As no two women experience menopause in the same way, our unique symptoms will determine what kind of exercises you can do to relieve any stresses or pains. In my own experience i think it is important to practice a exercise or relaxation technique that works for you.
According to some academic research, women should aim for two hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week which is approximately 20 minutes per day, which doesn't seem like much but as we know its all about consistency!
The one thing i have learnt recently is that exercise increases bone mass. Strength training and impact activities (like walking or running) can help to offset the decline of bone mineral density and prevent osteoporosis.
So i have put together a few little tips on what kinds of exercise you can do if you are, like me, feeling the aches and pains of perimenopause or menopause. Here are some ideas on how to deal with perimenopause.
Regular strength training can help you reduce body fat, strengthen your muscles and burn calories which is good for keeping the weight off to alleviate stress that weight puts on the body. If you are the gym type you can try weight machines, hand-held weights or resistance tubing. Choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 repetitions. Gradually increase the weight or resistance level as you get stronger.
Strengthening your bones
Examples of bone-strengthening activity include jumping jacks, running, brisk walking, and weight-lifting exercises. Even if you don't have the time or headspace to remember lots of difference exercises you can just start with the classic squat. Here is a simple and quick video showing the correct way to do a squat!
Lift weights, use resistance bands or try body weight strength training in order to keep the bones strong. Menopause is a common time for women to experience a loss of bone density or osteoporosis. They have to aid in keeping their bones strong by keeping the muscles strong. Strength training also can help to rev up the decreasing metabolism and help in burning the fat, even while resting, to avoid the dreaded menopausal weight gain.
Stretching and Yoga
Stretching can help improve flexibility. But even more importantly, taking time for yoga and meditating each day to reduce some of the anxiety which is also is a common symptom of menopause. Set aside time to stretch after each workout, when your muscles are warm and receptive to stretching. Some of these poses and stretches shown here on this post at Healthline are great for getting in tune with your body and strengthening certain parts of your body such as the lower back.
Practicing yoga can also help improve sexual function in women, particularly those over 45 years old, which suggests it might be good to offset sexual changes during menopause. There’s also some evidence that insomnia, a common menopause symptom, can be relieved through yoga and meditation. I for one am willing to give this a try.
Keep exercising throughout changes in your body and through menopause. Some of the best exercises include
- weight training
- you should aim to do 20 mins of exercise every day
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Here are some exercises you can try at home to strengthen your bones during menopause
The squat is one of the best ways to build and display raw strength. Slap a few plates of iron on the bar, put it across your shoulders, squat until the thighs are parallel to the ground, then stand back up. It sounds simple, but it is one of the most intense exercises there is for increasing bone density. Although many casual lifters prefer a higher rep range, it turns out that alternating between moderate and heavy lifting of six to eight and four to six reps gives the biggest results.
The shoulder press, lifting a barbell straight over your head, is another way to display impressive strength. The shoulder press is also one of the exercises that most increases bone density. Although doing shoulder presses with dumbbells helps to strengthen the stabilizer muscles. When one is trying to build bone density, weight is what matters most, so find a shoulder press station or a power cage and use a barbell.
Lat pull down
The lat pull down exercises the lats, biceps, and forearms. At the top of the movement, one should feel a good stretch in the lats, just under the arms. Once one gets strong enough, they may consider switching to pull ups, and even weighted pull ups.
The leg press allows to test the true strength of the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, without worrying about balance or the lower back. A lot of weight can be moved with this exercise, and that stress, results in an increase of bone mineral density.
The seated row includes exercising the similar muscles to the lat pull-down, but also uses the lower back and glutes as stabilizers, and hits the traps. The key to performing this exercise safely is to not sway as one performs the movement. The buttock should lock the body into a comfortable angle at the hips, and that angle should not change.
In each session of workout at least seven to ten minutes of cardiovascular weight-bearing activity, such as weighted walking, stair climbing, and jogging, and small muscle group exercises involving thera-bands and physio-balls round out the study regimen. The key to achieving the goal of improved bone health is in the intensity of the weight-bearing workout and the level of the resistance training. Progressively increasing the weight lifted and consistently exercising two to three times a week are essential for success.