What is the best exercise during Perimenopause & Menopause?

What is the best exercise during Perimenopause & Menopause?

Joint pain? Knee pain? Feeling like your metabolism has changed? If you nodded 'yes' to any of those, it might be time to think about adding little bits of weight training into your daily routine. And the good news is that it is never too late or too early to start weight training!

Here are top tips from Peachie's registered nutritionist and exercise physiologist, Natalie Rowse, BSc (hons), MRes, ANutr

Weight training and increasing dietary protein can help halt muscle loss, safeguard metabolism, maintain mobility, help reduce joint pain, and prevent sarcopenia.

The changes during perimenopause & menopause in testosterone and oestrogen can change the body's fat distribution and composition. As we decrease our muscle mass, we reduce our metabolic rate (or the number of calories we burn at rest). Therefore, starting a resistance training programme with a supportive protein intake can slow these events from happening. Aside from feeling stronger, increasing our muscle mass improves our lifespan, physical and mental health, and longevity and reduces the risk of many diseases.

There is plenty of evidence that weight training can help us to age well. By our early 40s, most of us are losing muscle mass, at a rate of about 5% a decade, with the decline often contributing to longer term frailty and a loss in all important independence.

But there is good news! Studies show that people who lift weights can slow or reverse that decline. In multiple experiments, people who start to lift weights typically gain muscle mass and strength, as well as achieving better mobility, improved mental sharpness and metabolic health. 

However, lifting weights is still shrouded with apprehension and statistics indicate that barely 17% of people over 45 regularly lift weights, and this percentage drops even more when we look at just women. 

Why is resistance training helpful?

Resistance training puts blood glucose to use, rather than circulating in the blood. This reduces the risk of T2DM (Type 2 Diabetes) and helps manage glucose spikes and excessive blood sugar fluctuations and therefore helps manage body weight (especially visceral fat which is the fat stored around the organs). 

Weight training in menopause

        There was once (and likely still is!) a fear of getting bulky from weight training, but this is highly unlikely as realistically it requires a whole lifestyle, extensive training schedule, and dietary program to gain such muscle. 

        So, how often should we weight train? 

        It is best to be consistent rather than sporadic. Start with 2-3 times per week and build up slowly. The weight doesn’t have to be very heavy, just enough to challenge the muscle.

        You don’t have to just lift weights. Gardening, shopping, and vacuuming all can be ways to challenge the muscles and make them work. 

        If you would like to find out more about weight training in menopause, here are some great social media accounts to follow for more information:

        @feelingpeachieuk

        Here is a video from Natalie showing some key weight training exercises to get started: https://www.instagram.com/p/CyOYiEANqmK/

        Weight Training exercises to get started

        @hergardengym

        Jacqueline is a great weigth training account on Instagram

        Jacqueline helps women in their 50s & 60s get strong, fit and healthy with tips to get started in the gym 

        @menopausepilates

        Menopause Pilates

        Dinah is a menopause pilates expert & author. She shows how to build resistance exercise into your daily routine, even if you just have 5 minutes to spare. 

        @flowwomenswellness 

        Pilates for menopause

        Kelsey is a Women’s Yoga Specialist and hosts a Midlife Monthly to provide a safe space for chats, challenging yet restorative yoga & journaling

        @nourished.you.pilates

        Pilates & strength training

        Emma specialises in Pilates and Women’s Strength Training as well as Pelvic Floor exercise. Her ethos is all about mobility to enjoy movement & live better for longer. 

        If you have questions drop us an email: hello@feelingpeachie.co.uk 

        We would love to chat and if you have any more specific questions for Natalie, our nutritionist we are happy to ask them on your behalf and give you as much information as we can.

        Stay Peachie 🍑

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