Firstly, let me start by saying some women can sail through the menopause without a single hot flush, and remember that while we may be all made of the same material, we are all different, so two women going through the menopause can experience very different symptoms.
So in this blog I want to cover the most common problems, and how by either exercise or diet you can reduce and better still in some cases STOP the symptoms.
Your hormones go through a rollercoaster at this time, and this causes the typical symptoms, which can be weight gain, anxiety, hot flushes, poor sleep, and more.
These, if we don’t deal with them, can then have a knock-on effect on our mood and confidence, and it becomes a negative spiral. This is why we should grab the menopause by its horns and give it a good run for its money
1: Take on the weight and let’s HIIT it hard:
Let’s start with how we can control the weight issue. And this we can do by doing HIIT workouts (= HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL WORKOUTS).These workouts can be short, and by short I mean just 4 minutes, and this works brilliantly when you are going through the menopause, as even when you are super tired you can still somehow find the energy for a 4-minute workout. This is the beauty of HIIT training, as it is quick, yet the calorie-burning effects last for at least 10 hours after.
2: Lose the lethargic feeling with a brisk walk:
When it seems impossible to keep your eyelids open during the day, try and make yourself put on your trainers and head out for some fresh air and a brisk stroll, as this will revamp your energy levels, increase your blood and oxygen supply, making you feel more awake, and will also stimulate that feel-good hormone known as serotine. (A good tip: why not download some good podcasts or audio stories, and listen and learn while you walk.) You will find this is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety and feeling a bit low, which are big symptoms of the menopause. So simply aim to walk it off.
3: Make it a good night’s sleep.
Okay, I know it is easier said than done, but if we go to bed still stressed from the day, it tends to stay in our system, often meaning that we wake at 3 am in the morning, feeling stressed and tossing and turning.So create a bedtime ritual of always having a lovely bath with some nice oils, then a beautiful freshly made bed, so you feel like you are slipping in to a hotel bed, and switch off from technology and go for a light read with a bedside light. And this way you will have calmed your body into a peaceful night’s sleep.
4: Boost back up your metabolism.
When the menopause arrives, our body’s ability to burn off calories starts to slow down. This is due to the jumble of all our hormones. To take control of this, we can get the metabolic rate back up by doing some compound moves (these are toning exercises that engage multiple muscle groups).The result of this is that you fire up lots of excess active muscle fibres, and for these to work they have to be fuelled by calories. So aim to do toning workouts at least 3 times a week.
5: Have plenty of water.
Obviously the first thing you want to reach out for when you are having a hot flush is a glass of ice-cold water. But don’t just wait for the hot flushes to arrive; keep yourself fully hydrated, as this helps with your energy, and weight, and can even reduce, or better still prevent, those hot flushes.
However, as I say we are all different, and it affects us in different ways.
But one thing is for sure: following all the tips above will help improve your mood, help cope with the menopause, and help reduce any weight gain.