Let’s face it, we can all lose our exercise motivation mojo at some point, especially during menopause!
Dipping hormones and cold winter nights can mean we have zero motivation to get out of our PJs, let alone the house!
Even though I’m a health professional I can lose my mojo sometimes, but what I do at times like these is to go into “auto pilot”, which means I go through the motions. I might not enjoy it as much as other times but I get my head down and just do it! I have learnt that this lacklustre feeling will pass. Yes, it’s the truth!
So, what keeps me motivated when I just want to drink hot chocolate (or wine!) and sit in my PJs?
Firstly, my professional knowledge of being in the fitness industry for 25 years! Physiologically, it is only going to do me good.
Personally, I have had some tough times and being active has kept me sane.
I know that inactivity is a rocky road to go down and I will suffer both mentally and physically. I was inactive for a couple of years due to an accident and surgery, and as I’ve said before, this is when I had my first panic attack so I know that it didn’t do my mental health any good. My body also suffered—I carried more weight than I was comfortable with, my body ached, I felt very sluggish, had brain fog, lost concentration and just generally felt rubbish.
If you follow me on Instagram, especially on my stories, then you know that I struggle just like everyone else but I have to keep going mentally otherwise the menopause demons come and bite me on the bum!
With Christmas (sorry!) around the corner, now is the time to get into some good habits so we are ahead of the game come January!
So, here are some tips from my menopause fitness tool kit
Don’t beat yourself up: We are so good at this. Please don’t—we are on a journey and this is a little blip. Also, if you do, then the stress hormone cortisol will elevate which means that you hold onto your fat stores!
Identify the source: Is it a meno symptom? If so then try and deal with that and mentally section it off. For example, a dry vagina can cause any hard exerciser to stop in their tracks! Go to see your GP and get some internal oestrogen cream https://www.instagram.com/p/B4o27HIl7rH/
Painful joints: Take time to do more stretching. https://menoandme.com/muscle-and-joint-pain/
Anxiety: Talk to someone about this. Are you perhaps drinking too much alcohol and caffeine? This will make it worse. Being physically active will help alleviate anxiety, just a brisk ten-minute walk outside will do wonders for an anxious mind.
Lack of sleep: This can make us feel very demotivated, really prioritise this and see how you can get a good night’s sleep. Have you got a good bedtime routine? https://menoandme.com/2018/02/13/why-i-feared-my-bed/
Talk to your GP if necessary—there are various short-term medications that could help such as melatonin or a low dose of anti-depressants. HRT can also help with this.
Remember every little thing counts: I know that I cannot always exercise at the same intensity all of the time because of pain or fatigue. If this is the case for you, look at doing something at a lower level. Going out for a walk with a friend will lift your spirits and also be great for your physical health—don’t underestimate how good walking is.
Broken? If the source of your inactivity is down to an injury or illness then please remember that you will heal and again, this is a moment in time. I have been broken many times over the years and feel blessed that I am functional again. I accept that I won’t ever be how I was a few years ago but I am thankful for what I can do.
Accept that at first you might not like your new regime but over time you will learn to love it when you feel the benefits and see your tummy shrinking!
Make a plan and stick to it. We put coffee mornings, drinks, lunches and dinners in our diary. Schedule in your activity too, even if it’s getting off the bus one stop earlier and walking. Planning your meals will also make a huge difference.
Buddy up with someone: We can all struggle during this time of year but if you are meeting a friend to go for a walk or a class then you won’t have an excuse to stay in your PJs!
Good fuel: I always advise clients to look at what they are putting into their bodies. If it is so far removed from the original source then how much goodness are you putting into your body? Our gut is also called our second brain and like everything else, it ages. We need to make sure we put good fuel into our body to absorb as many nutrients as possible. If we put processed food into our body it will not fuel us and we will feel lethargic. We cannot be as laissez faire as when we were younger, we need nutrient dense food in our bodies.
Look at your food intake: The change of seasons can mean that we go to ground a bit and feel like eating more hearty meals. If so, then let’s look at seasonal soups and one-pot meals with plenty of veggies as eating lots of stodgy carbs will just make our middles grow!
Alcohol: This can add up those hidden calories—a small glass of white wine is 120 calories. Do you pour small glasses at home? A glass here or there can soon add up and it will also mess with your sleep, mood, energy and motivation. Like everything, use with moderation.
Reminders: Put notes around the house or on your phone listing the benefits of exercise. When those PJs and chocolate are calling use this list. Exercising will…
Beat the belly fat
Help my mental health
Give me more energy
Help with concentration
Assist with better sleep
Improve my self confidence
Decrease pain in my body
Decrease the risk of short- and long-term disease prevention
Help me be more productive
Make me happier
And lastly be honest!! Nobody is going to look after you better than you, but if you are not honest with yourself then you are not looking after number one.
Discount on Menopause products; Vit D & Magnesium
During this time of year when the sun is low it is a good idea to take some extra Vit D supplements. Magnesium bath flakes are a great edition to our menopause tool kit. A magnesium bath will help not only with menopause aches and pains but fight off the seasonal cold that can cause muscles and joint stiffness! Magnesium is mother natures calming mineral so a relaxing magnesium bath will help with sleep and help combat the menopause anxiety.
Here is a 15% discount code kindly supplied from the company BetterYou. They offer plenty of other products too.
Add meno15 at the checkout.
Menopause exercise and Education Session
Next Saturday I will be hosting a 2 hour workshop in the beautiful yoga studio Samsara in Earlsfield.
I love teaching these workshops, as by the end it is so lovely to see women actually feel more empowered and less scared of what is happening to them.
Saturday 23rd November 2pm until 4pm £30 book here