrual pattern will be irregular and you may not menstruate for a few months and then have it return for a while; sometimes you’ll see it every few weeks. It can be all over the place. Menopause can be a confusing and frustrating time. Even more reason to exercise!
Just to be clear, here are a few symptoms of menopause :
- Disturbed sleeping patterns
- Hot flashes
- Mood fluctuations (mood swings)
- Vaginal dryness (you may also experience discomfort and itching)
- Night sweats
- Estrogen level drop
- Hair thinning/loss
- Urinary changes
- Cognitive issues (lack of focus, bad memory)
- Weight gain
With all of those symptoms it is hard not to think of menopause as a disease! But don’t despair. You’re not alone and certainly not lost without hope. (Of course, the list is not an absolute checklist. You may not experience all of the symptoms, or perhaps you have some that aren’t on the list, or if you’re lucky, you’ll only experience very few of them.)
A good question to ask now is “Is exercise good for menopause?”
Yes! Exercise is a good idea if you think (or have been informed by a doctor) that you are experiencing menopause. In fact, exercising earlier in the day could help avoid any sleeping problems you may be having.
You can also obviously prevent weight gain if you exercise. You’ll end up feeling better as well. Menopause and exercise really should go hand in hand. Actually, exercise is always a good idea, no matter what’s happening in your life.
So, What’s the Best Exercise for Menopause Symptoms?
Keep in mind that these exercises are meant to help you make menopause more bearable and is in no way a solid treatment. There are medicines available, though many women find they do fine without medication.
Please consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routines. Ten to fifteen-minute sessions should suffice. Warm up before any exercises and cool down afterwards. It is essential and will prevent you from hurting yourself unnecessarily.
Also remember that along with exercises goes the right diet and mindset. Start off with a positive attitude and a balanced eating plan to compliment your exercises and it will make a world’s difference to the outcome.
Now, for the actual ideas on the best exercise for menopause.
1. Aerobic/Cardio Exercise
This means anything that gets your heart rate up! And if it gets your lungs to work a little harder, that’s great. Good exercises for this would be cycling, dancing or walking (briskly, not strolling).
If you ever wanted to take up Tango classes, now would be the perfect time. Or start jogging around the neighborhood, whatever works for you. Remember that you need to enjoy your exercise, or you’ll quit before long.
Yoga is noted for helping people relax and is even said to help fight insomnia. Grab a yoga mat and start getting into position today, if possible. Maybe you’ll meet other women who are there for the same reasons as you and then you’ll have instant companionship and maybe a few tips on dealing with menopause to boot!
3. Strength Exercise
I’m not talking about bench pressing and picking up weights that weigh more than a small child. Consider something lighter, like walking or jogging with a couple of dumbbells. Maybe even join a gym and get in a few sessions with a personal trainer.
4. Kegel Exercise
Kegel exercises are a great idea. It helps strengthen your pelvic muscles, which will help with any urinary incontinence you may have trouble with. These exercises also help fight vaginal dryness and libido problems.
You don’t have to exercise every single day, though that would be the best idea. And in the beginning you don’t even have to stick to a very strict schedule. Just get and stay active at first. As you get fit you will feel better doing it and then you can increase* your time spent exercising.
If you just take your dog for regular walks or walk to the shops instead of driving, that’s a great start. Build up from there and you’ll be loving your healthier habits in no time.
5. Strength Training
Again we’re discussing strength training. It is considered the best exercise after menopause because your body needs to be kept in as great shape as possible. But there’s no need to overdo it and try looking like a Hollywood meat palace. Simply use light weights or do some Pilates. Do this two to three times a week for the best results.
6. Cardio Exercises
For some great cardio workouts, ride a bicycle (be that the machine or the actual thing), or do some fast walking. Leisure walking doesn’t count as a cardio workout. You have to actually break a sweat. Maybe even try water aerobics or swimming, which could be more fun if you find exercising boring.
7. Stretching Exercises
Flexibility exercises are much more important once you get older. This is one set of exercises that should be put on the top of your list, no matter what your age. Join a yoga class or try some stretching exercises at home.
You should not stop daily exercising after menopause. In fact, it is very important to keep exercising, as you are getting older and need a healthier body more than ever. Naturally this will be much harder, but definitely not impossible.
The best exercises after menopause aren’t very different from the exercises you’d do during menopause. Just always be careful and consult your doctor before starting an exercise plan.
These are some ideas for the best exercise after menopause. Read through them, pick your favorites and read more. Discuss the relation between menopause and exercise with your doctor. Then, go get active!
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