The effects of menopause vary from one woman to another. While some women don’t experience the symptoms in a major way, others grapple with mood swings and hot flashes in a massive capacity. Among the various symptoms of menopause, weight gain seems to be a common one.
Although you might think that menopause naturally leads you to gain weight, the truth is that it most likely occurs due to the loss of muscle mass that accompanies aging, which in turn slows down one’s metabolism. Therefore, if you don’t bring about a change in your diet, you could gain weight.
Exercise and lifestyle changes are both crucial when it comes to menopause so as to efficiently handle the changes your body goes through during this period. In this article, we will discuss why exercise is crucial to manage the symptoms of menopause and the physical activities to indulge in for this purpose.
Why is Exercise Important During Menopause?
Exercising during menopause has several benefits. Some of them are as follows:
- Menopause leads women to gain abdominal fat and lose muscle mass, due to which weight gain becomes almost inevitable in some individuals. However, regular exercise can help in preventing weight gain.
- By maintaining a healthy weight, exercise reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, such as endometrial, colon, and breast cancer.
- Physical activities during menopause strengthen the bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
- Exercise lowers the risk of age-related cognitive decline and also eases anxiety and depression.
- The weight you gain during menopause can have adverse effects on your health, such as increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Exercise helps in keeping these risks at bay.
Best Physical Activities to Manage Symptoms of Menopause
Moving your body sufficiently on a daily basis is extremely vital for a menopausal woman. You can also divide your exercise routines into 15 minutes twice a day.
The following are some of the physical activities that could provide some relief from the symptoms of menopause:
Strength training is imperative to deal with the symptoms of menopause since the risk of osteoporosis increases during this phase. Through strength training exercises, you can build back your metabolism and improve your muscle and bone strength.
The equipment to try out for strength training could include:
- Resistance tubing
- Weight machines
Yoga and Meditation
Since different women prefer different types of physical activities, you can also opt for meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises to indulge in a relaxation technique that eases your body.
Yoga and meditation improve flexibility, help you sleep better, center your mind, and calm your nerves. They could also help with some of the menopausal symptoms, such as fatigue, irritability, and hot flashes.
Cardio helps in keeping your heart rate up, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease in women going through menopause.
There are multiple options for cardio, such as:
Pelvic Floor Exercises
The hormonal changes that happen during perimenopause and menopause reduce the blood flow to a woman’s pelvic floor. Therefore, pelvic floor exercises improve your control over your bowels and bladder and boost your coordination, strength, blood flow, and flexibility.
Yes, gaining weight is common during menopause.
No, not all women gain weight during menopause.
Weight gain happens during menopause due to the loss of muscle mass, which slows down a woman’s metabolism.
Yes, exercise helps tremendously in managing your weight during menopause.
Fitness is important during menopause because it strengthens the bones, boosts mood, and reduces the risk of diseases.
The physical activities that help in weight management during menopause are brisk walking, swimming, strength training, and jogging.
Being overweight or obese could be associated with some of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes. Although it hasn’t been proven that exercise reduces menopausal symptoms, it definitely aids in improving your quality of life, relieving stress, and maintaining a healthy weight.
The best way to keep your weight in check is to develop realistic and achievable goals and make sure to keep updating these goals so that your body gets fitter. Start small, such as going for a walk post your dinner.
Some people find it helpful to have another person accompany them on their fitness journey. No matter what mode of exercise you choose to manage your menopausal symptoms, just be consistent with it, and don’t forget to warm up before any physical activity.