If you are currently going through your menopause or are experiencing early signs and are finding it difficult to deal with then help is at hand.
Establishing and updating your exercise routine is key in helping address symptoms for improved physical and mental health.
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.
Fitness instructor, Becky, shares her exercise expertise on how to ease the strain of perimenopause and menopause symptoms.
Muscles and Bones
As we get older our muscles naturally decrease in strength and size. This is known as sarcopenia. Harvard Medical School sources state that after the age of 30, we can start to lose 3-5% of our muscle mass every decade, and after 40 it has been found to be up to 8%. So when facing 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.
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.
Boost your skin
Keeping fit and exercising is also beneficial for the condition of our skin as we age, and with the menopause skin can lose its plumpness. According to dermatologist Ellen Marmur MD, healthy circulation improves the condition of our skin. As we exercise, our blood flow increases. This means extra oxygen is provided to cells, and also the increased blood flow can help with the removal of waste products. Research studies have actually shown that aerobic exercising for 30 minutes a day may even go as far as to reverse the signs of ageing in our skin. Impressive facts. There’s also no denying the bonus that having toned muscles offers in improving the appearance of your skin in general.
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. We prioritise offering our clients variety to keep up motivation, whether its a barre session, pilates or yoga, there is an element of listening to your body in the moment and our fitness experts can guide you to find what feels right for you. Finally, 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 is a fitness instructor and founder of BBM Fitness, a bespoke fitness consultancy that helps you find your fitness personality. Launched in November 2020, Becky's roster of professional instructors are also West-End and theatre performers, offering unique fitness experiences for individuals, pairs and groups. For more information, visit: www.bbm.fitness