Menopause… Muscles… and Madness
You’ll be hard pressed to find a woman who enjoyed going through menopause, in face I’ve heard it be described as the most maddening part of a woman’s life. Menopause is unavoidable, but what you can control are some of the symptoms that accompany it. Fitness and proper nutrition do play an important role in lessening some menopause side affects.
As women go through menopause they experience a loss of muscle mass in the abdomen area and increased weight gain in that area. This is caused by the hormone androgen. Many woman are shocked when they start to notice the gradual weight increase, especially since their fitness and nutrition have remained constant in the years leading up to menopause. And if the weight gain wasn’t enough, you now get to experience hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and maddening mood swings. How fun!
Doing your Heart Smart Minute fitness routine will help combat the symptoms of menopause. Strength training helps increase bone density which will lessen your changes of developing osteoporosis. Endorphins released during and after your fitness routine will help reduce depression and lessen your mood swings. Mixing cardio intervals into your fitness routine bumps up your heart rate, increasing the calorie burn.
Keep your nutrition plan as strong as your fitness. Your metabolism decreases during menopause, making it difficult to burn off the pizza and wine as quickly as you once did in your twenties. Eat lean meats, fish, and lots of green leafy veggies. Avoid processed, prepackaged foods which are loaded with preservatives, as well as canned soups–they contain a day’s worth of sodium and will bloat you quickly.
Menopause isn’t fun, but there things you can do to lessen the symptoms. Here are a few Heart Smart Minute Fitness and Nutrition Tips to make it a little less maddening.
Pick up the Weights: Strength training is a huge part of the menopause fitness program. It increases bone density which lessens your chance of osteoporosis. Your muscles also support your entire body, the stronger you are the straighter you stand and the more mobility you have as aging continues.
Enhance Your Mood: If the only thing that’s keeping you from killing your spouse is a recent episode of CSI, it’s time to get going with your fitness program. Endorphins released during and after a workout lessen your mood swings dramatically. It also decreases your risk of developing depression during menopause.
Eat more Plants: Plant based food contain isoflavones, which acts as weaker estrogen in your body. Fruits and Veggies also lower cholesterol which can reduce night sweats and hot flashes.
Get the Cardio in: Aerobic activity burns calories quickly and gets the blood circulating through the body. It is recommended that women experiencing menopause do a minimum of 3 hours per week of mildly intensive cardio.
Keep a Nutrition Journal: Women eat their emotions more than men. Keep a nutrition journal and get honest with yourself about why you are eating what you are. You are more likely to binge eat when you are upset, and snack at night because you are feeling depressed.
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