7 DAY NATURAL BUST LIFT CHART
It is very easy to complete. Here is what you need to do. Firstly take a screen grab or photo of the chart below, so you can print this off. Then for the next 7 Days complete my 8 Minute Natural Bust Lift Workout, each day you have completed it simply tick it off.
My aim of this challenge is that by the end of 7 days you will have naturally lifted your bust. To get really good results from this 7 day challenge you could combine this with my 7 Minute Arm Challenge ( you can see this here)
TAKE ON MY 7 DAY AB CHALLENGE
It is very easy to complete. Here is what you need to do. Firstly take a screen grab or photo of the chart below, so you can print this off. Then for the next 7 Days complete My 10 Minute Love Handle Workout, each day you have completed it simply tick it off.
My aim of this challenge is that by the end of it you will have reduced your love handles and muffin top. To get really good results from this 7 day challenge it is important to also focus on healthy eating.
As your online trainer and motivator I always want to encourage you simply to be the healthiest version of you. So I came up with a fun active challenge for you and I have grouped together 6 existing walking videos of mine to create a 10 Thousand Steps in one day Playlist.
This idea sprang to mind whilst we have all been in Lockdown over the world, as many of us have reduced our daily step count. This is a fun way of actively increasing it back up again.
To do this free challenge simply follow the 2 steps below to complete the challenge.
Please note that if you are new to exercise then it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor first. This is a tough challenge and it is important that you only do what feels right and if you need to rest then do. Please see below for full details on Health and Safety•
Make sure you are in comfortable workout gear, I would recommend even though you are doing this at home still wear your trainers and for the ladies even though this is a low impact workout I would still recommend wearing a sports bra with your workout gear.
Have a glass of water to hand, make sure you have good internet connection as you will need to be online to view my virtual walks.
This Playlist has 6 Indoor Walking Workouts, each one varies in length and location (which makes this fun so you won’t get bored). To complete the challenge will take just over 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Make the most of the breaks in between the videos to have some water, they will automatically lead straight on to the next walking video.
So it really is that simple, all you need to do when you are ready to take on this challenge is hit the play button below.
On completion of the final walk, it is important that you do the full cool down stretch that I recommend.
Once you have completed your stretches, then come back to this page and take a picture with your phone, or a screen grab of the rosette and share it on social media, so all of LucysSquad can give you a virtual “high five” for completing this challenge. Be sure to tag me @LucyWyndhamRead and this use tag #LucysSquad10kChallenge Why not share this page and challenge with anyone you know to do 10 thousand steps in a day.
FUN FACTS ON WALKING
Ten Thousand steps a day is approximately 5 miles.
Walking Ten Thousand steps will burn on average between 800 to 1000 calories, this will vary with everyone as it is dependent on our age, sex and weight so this is an approximate guide.
Walking is one of the most natural exercise we can do.
Hands down walking is a winner when it comes to focusing on all components of health and wellness. It is great for our joints, it helps tones us up all over, it helps lift our mood, it helps burn calories, it conditions our heart and it is low impact free to do and can be done anywhere.
Six Thousand steps a day will improve your health.
Ten Thousand steps a day will help aid weight loss.
In a lifetime we walk on average 65,000 miles which is equivalent to walking around the earth 3 times.
Walking is a great way to help beat off depression and anxiety as it helps release and boost our feel good hormones.
The average person walk at a speed of 3 miles per hour.
* HEALTH AND SAFETY NOTICE: IT IS ALWAYS ADVISABLE BEFORE YOU START A NEW FITNESS PROGRAMME THAT YOU CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR , PARTICULARLY IF YOU HAVE SUFFERED WITH AN INJURY OR ARE A COMPLETE BEGINNER TO EXERCISE. IF YOU FEEL UNWELL
OR EXPERIENCE ANY DISCOMFORT AT ANY POINT, PLEASE STOP EXERCISING IMMEDIATELY AND SEEK MEDICAL AID.
You will never want to buy a granola bar once you have made your own, as this is only bar you will want to snack on.
This recipe shows you how easy it is and cost effective.
1 Cup of Mixed Nuts (*if you can’t have nuts swap for seeds)
2 Cups of Wholegrain Oats
2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter (*if you can’t have peanut butter, instead try Soy Nut Butter but always be sure to thoroughly check the ingredients )
2 Tablespoons of Honey
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil
Handful of Dark Chocolate Chips
Half a Cup of Dried Fruit
1. Pour oats and chop mixed nuts into large mixing bowl.
2. In a small saucepan, add the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and cinnamon and mix on a low heat till all combined.
3. Pour into bowl with oats and nuts, stir and let sit for half an hour
4. Once mixtures cooled completely, add in dark chocolate chips and dried fruit
5. Line a baking tray and pour mixture in – tightly pack the mixture into the tray and you do need to press and compact this really tightly (using the bottom of a glass works well)— the more tightly packed, the less crumbly your bars will be!
6. Let set in fridge for an hour before cutting them into squares.
7. And if they are a little crumbly then eat with a spoon, because one thing for sure is they will taste delicious.
This beautiful savoury dish is bursting with colour and also bursting with vitamins and minerals.
1 Sweet Potato
1 Small red onion
Pinch of Italian seasoning
Handful of coriander
Small packet of Wholegrain Rice or Quinoa
Preheat your oven to 240ºC (220ºC fan).
Wash, peel and chop your sweet potato, then drizzle in oil with Italian seasoning and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked.
Prepare your salsa mix by finely chopping your onion, tomato and coriander, mix together, then squeeze over the juice of your lime.
Cook your rice or quinoa as per instructions on the pack.
Once your sweet potato and rice is cooked, start layering up your Buddha bowl by first of all adding your chosen grains, then add your sweet potato, then your slices of avocado then finally your salsa. Finally give an extra squeeze of fresh lime juice all over.
This is such a delicious way to eat a healthy meal that is full of goodness, with our healthy fats, carbs and protein, all in one pretty bowl.
GOODNESS IN A BOWL
Handful of blueberries
Handful of strawberries
Handful of ice cubes
Tablespoon of Greek yoghurt
(Optional) Teaspoon of honey
SIMPLE BANANA & CHOCOLATE SNACKS
Super easy snack which taste delicious!
It’s super tasty too!
A few squares of 70-85% dark chocolate
Handful of milled seeds (or you could use any seeds or crushed nuts, or even desciated coconut)
Simply melt some 70-85% dark chocolate (dark chocolate is full of minerals and antioxidants and has considerably more health benefits than milk chocolate!) and dip sliced bananas into the chocolate🍌and place on baking paper!
Sprinkle over some seeds or leave as they are! I used milled seeds and 70% dark chocolate for this recipe! 🍫
No, its not the healthiest of all snacks, but the banana, chocolate and seeds provide so many health benefits!✨It’s sure tasty too!🤩
Give this snack a go if you’re feeling peckish, or what to calm those chocolate cravings without feeling guilty!💖
HOW BEING IN QUARANTINE CAN BE INCREASING OUR BELLY FAT! AND HERE’S HOW TO LOSE IT!
It is not surprising as our routines have changed drastically overnight, being in quarantine can lead us to being more sedentary and comfort eating. The big knock on effect of this inevitably is weight gain. One of the biggest concerns is the weight we gain around our belly. It is important to have some fat on our body, and what is important to understand is there are two types of fat which are: Subcutaneous Fat – this is the fat stored just under the skin and this is generally all over around our abs, legs and arms. Then we have: Visceral Fat – this is often referred to as active fat and is stored within the abdominal cavity, near to our vital organs – this is what we want to reduce.
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR BELLY FAT
The first thing I would say is do not panic, because, as your online trainer, I can show you how to easily reduce this measurement at home and if anything, be excited as right now you and I are going to take control of your health.
To reduce belly fat, we need to focus on several aspects and obviously what we eat has a massive impact on belly fat, so aim to have a healthy well-balanced diet. Avoid over eating and you don’t need to be calorie obsessed but be calorie aware. On average for women to simply maintain weight they should be looking at 2000 calories a day, for men 2500. So if you are having more than this daily (and not exercising) this will clearly lead to gaining weight. Whereas if you stick to the recommend daily number of calories as above this will help you maintain weight. So, to then successfully lose that belly weight, you could look at reducing your calorie intake by taking in between 200 to 500 calories less a day, combined with doing my suggested home workouts. You will then successfully start reducing excess belly fat.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT EXERCISE TO DO TO HELP STRIP OFF BELLY FAT?
Well it is not the “plank” or “ab crunches”, they will not help in reducing fat at all. What you need to be doing is what I call MCM & MDM (multiple compound moves and multiple directional moves). This means you are engaging lots of muscles all over your body and not just major muscles, but also smaller muscles that help with stabilizing the body. This way your body is burning so many more calories. In addition, this is also helping to reduce the stress hormone known as cortisol which can be guilty of causing excess body fat.
SO, THE GOOD NEWS IS I HAVE CREATED YOU A FREE 7 DAY HOME “BEAT THE BELLY FAT CHALLENGE”
You simply do the 3 recommended 7 Minute Belly Fat Workouts – one in the morning, one at lunchtime and the final one later in the day. Do this for 7 days consecutively and if you stick with healthy eating and smaller portions. You will notice a reduction in your waistline when you recheck your measurements.
SO HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE STORING VISCERAL FAT?
There are ways of testing this but they are expensive and time consuming, such as CT Scans, whilst we are currently in lockdown this is unobtainable – also do we really need to do this when we can tell so much from simply looking in the mirror at our tummies!
An easy way to measure this and see if you are likely to be carrying Visceral Fat is to measure around your waist:
Measure your waist in line with your belly button. Do this on bare skin,make sure you are not breathing in as you take the measurement and stand with good posture, use a flexible tape measure.
For women if your measurement is above 31.5 and for men if it is above 37 then we definitely want to look at reducing your belly fat.
WHICH OF THESE CAN YOU RELATE TO TODAY?
Through this challenging time that the whole world is going through, I felt it would be important to appreciate that we are all going to experience so many different emotions and that we are on a “roller coaster ride” of feelings. As your online trainer, I wanted to be able to suggest ways to help with your current emotion which ever one of the 9 faces you may be. Please stay at home and remember by staying at home you are helping to saves lives. We are all in this together. Lucy xx
If you are getting stressed and feel like pulling your hair out with worry, or simply the fact you are stuck indoors, a good way to disperse any stress and anxiety is to do a short workout. This is a great way to induce the natural feel good happy hormones such as dopamine, oestrogen and serotonin. With the bonus that exercise also helps to reduce the stress hormone known as cortisol. So try this workout here when you are feeling stressed and anxious. Click on the play button.
Get creative and make the most of the time we have as this is a rare thing in our lifetime that we have time on our hands. Normally we are always rushing from here to there. So explore your creative side and maybe you could start drawing, write a story, learn to bake, or if you are lucky enough to have a garden then get some fresh air and discover your green fingers. There are so many ways we can keep occupied and also by doing this we then help prevent those other faces creeping in such as A, E and F.
Being and feeling lonely at a time like this can be very tough. Now more than ever, we need to still connect with others even though we cant be with each other. No matter where you are in the world right now, if you have the internet then you never need feel lonely. If you want a conversation, if you want a friend , if you want just to feel part of somebody else’s life then please come and join our Facebook Group as we are all here to hold each others hands through this challenging time. The love and support will help you overcome the lonely face of isolation we can all feel. Click on the Facebook Icon to join our group.
As we experience this rollercoaster of emotions, we will also possibly have the burst of feeling positive. So for this, really embarace how you feel and bottle that feeling. What is a great idea is to write down a positive quote, something that personally makes you feel good right now and stick this somewhere in the house so when you have a day or a moment of struggling, go to that space and read out loud your positive thoughts and quote from that moment.
It is so easy when we are having to stay at home to have a lack of energy, this can then leads us sitting around more and the less active we become the less energy we have – this becomes a vicious circle as then the more lethargic we feel. So the key is to reverse this and do some sort of movement, but when you don’t feel like it it can be impossible to get the desire to do a workout. This is why I came up with the perfect solution – my 5 Minute Energy Booster – the great thing with this is it is not like a traditional workout, just these light movements will help increase your blood flow and energy levels. Best of all, you don’t even need to put on fitness clothes you can do this in your jeans or even your pyjamas. Click on the play button to do the workout.
Overthinking can be very self destructive and realistically a totally pointless exercise, as the truth is, we have no idea what the future holds, so trying to figure it out really is mission impossible. So instead, swap over-thinking, for living in the moment. Try and focus on what you can do today and just plan for tomorrow. Keep your mind busy, instead of worrying about something you cannot control. So swap over thinking for mindfulness and if you do find that hard then distract yourself with a nice light workout and get your body exercising as this will help you feel more positive. Click here for a lovely Indoor Virtual walk in France with me now.
Being grateful is such a gift in itself, and now, more than ever, people are realising how important this is. Be grateful for the things that really matter in life, like our loved ones, our amazing Dr’s and Nurses working for the NHS and other frontliners saving us all right now, like the birds, like the flowers, the list goes on. And when you are feeling grateful why not write it down and send this or post it on social media to show someone just how grateful you are.
This is totally normally – how can we not be sad right now at this desperate time. It is also so important that if we want to cry we allow ourselves to. We should not bottle up this emotion and just remember you are not alone, the world is with you and we have to find the inner strength to carry on. On a day like this it is an idea that after you have released these emotions why not lose yourself into a magical films or a lovely book. Go for some truly inspirational film (my recommendation would be “Eddie the Eagle ” or even a fairy tale). But remember this feeling is normal just like all the other 8 feelings we will experience through this period, And you know you can always come and talk to someone in our Facebook group. So please do not feel sad on your own. Click on the Facebook icon to join our group.
There is no denying that this is a very confusing time in our lives and one that we never expected. If it were a film or a book we would think this is so over the top, so feeling confused is to be expected. The key thing is now we just focus on ourselves and use this confusing time while we are all staying safe at home to learn about how we can improve on our own health and wellbeing. So learn now and make it part of your daily life to do free home fitness, learn about how to cook from scratch and make healthy meals, so processed foods are now a thing of the past. Learn a new skill whatever it is as this confused state the world is in will pass, so we want to be ready when it goes back to normal that we step out of the front door aiming to be the best versions of ourselves, teaching this along the way to our loved ones and friends. Click to join my YouTube Channel for free home fitness for evermore.
STAY HOME. STAY SAFE. KEEP WELL.
Love Lucy xx
Before I run through my tips, I just want to say that as your online trainer I am here to do everything I can to help keep you and your family as upbeat, healthy, and motivated as possible through this challenging time. Remember: stay home, stay safe, and we will all get through this.
TIP 1: SCHEDULE
Set a schedule, as we all need routine. All of a sudden our routines have disappeared, which can cause us stress without even realising. None of us will have seen this coming, leaving us unprepared. So now what we need to do is establish a new routine we can follow while we are all in quarantine. A good idea is to set a plan for Monday to Friday, that is going to keep you busy and productive, then treat the Saturdays and Sundays just like a standard weekend, and maybe lie in and have more downtime. This will help you feel more in control
TIP 2: MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness is a must, this is what our minds need more than ever. Forget what happened yesterday as that has gone, and don’t get your mind overthinking and worrying about what is going to happen in the next few weeks, as that is all out of your control for now. However what you are in control of is what is happening right now, today, so live in this moment and be mindful of the here and now.
TIP 3: CONNECTION
Connect with others. While we can’t go out and visit our friends for a coffee as we are all self-isolating and staying at home, we can still connect with each other via online and other means, so you don’t ever need to feel alone. My Lucyssquad community was born over 3 years ago and has always been a really positive place to share your thoughts and ideas or simply just talk. Now more than ever this support is perfect, because as humans we are meant to interact and communicate. So remember that you are not alone, and your neighbours are now worldwide through the wonderful web. If you haven’t done so already, come and join our group here now, and you need never feel lost or isolated. JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP HERE
TIP 4: EXERCISES
Exercise! I have been offering free home fitness for many years and this is what is going to keep you healthy, fit and strong, both mentally and physically, while at home. Our bodies are designed to move, so while we are stuck indoors we need to find a way to stay active, and this is where I am here to help give you all you need. I have over 950 workouts so there is always something for everyone and also to suit every mood.
ENERGY BOOST: This is for when you want a quick energy boost that is not a workout
GET YOUR STEP COUNT UP: Follow any of my Indoor Walks –
GET YOUR KIDS MOVING: (acting in my capacity as a qualified trainer in children’s exercise – which for kids’ fitness is so important)
GET THE FAMILY UPBEAT AND HAVING SOME FUN: This upbeat & fun family-friendly indoor virtual assault course is great –
SHORT QUICK WORKOUT – JUST 7 MINUTES: Quick but effective workout. This helps to burn off any excess calories that we may all be eating whilst staying at home, and this video is the most liked workout video on YouTube, with over 53 million downloads – because it works
AND LET ME JUST SAY ONCE MORE: EXERCISE REALLY IS MEDICINE FOR OUR MIND AND BODY
TIP 5: EAT WELL
What we eat has a big impact on our mood and energy levels, so making healthy choices is going to make you feel so much better. This will also really help with your energy levels. So, for breakfast opt for something that is going to slowly release energy through the first part of the day. If possible limit the sweet treats, and try and swap these for vegetable sticks, or fruit. Here is a good example of how to enjoy eating a healthy balanced diet:
Breakfast: Porridge or scrambled egg on wholemeal toast
Snack: Apple with a little cheese
Lunch: Homemade soup – this is a great way to get cooking and can be done using any vegetables you have, whether frozen, fresh, or even tinned. Plus this is a great way of getting in your 5 a day. You can make a big batch to feed the family, or if you’re on your own, cook a big batch and then you can freeze it.
Snack: Why not have a go at getting creative and making a healthy snack of your own, this will help stimulate your creativity. So turn into your own chef, have a look in the cupboards, and see what you can do.
TRY THIS: If you have an egg, 1 banana, and some dark chocolate powder, then try this.
Simply, in a bowl, mash up your banana to a paste, then whisk an egg, mix all together, then add in a little chocolate powder. Place into a cup that you can use in a microwave, and cook on full power for about 90 seconds. (Make sure it’s cooked all the way through.) Then remove and enjoy this healthy chocolate mug cake.
Dinner: Make dinner a wonderful experience. Set the table, light some candles, and take your time to enjoy it. And again go for healthy choices, and remember a key thing is not to go big on your portions. Stick with smaller size portions.
For dinner go for any lean meat, or if you are vegetarian a quorn/tofu or soya, alongside some oven-roasted vegetables.
And remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time make those healthy choices and stick to the right size portions, then the other 20% of the time have a little of what you fancy.
TIP 6: BE KIND
Kindness is one of the most rewarding things we can do for others but also for ourselves. More than ever we need kindness in the world. So, reach out to others, even if it is in the form of a long email you send to someone you have not spoken to for ages, or if you just draw a picture illustrating what someone means to you. Kindness is very good for your soul and helps reduce anxiety, so make someone smile and make someone feel special.
TIP 7: GET CREATIVE
Being creative is wonderful for keeping our minds healthy, so whether it is writing a short creative story, filming a blog, writing a poem, drawing a picture, or whatever, just explore your creative side. We now actually have the time to do this and you can spend many hours in a positive place in the process of creating something new.
Here is a good tip: why not find some uplifting positive quotes, write these out on pieces of paper, perhaps adding your own illustrations and then stick them around the house.
The last and the most important message I have for you is: stay home, stay moving and stay positive. For you as your online trainer I am always here to help you stay on track. We are all in this together and by fighting this together, we will win, we will beat this and the world we live in will be a better place.
EXERCISING YOUR WAY AROUND THE MENOPAUSE
We all know that we are meant to be active at every stage of life, but in our 40’s and 50’s is when IT IS CRUCIAL, and what’s exciting is it brings us so many incredible benefits.
BUT WHAT SORT OF EXERCISE SHOULD YOU BE DOING?
After all, we are all different, in regard to our lifestyle, ability, and schedules. And say if you are a beginner, where do you start? Or if you are used to running marathons, then should you be doing something else?
Before we talk about what’s best for us individually, as we are all as unique as our fingerprints, one thing that is sure is that EXERCISE will bring us all the same basic benefits, which are:-
Exercise will help to strengthen our bones. This will help protect our bone health and help prevent osteoporosis.
Exercise will strengthen our heart. And the stronger our heart, the more efficient it is as a pump, which will help look after our cardiovascular system and health.
Exercise will help to reverse a slowing down metabolism. So this will help to control your weight and lose any middle age spread.
Exercise will help produce higher levels of the feel-good hormones, so you can help to reduce anxiety and depression.
Exercise will help revamp your energy levels (almost instantly).
Exercise will help keep your joints mobile. It will also help keep your tendons, ligaments, and muscles flexible. This in turn will give you a fuller range of motion and better posture.
The key is simply about finding the right workout for you. So I have created 3 fictional characters, all very different, and hopefully you will be able to relate to one of them.
So meet the 3 ladies
Sarah, 51 – Single mum of 2 teenagers, part-time PA, never exercised in her life, and lives on a tight budget.
Pandora, 53 – Blogger and Designer. Has always dipped in and out of fitness, but not sure what to do now, and is constantly travelling around the world on business.
Mia, 47 – Full-time mum and avid runner, and running is her thing, but she’s not sure what else she should be doing
The menopause exercise that I would suggest as optimum for Sarah is that for a beginner. So we start off with easy-to-follow moves that are low-impact, and that are clearly explained, to give her the confidence that she knows that what she is doing is correct. These will be doable moves, so NO BURPEES OR PLANKS which quite frankly are going to put off any beginners about exercise in an instant.
I would also suggest she works on just doing 7 minute sessions, as this is a small amount of time that we can all find, and she will be able to squeeze this into her daily routine. This way it is not too daunting.So for instance it could be after the school drop-off, and if she is already in her leggings and t-shirt, then as soon as she is home she can get indoors and do a free YouTube workout video.
The benefit for Sarah is these workouts are designed to suit her, as all my 7-minute workouts work the full body, and I always show an easier and a harder version. So as a beginner she should like these. And as she gets fitter she can then move up on to another level.These can fit comfortably into her lifestyle. Even as a busy mum she will be able to do these quick workouts.And these are free. All my YouTube videos are completely free, so never any costs. Plus no equipment, and no need to drive to a gym or a class, so not a single penny needed.
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The menopause exercise I would suggest for Pandora consists of a couple of things. Seeing as she does so much travelling, I would recommend that she focuses on getting her step count up, as she would likely be sitting a lot while driving, on the train, or plane, so it would be good for her to aim to reach between 8 – 10 thousand steps a day. This is easy to monitor as now nearly every phone has a step counter.
Then she should look at doing some full body workouts. She could make the most of a gym if she is staying in hotels, but if not, any of my Total Body Workouts will work ,as she will be using the weight of her own body. And these she can do in a small space, so no matter where in the world she is these will work.The key for Pandora, as her routine varies from day to day, is to always aim to keep as active as she can, and set a goal of at least 4-5 times a week doing those body weight exercises.
The Benefit of these for Pandora is this is all achievable for her, and no matter how hectic her schedule is, she can still get these exercises in. Plus being active is a great way to help bring out creativity, so as a business owner she can think up lots more ideas and designs.
The menopause exercise I would suggest for Mia would definitely be some Body Weight Exercises, and look at doing some Low Impact HIIT. She will already be cardiovascular-fit as a runner, but as running just focuses on engaging your front and back muscles, I would encourage her to mix it up a little and add in some exercises that engage the side of her body too, as this way she will be looking after and protecting her joints.
And maybe some Pilates or yoga inspired moves to help increase overall flexibility. The benefit of these is that they will help to manage the other com all aspects of health and fitness which if Mia was just sticking to running she would be missing out on.
So no matter what your ability, and even if you have never exercised in your life, NOW is the time to get going. And you won’t regret it, as every workout will make you feel fabulous, help reduce menopausal symptoms, and it will be investing in your future health.
USEFUL VIDEOS TO HELP KEEP YOUR STEP COUNT UP
If you want to do an Indoor walk and tone then try this one and CLICK HERE
If you just want to get your Step Count up by 1000 steps then do this and CLICK HERE.
Firstly, some women will experience hardly any, whereas other women may experience many of the 34 menopausal symptoms (which are also the same for perimenopause)
Our menopause experience will be as unique as our fingerprint. So one woman’s journey in this stage of life could be completely different to another’s.
But the good news is that with the right Lifestyle Choices we can all naturally help to reduce near enough all of the menopausal symptoms.
DID YOU KNOW?
Currently there are over 37.5 million women going through, or about to go through, the menopause.
It is a natural stage of our life that every woman will go through. The average age is 51, but can start as early as our 40s and up until our late 50s.
SO WHAT IS THE MENOPAUSE?
Put in basic terms, the Menopause is simply when your periods stop and your body ends its fertile life. You are considered to be menopausal when you have not had a period for over 1 year.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH YOUR HORMONES IN THE MENOPAUSE?
As your ovaries stop producing eggs, your hormone levels start to decline, and it is the decline of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that can bring on many of the symptoms that occur through the menopause.
The good news is that we can reverse so many of these symptoms by exercise, and of course by our lifestyle choices and eating habits.
I am going to break this up into sections.
So let’s kick this off by looking at how exercise can help with improving and controlling our mood
Mood swings can happen within an instant, and you can feel anything from extreme anger to severe anxiety. And one of the best ways to erase this is with exercise. The reason being that when we move, our serotonin levels increase. Serotonin is basically a chemical that sends a message to our brain to feel good, which is why it is also known as the happy & feel-good hormone.
So this is where doing a quick little workout or simply a walk around the block will help alleviate any mood swings associated with the menopause.
The reason this becomes a symptom during the menopause is again down to the natural decline in levels of estrogen, as this is what prior to the menopause helped to keep our joints fully lubricated. Yet the good news is that with exercise we can help naturally to increase this, as mobility will help produce synovial fluid which is a natural lubrication for our joints. So every time you exercise you can help to stimulate this, which will then be just like you are oiling your joints, and this will reduce the joint stiffness.
Weight gain can turn up seemingly overnight! It can happen quite suddenly, and we may think “but I am not eating more than normal, so why am I piling on the pounds?!!”
This is why it may come as quite a shock. But the actual cause of that menopausal weight gain is due to an effect that not many people talk about, and failure to address this is why so many women then struggle to lose weight in and around the menopause.
The best way, and in my eyes one of the only ways, to lose weight is to start addressing the cause, which is SARCOPENIA- meaning the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of aging – which has a big effect on our resting natural calorie burn.
In our younger years we could pretty much eat what we want and not worry about our waistline changing, but as soon as SARCOPENIA takes effect things change, and all of a sudden we don’t burn off those calories as we once did.
But with exercise we can reverse this, and by doing specially created full body moves that engage multi-compound and multi-directional moves, you can reverse the SARCOPENIA EFFECT and get your metabolism back up, and then you can increase your resting calorie burn. This is the only way to reduce the excess menopausal weight, and better still to help keep it off.
But here is the clever bit: this also has a side effect of helping your joints, strengthening your bones, and lifting your mood, and it will help with improving your sleep and increasing your cardiovascular health.
During the menopause we start to lose our bone mass, so our bones become less solid and more brittle – but again the good news here is that exercise can actually help to re-strengthen your bones. The reason being that every time we apply pressure on our bones by movement it actually creates a piezo-chemical reaction, and this then helps the bone (which is actually a living and growing tissue) to become strong again. So you can build up your bone strength.
Sleep can be disturbed through the menopause, with night sweats, anxiety, and poor quality sleep. And again Lifestyle plays a high role here in helping to reduce these effects. Something that’s particularly needed is looking at a healthy diet, and avoiding certain foods close to bedtime, such as any
foods high in caffeine. Get into a set routine so that your body clock has a good pattern that it follows. Possibly aim from Monday to Friday to always be in bed at 10:30 pm, say, with all technology switched off, and give yourself a nice book to fall asleep to.
Finally let’s talk heart health, as to be honest this is the most important item of all.
As we know, in the menopause we have a decline in the production of estrogen, and one of the roles estrogen plays is to help protect our arteries. It helps to reduce any plaque that builds up inside the lining, so with the decline of estrogen the plaque can then build up, and this can cause blockages in our arteries, which then puts the heart under pressure as the circulation is being restricted. This is why more than ever before we need to look at ways to help to naturally increase our
cardiovascular health, and guess who comes back to the rescue here again –
EXERCISE AND HEALTHY EATING.
So, by doing exercise we strengthen the heart, and the stronger your heart is, the more powerful it is at pumping blood through your arteries. You then get a healthy supply of oxygen to your vital organs. Plus a strong and powerful supply of blood helps keep the artery walls clear of plaque.
And nutrition is key, because if we are eating high fatty foods and high sugar we are going to build up fatty plaques which sit on our arteries. But if we eat whole grain foods, and plenty of vegetables and fruit, we are going to be reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In summary, our Lifestyle will have a big impact on how we feel and look during the menopause.
Let’s embrace this new chapter. It is time to invest in a pair of trainers and take on the Menopause with a positive mindset, regular exercise, and healthy eating, so that we start feeling good again and back in the driving seat of being us.