Menopause and Exercise – it’s simple!
Let’s make it easy shall we?
Time and again I am asked “What should I be doing for exercise during Menopause?”
Bone loading and cardio…. it is simple! Of course if you want to to the above then it will just take time! However if you just want to stay healthy read on……..
I really hate when PT’s throw into the mix that you should only be doing low level exercise, or just HIIT with this or that. Come on!! Our cardiovascular system and our bones need looking after now more than ever.
Osteoporosis is the silent killer, after 30 our bone density hits a decline so great that it is frightening, so therefore doing weight bearing exercise is a must.
Also when we hit Menopause we are at higher risk of stroke and heart disease therefore cardio exercise is a must.
If you can’t get to the gym it doesn’t matter. You can use an exercise band or some water bottles if you don’t have any equipment like weights.
I would just like to add that before undertaking any new exercise regime please get the ok from your GP. When you have finished any exercise routine please stretch out the muscles you have used. If you are confused please have a little look on my Instagram “Meno and me” or on the website.
For cardio you can walk, cycle, row, stair climb, dance, swim, attend group classes; there is so much that can be done. My poor sister when she had her bunion operated on, I found her a gym that had an arm ergo-meter in so that she still could get a workout! What is that I hear you ask!? It is basically a bike for arms, you sit in a seat and you hold onto a revolving handle then use it as you would pedals on a bike, do she get breathless? Yes job done!
I once had a client who fell over, after her initial rest, she contacted me and was sorry that she couldn’t exercise as she had fractured her elbow on the right side and thumb on left. I bought a flotation belt (massive belt that keeps you afloat in water) and took her to a pool to do some deep water running.
So now I have the cardio sorted what do I need for my bones?
The major sites of Osteoporosis are the; Hips, wrist and spine so these are the sites you need to concentrate on.
Wrists; Press ups and or tricep dips (see exercise page)
Lower Spine; Seated back extension (see Photo below) you can do a back extension either on the floor or on a ball, however if you have osteoporosis in your spine then this can be contraindicated. So stick with this seated version.
Keep back straight
Keeps abs pulled in
Keep your arms straight
Hold in the upright position for 6 seconds.
Hips; Abduction (see photo of me on the floor) or lunges and squats, again see on exercise page.
Upper spine; Bent over row (See the exercise page)
What equipment do I need?
Basically you don’t need to enter a gym to help your body through Menopause. If you want to buy anything then I would suggest an exercise band and the strongest one there you can lay your hands on.
How often do I need to do these?
Do each exercise 12 to 15 times and do them twice, not on consecutive days. 3 times per week.
How often do I do cardio?
At least 30 minutes 3 times per week, this can be broken up into chunks if you can’t do it in one hit. Why can’t you do something every day? Walking is so easy. If you do it with friends then it doesn’t seem a chore, get out and have a good chat and laugh. If I can’t get out I have a really old exercise bike that is in my bedroom, old as the hills, but it’s functional and if I can get to the gym or don’t want to go out, I pedal for 30 minutes and feel much happier when I have finished.
I hope this has cleared up a few myths; it really isn’t as hard as you think. Just start today with walking, 5 minutes if you haven’t done anything before and build up 2 minutes each time you go out. If you buddy up with a friend and have a real good natter and laugh it will make you smile as well as making the time go quicker.
Remember ladies, whilst you are doing all of the above to help your bones and heart, you will be burning calories, toning up and lift your mood. So think of all the positives!
Good luck ladies!