Dr Lindsey Thomas – GP and Menopause Specialist
I am a big fan of exercise for health in general, and I feel it should play a big part in everyone’s lives.....
I am a big fan of exercise for health in general, and I feel it should play a big part in everyone’s lives. I certainly notice the difference it makes to mine, and notice subtle changes when I don’t stick to my usual routine.
A third of the average woman’s life will be lived beyond the menopause. Having a regular exercise routine, starting in the perimenopause can really impact, and enhance how these years will be lived. Exercise can also be a really useful tool in helping to reduce menopausal symptoms themselves.
There are many benefits including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Building muscle mass – helping to protect bones, and raise falling metabolic rates
- A reduction in breast cancer risk
- A reduction in stress and improved general mental wellbeing
- Keeping hearts healthy (reduced weight, improved cholesterol levels, prevention of type 2 diabetes)
- Improved sleep patterns
- Improved mobility with age
To make it easier to stick to, the key is to find something you enjoy and make it a part of your daily routine. Exercising with a friend can make it easier to avoid making excuses! And above all try and remember how exercise makes you feel.
Even if you already do regular exercise, switching up your routine helps to keep it interesting. But including a combination of cardio and resistance training, also means you will get the most out of it.
Resistance training, is often thought of as weights (and it can be) but it can also involve using your own body weight as with yoga and Pilates. This will help to improve muscle mass and strengthen bones.
Cardio is anything which raises your heart rate – running, cycling, HIIT etc. This helps to keep your heart and circulatory systems healthy and functioning optimally.
Both are proven to help mental wellbeing, which can a significant issue for women at this time of life.
If you are struggling to get started, I often suggest aiming for 10,000 steps a day and taking it from there.
There are some great accounts online that I really like including
Joe Wicks ‘the body coach
The Pelaton app (with HIIT, yoga and more)
The FIIT app
Kate Rowe Ham – daily workouts, with weights and cardio on Instagram
As you head towards menopause, the levels of the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone produced by your ovaries begin to fluctuate and fall. There’s nothing you can do to alter the age at which you reach menopause as this is mostly influenced by genetics, unless of course you’ve had a surgical menopause following a hysterectomy,…
What is the menopause? Although most women will go through their menopause naturally, certain treatments for cancer can trigger an early menopause. Going through an early menopause, as a result of cancer treatment, can be distressing; you may feel isolated and confused about the changes. The onset of an early menopause can be sudden and…