Why You Need to Exercise During Menopause

Menopause is a time of many ups and downs. You may be happy to be rid—or almost rid—of your period. No more cramps or worrying about tampons or pads. At the same time, you may be mourning the end of your childbearing years and dealing with symptoms like fatigue, mood swings, and lack of sleep that make exercise the last thing you want to do. But it’s important to stay active during this time of life because physical exercise helps with many of the symptoms of menopause. Plus, it helps keep you looking and feeling younger. For many reasons, exercise and menopause should go hand in hand.

The Importance of Exercise During Menopause and Beyond

A regular full body workout is good for you at any age, but a menopause diet and exercise plan can help you better handle the changes your body goes through at this time. It may help:

Combat weight gain

You begin to lose about one percent of your muscle mass starting at age 30. And it only goes down from there. Muscle burns fat, so muscle loss is one of the reasons middle age tends to equal weight gain, especially around the abdomen.1 By building muscle, the right exercise for menopause weight gain helps keep your metabolism from going into free fall. Maintaining a healthy weight also helps prevent some of the diseases common in middle age, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.2

Strengthen your bones

In addition to muscle, we also lose bone as we age. Both weight bearing exercises like walking, hiking, and playing tennis, and strength training exercise like the Curves Circuit, help strengthen your bones.3

Boost your mood

Fluctuating hormones during menopause can lead to mood swings, anxiety and depression.4 Menopause exercise, like your Curves workout, is a healthy, natural way to boost your mood. In one study, people who exercised regularly reported 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health per month than those who didn’t work out. 5

Put you to sleep

One of the most common complaints from women during menopause is trouble sleeping. A menopause exercise plan can help you sleep longer and better, which will give you more energy for tomorrow’s exercise routine.6

The Best Exercise for Menopause

Whether you are getting in shape for the first time in your life or you’ve been exercising for years, your menopause exercise should look the same. A menopause workout plan should include all the elements of fitness, including strength training, cardio, balance, and stretching.

Cardiovascular fitness

Cardio activities get your heart rate up for an extended period of time. In addition to biking, swimming, or brisk walking, you can improve your cardio fitness with circuit and interval training. Interval training involves brief bursts of high intensity exercise with slower paced breaks in between. During circuit training, you alternate between different activities to keep your heart working. The Curves full body workout includes both interval and circuit training elements.7

Strength training

Strength training is an important part of a menopause exercise plan because it improves muscle strength and helps keep you nimble and independent. Plus, because muscle burns fat, you can use strength training as exercise for menopause weight gain. The Curves machines use hydraulic resistance, which means, the faster and harder you push, the more resistance will build up. MyCurves On Demand, Curves at-home workout, includes a high-quality resistance band for strength training, replicating the same moves as the machines feature in club. Both the Curves equipment and resistance band workouts are safe for everybody, regardless of your fitness ability, because you’re controlling the effort and resistance.

Core exercises

One of the first areas of your body to weaken as you approach menopause is your core. Your core muscles help support your back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. Core strengthening exercises are some of the best exercises for menopause, so try to include them in your menopause exercise at least a few times a week.9

Stretching

Muscles and tendons tend to stiffen as you get older, especially those in your back and legs. Incorporate stretching into your menopause workout routine and try to continue to move around and stretch throughout the rest of your day.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of menopause and looking for a workout to target menopause symptoms or tackle menopause weight gain, look no further than Curves. The Curves workout includes all the best exercises for menopause and has been designed for women of any age. You’ll likely connect with other members, women who are going through the same mental and physical changes as you. Plus, you’ll get the support of your Curves Coach who can help you craft a menopause diet and exercise plan to help get you through this important milestone.

 

References:

  1. Fitness tips for menopause: Why fitness counts
  2. Fitness tips for menopause: Why fitness counts
  3. Exercise for Your Bone Health
  4. Menopause Mood Swings
  5. Association between physical exercise and mental health in 1·2 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: a cross-sectional study
  6. Interrelationship between Sleep and Exercise: A Systematic Review
  7. Menopause Mood Swings
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