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 beyond 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,- Single mum of 2 teenagers, part-time PA, never exercised in her life, and lives on a tight budget.
Pandora – 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 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.
Is 7 minutes’ workout effective?
So many people think is 7 minutes enough for an effect workout? well the answer is yes.
My first 7-minute workout that I created has a unique set of 7 bodyweight moves that help to strip off the inches and burn off body fat fast.
It has now become one of the most liked out workout videos ever on YouTube with over 1 million likes and simply because it works and it is effective. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO
On average people are losing from between 1 – 2 inches from their belly by following this home based 7-minute workout.
READ SOME OF THE REVIEWS AND RESULTS
How does the 7-minute workout help you lose weight?
In my specially created routine I focus on using certain moves known as Multiple Compound, these work all your major muscles groups, which means you burn off lots of calories, whereas many other workouts only use smaller muscle groups resulting in less effect on weight loss. So if you are looking for healthy weight loss, then following any of my 7-minute workouts will do this and at the same time increase your physical and mental health.
So what is a 7-minute workout?
It is a short workout that obviously is just 7 minutes long, and I simply use 7 exercises that you complete for a duration of 60 seconds each. The great thing with this being so short is that you can easily find time in the day to squeeze this in.
As a trainer with over 20 years’ experience I have developed a unique method which is very different from other traditional workouts.
For example, so many other trainers will use small moves that don’t really effect the calorie burn. A great example of this is the plank – this will not burn calories and actually broadens the waistline. Yet if you follow the first move of mine that I use in my7 Minute Belly Fat workout, this helps strip off belly fat and tone and sculpt your waist and ab muscles at the same time. So the secret behind the 7-minute workout is the special combination of my unique exercise moves.
How many times a week should I exercise?
I suggest you simply follow my 7-minute workout for 7 days and I set this as a 7-day challenge – which is totally doable. And people see amazing results. Fitness and health is about lifestyle and making something consistent, and this is why 7 minutes works, because we can all find 7 minutes a day to do a seven minute Lucy workout.
So this is why for 2020 I wanted to create my online interactive calendar that gives you 12 inspiring quotes that will get you excited and on the right track to make this the year that you say: ‘Yes I Can do anything I put my mind to’.
YES YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT
You may think that once you reach a certain age that weight gain is a given! And there is nothing we can do about this.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Let me dispose of that thought straight away and tell you that YES YOU CAN. No matter what age, you can control your weight, and you can get rid of menopause belly fat. So if you are in middle age, perimenopause, or menopause, this blog is going to be a particularly good read for you.
As a trainer helping 1000s of women lose weight successfully and keep it off (you can see just some of my transformations here), I know what works and how to get you results.
Let’s quickly talk about the main causes of weight gain (especially around our belly).
WHY WE GAIN MENOPAUSAL WEIGHT
Firstly, the Hormonal Fluctuations with the Estrogen levels dropping can cause excess weight to sit around our tummies, and it can seem like it literally appears overnight.
Then Sarcopenia (the decline of active muscle tissue) means our basal metabolic rate starts to decline, so our body is burning less calories daily. This natural process can actually start to happen in our early 30’s.
And lack of Sleep can be a major player in weight gain, as it jumbles up the hormones that are responsible for feeling hungry and feeling full.
So here is how YOU can get rid of that menopause tummy by EXERCISE AND HEALTHY EATING. Let me explain how and what you need to do:
HOW TO LOSE MENOPAUSAL WEIGHT GAIN
First of all you need to be doing some form of HIIT training – this means High Intensity Interval Training – and the reason this works is that the short bursts of working harder help to spike an effect known as EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption). This means you have a rise in hourly calorie burn hours after doing a short HIIT workout. This is why I suggest doing any of my short HIIT workouts first thing in the morning as this is a great way to help your body burn off excess body fat. (Plus these workouts help your heart health, fitness, and mental well being.)
Then we also need to be looking at doing Cardio Tone workouts to help reactive muscle tissue that has become inactive due to what is known as Sarcopenia.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a big cause of weight gain, the decline of active muscle tissue. So by doing big dynamic moves, as I do in all of my workouts, you can restore the muscle fibres back to being active, and this is one of the quickest and best ways to help reduce weight and also manage your weight. The added bonus of this is that it helps prevent osteoporosis, and helps to improve you posture. Plus it shapes your body up and gives a lift in all the right places.
Now let’s just talk about sleep. And this is where making exercise part of your life will help to improve the quality of your sleep, because being physically active requires you to expand your energy levels, and this will then at the end of the day help you feel more rested and give you a better quality night’s sleep.
And obviously there’s the matter of our diet. And this really is about eating a healthy diet which is something we all want to strive to do, to be in our best health, and the best diet is a well-balanced one that is full of plenty of wholegrains, legumes, vegetables, lean meats, fish, fruits, nuts and seeds, and one that focuses on the right size portions. I plan to do a blog on this very soon in more detail. The other great way to keep control of your weight is by aiming to do 10 thousand steps a day this is a great habit to get into.
If you apply all the above, I can promise you can feel great, and be able to throw out those elasticated waistbands and get back into the clothes you wore before the weight gain. Look at this as simply a new stage of your life and one that you are taking control of, with regard to your health and wellbeing, and you will see that exercise really does become our best friend when it comes to wanting to look and feel our best.
Tip 1:- Stop adding it to your coffee or tea, and that includes any syrups. A great alternative is to have herbal teas instead.
Tip 2:- Be smart when it comes to cereals. These are often the worst offenders when it comes to hidden sugars, as they may scream ‘healthy’ on the packaging, like for example, wholegrain, organic, natural, high in vitamins, gluten free but these can be high in sugar. Just because it says it is wholegrain or the like, it doesn’t mean that it’s not high in sugar. You are better off going with something like plain oats, and then adding in your own flavourings, such as blueberries, almonds and seeds.
Tip 3:- They are now everywhere, and that is the ‘healthy snacks’. Just like the cereals, these healthy snacks can be so misleading, I know of several big influencers on social media within the health and fitness industry that have launched what they call healthy snack bars, but these again have a high sugar content, in many cases more than a bar of chocolate. So I guess the key here is that you do need to read every single food label carefully, even if it claims to be healthy!! One particular energy ball by a well known health influencer has – are you ready for this? – double the amount of sugar of a Krispy Crème doughnut. As a trainer I think this is so misleading, and it actually is heart-breaking for the people out there doing their best to make health choices but being misled so much.
- Good quick healthy natural snacks would be:-
- Handful of strawberries and some cashew nuts.
- Hot cup of almond milk with some added cinnamon.
- A few dates (this is like nature’s toffee).
- Stewed apple with a few sultanas.
TIP 4: Eat more fat (good fat this is)
When we consume lots of sugar in our diet it actually makes us crave more and increases our appetite, which then leads to weight gain and less energy. So instead focus on consuming more healthy fats in your diet, and protein, because this will help reduce hunger and manage your energy.
Example of a high sugar lunch:-
- White sandwich chicken mayonaise
- Granola bar
- Low-fat fruit yoghurt
This lunch will cause weight gain, and an energy crash about 1 to 2 hours after eating it.
Example of a healthy lunch:-
- Brown bread chicken salad sandwich with mashed avocado and tomato
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- 1 Pear and several almonds
TIP 5:- Eat more vegetables than fruit. Even though fruit is natural, it can still be high in sugar – especially dried fruit. So, when you can, always opt for veggies over the fruit bowl.
TIP 6:- Water. We have heard this so many times, but it is so true: keep drinking the pure clear stuff. This will help keep you more alert and awake, and often when we feel tired we reach for sweet sugary temptations, so prevent that from happening by sipping on water throughout the day.
TIP 7:- Have your go-to sweet treat. I am the first to admit I have a sweet tooth, and over the years I have learnt how to substitute for it. And something I do is take a small pot of cream cheese, mix in a little cinnamon, then spread onto a banana. This hits all the right spots for me and it tastes delicious. So do some research and find your favourite sweet treat that you can make yourself.
TIP 8:- Okay, this one is straightforward. Instead of a spoonful of sugar, have a spoonful of determination and discipline. It may be hard for the first few days, because sugar is very addictive, but when you start to cut back it does become easier.
TIP 9:- Visualize the benefits of cutting back on sugar. Picture how much better you are going to look and feel. Also keep in mind that sugar is a big cause of wrinkles, so cutting back on this is going to greatly improve your skin.
TIP 10:- Is simply that you are sweet enough as you are. And sugar is definitely not that sweet, as it can cause so much damage to our bodies.
And finally keep you body moving as exercise is great way to strip off belly fat.
6 Easy Ways to Clean up your Diet. These simple tips to your shopping, cooking and eating habits can easily transform, your health, waistline and energy. Why not aim to do all 6 of these for 1 week and see how much better you feel and easy these habits are to stick to.
And here are just some of the benefits you will get if you apply these 6 tips, you will sleep better, boost your immune system, improve your digestive health, have a sharper mind, balance out your hormones, slow down the ageing process, increase your heart health, prevent disease and help control your weight, so that is a good enough reason to always apply these 6 suggestions for healthy eating.