Every woman goes through different experiences when it comes to aging. Menopause is a major change that every woman experiences in their early 50s. Menopause comes with a series of transitional stages, beginning with menstrual irregularity and ending with menopause, followed by the postmenopausal stages.
When menopause comes naturally, it brings many biological changes, including a gradual loss of reproductive egg cells and changes in reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
Other symptoms of menopause are mood swings, irregular menses, breast pain, depression, discomfort, and genitourinary atrophy.
Because a woman’s body is going through many changes, it becomes necessary for them to take good care of their physical and mental health. There are several best physical activity and exercise for menopause. In this article, we will give you some tips you can follow to ensure your body stays fit throughout this huge transition.
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Why is fitness important during menopause?
Fitness during the menopause phase has a sling of benefits, which are as follows:
● Menopause is when women’s bone density starts declining, making them vulnerable to fractures. Therefore, good physical activity and diet help in strengthening the bones.
● During this phase, women start gaining abdominal fat and losing muscle mass, which makes weight gain almost inevitable. Regular exercise helps prevent abnormal weight gain.
● A proportionate and healthy diet combined with regular exercise helps prevent the risk of certain types of cancer, such as endometrial, colon, and breast cancer.
● Physical fitness injects confidence and energy in women that help them deal with mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
● The abnormal weight gain during menopause causes other adverse effects on the body, such as increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Exercise cuts the chances of this risk and keeps you healthy.
Best physical activity and exercise
Keeping your body physically active is no luxury but a necessity during menopause. You can divide it into segments if you cannot stretch a long hour for exercise. A 15-minute physical activity twice daily would be enough to ensure your physical fitness. Following are some
Starting with something basic, stretching helps keep the muscles strong and healthy. It increases flexibility and relieves muscle pain. You can take some time to do it in the initials or at the end of your exercise session.
A healthy heart causes a healthy life. Thus, you can rely on cardio to ensure your heart’s health. It keeps your heart rate up and reduces the risk of heart disease in women going through menopause.
You can try various cardio exercises like biking, swimming, jogging, dancing, etc. You can make any one or couple of them as your hobby. It will not only keep your heart fit but also your mind happy.
● Aerobic activity
Aerobic activity will help you cut excess fat and maintain a healthy weight. You can go for brisk walking, jogging, biking, swimming, or water aerobics. For a beginner, it is good to start with 10 minutes a day. You can gradually increase the intensity and duration.
● Strength training
Strength training is vital for women going through menopause as the risk of osteoporosis increases during this phase. You can use weight machines, hand-held weights, and resistance tubing to increase strength. Choose a weight or resistance level that will exhaust your muscles after around 12 repetitions. As you get stronger, gradually raise the weight or resistance level.
Yoga is the best and most calming way to keep yourself fit. Yoga, accompanied by deep breathing and meditation, helps relax your body. It improves your body flexibility, helps in gaining better sleep and a concentrated mind, and calms nerves. It also helps prevent severe menopause symptoms like fatigue, irritability, and hot flashes.
● Pelvic floor exercise
Hormonal changes during the premenopause and menopause phase down the flow of blood to a woman’s pelvic floor. It can cause severe health consequences. Thus, pelvic floor exercise is advised during menopause. It improves your bowels and bladder control and boosts your coordination, strength, blood flow, and flexibility.
When going through the phase of menopause, women need to speak to the doctor of their trust before making any major change in their diet and daily life routine. You may want to discuss your best options while considering your medical history and medications.
Following are a few other tips that you can adopt for better health during the menopause phase.
A woman in menopause needs to take the right nutrients through whole grains, protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. These foods help nourish the body against age-related muscle loss and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Menopause is when women are at high risk of heart-related disease because of reduced estrogen and abnormally increasing body fat. Therefore, a balanced diet becomes especially important in lowering this risk.
You must avoid regular intake of high-sodium foods, as a high-sodium diet causes lower bone density in menopausal women. If you have any kidney-related issues, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 3 or any other stage, speak to your doctor before increasing your protein and dairy intake.
For those who drink alcohol and excess caffeine, you may consider curbing these intoxicants. Doing this improves your sleeping habits, and you may want to consider curbing.
You can go to your dietician or health provider for more diet-related instructions.
● Hormone therapy
During menopause, women go through drastic hormonal changes; thus, it is necessary to go for hormonal therapy. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) involves injecting hormones like estrogen or progesterone from outside that decrease throughout menopause.
Estrogen can be injected into the body through various ways, like pills, patches, and vaginal foams or rings. If the woman is on a low need of estrogen, the procedure through the vagina via foam or rings is better. It helps treat symptoms like dryness, painful sex, hot flashes, and night sweats.
The procedure of HRT and duration of hormone treatment depend on various factors, such as your age, health history, symptoms, and onset of menopause. Speak with your doctor if you’re curious about HRT.
● Mental health
A study says women are 2.5 times more likely to go into depression than men. This risk becomes more during the menopause phase.
If you have any kind of different feeling, such as not feeling like yourself, or exhibiting any telltale signs of depression, such as irritability, difficulty sleeping, and constant sadness or numbness, do not avoid it.
Take no shame in taking the help of a professional therapist. Keep in mind that no judgment is more important than your health.
To end with
Although the effects of menopause, like hot flashes, night sweats, depression, and weakening bones, are inevitable, you can still cure it, ensuring your fitness.
Regular exercise and physical activity like yoga, biking, and swimming are the key. It will help you support your mood, bone health, and lean muscle mass. Add enough protein and other whole foods like fruits, grains, vegetables, and healthy fats to your diet.
Be in contact with your health provider if you feel the need. Take the necessary precautions and advice they give before making any major changes to your diet or fitness routine.
Know that you can not stop the consequences of increasing age, but you still can have a graceful and healthy aging. Keep a bright smile on your face and slay any age.