How exercise can help during the menopause

The period of time leading up to the menopause is a time of great change in the female body. For those who do not know, the menopause is officially the date 12 months after your monthly cycle stops. This usually happens between the ages of 45-55 years, but this can vary from person to person. The symptoms many women will experience are hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety and often, depression. Whilst this can be a challenging time, exercise can provide support for the changing body.

Exercise and routine can have a positive effect on the menopausal body, assisting with both physical and mental health. Regular resistance training, such as TRX Training or Kettlebells, can help increase muscle mass, increase bone density and reduce body fat. The important thing here is that the training is regular and to get the most out of your resistance training, ensure you are doing full body workouts with recovery days in between. Regular resistance training is also important to maintain muscle mass, which often reduces as we age. For clients going through the symptoms of the menopause, I encourage them to join the TRX Training Club®. With TRX people can utilise their own body weight as resistance and minimal equipment is needed. The simplicity of hanging the suspension trainer from a tree/ door makes the training accessible for even for busiest schedules. A lot of the workouts on the app vary from strength and cardio which can be really beneficial for women going through the menopause.

Alongside your resistance training, regular cardiovascular workouts can help alleviate low mood, anxiety and depression. Cardiovascular training can also reduce blood pressure, body fat and can help to ease fatigue. A symptom of the menopause which often gets forgotten about is the inability to concentrate. Cardiovascular exercise can improve your ability to focus and think clearly. We know that cardiovascular activity primes the brain for concentration and focus.

Whilst the symptoms of the menopause can feel like an unpredictable whirlwind, having a regular routine, a support network and taking time for yourself can help. Talk to others and utilise the professionals in your circle to ensure you are getting what you need. The months around the menopause are a great time for you to get to know yourself a little better, to listen to your needs and take time for you.

There’s no doubt that exercise can help women going through the menopause, but it’s important to stress how exercise for women can have such a positive effect on their bodies more generally – the benefits are endless! While the menopause can have an effect on our physical health, which a lot of the time is out of our control, I know from experience that exercise and fitness can have a really positive impact on my mental health too, and I know my clients feel the same – the endorphins that come with a workout are unparalleled. We know that exercise more often than not helps people with anxieties or worries they may be suffering from and given these concerns can be magnified during the menopause, I can’t recommend exercise enough.

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