All women will face that life changing event, making sure you take the steps for staying fit during menopause will make all the difference in how you physically handle it. With hormonal changes weight gain and muscle wasting are a possibility but we don’t have to sit by and let this happen. We can take things as they come and make lifestyle changes.
Tips for Staying Fit During Menopause
Menopause can be hard in many ways, but hot flashes, something that medical science is yet to find an exact cause for, are one of the most obtrusive. Hot flashes do not directly get in the way of a normal life, but can be so uncomfortable that they make it hard to think of anything else. Exercise, especially, can be a challenge. When you’re boiling inside, doing something that makes you feel even hotter can’t appeal.
Nevertheless, a regular fitness routine is an important part of life past menopause. Activity can help minimize abdominal weight gain, strengthen the bones, alleviate depression and offer protection from a wide variety of age-related conditions, cancer and diabetes included. Some studies even point to the possibility that regular exercise lowers the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. If you aren’t sure how you can be regular with your exercise when working out makes you uncomfortably warm, here are tips that can help.
Keep from doing anything to trigger a flash
From alcohol to caffeine and tobacco, a number of lifestyle substances are known to trigger hot flashes. Even well-spiced foods aren’t free of risk. In many women, they do set off hot flashes. It can take some research to find out what affects you, and keep those foods out of your life. As with allergies, you’ll need to go through a process of elimination to make sure you don’t end up doing the wrong thing, or avoiding something that’s safe.
Whatever turns out to be the ultimate cause of the hot flash, disturbed circulation under the surface of the skin is one immediate cause. This means that if you are prone to flushes, you shouldn’t ever wear tight clothing that interferes with your circulation. Loose, comfortable clothing can help.
It’s also important to pay attention to the materials that you choose. Cotton and other light, airy fabrics make a lot of sense since they help your body lose heat quickly, and help sweat dry. Since hot flashes come and go quickly, it’s a good idea to dress in layers. You should be able to quickly peel off a couple of layers when a hot flash strikes, and put them back on when you feel cool and dry again.
Consider taking up swimming
Being in a pool of cool, refreshing water is the best feeling when you feel excess warmth coming over you. It doesn’t even matter if it’s winter. If you can find a heated pool, you should continue with your swimming. You’ll find that the water still does cool you off. If you tend to suffer from anxiety, a condition that is known to trigger such attacks, swimming can make all the more sense. It is a soothing activity.
Whatever you take up, get indoors in the summer
Whether you like group exercise programs (check out these Kayla Itsines reviews and the alternatives), running or weight training, doing it indoors gives you far more control over the temperature than the outdoors. You can turn up the air conditioning, or at least turn a fan on. If you have some exercise equipment at home, your freedom to fine-tune your environment is even greater.
Get plenty of fluids
In many ways, the secrets to safe and comfortable exercise through a hot flash, are no different from the tips that you would follow for safe exercise in summer. One of the first rules is to get plenty of fluids. Since hot flashes come from disturbances to the vascular system, doing everything you can for better circulation is key. Plenty of water can help. Sports drinks, on the other hand, are best avoided. It can be hard to determine how safe any given drink is, considering that these products come with plenty of additives.
Take up yoga
Yoga is a great mood booster. Following a proper course can help you achieve balance in your body’s levels of endorphins and GABA, substances that help lift the mood.
Finally, do consider alternative therapies
From hypnosis to supplements such as ginseng, Evening Primrose oil and soy, different products help alleviate symptoms for different people. It does help to give natural supplements a try.
Are you or someone you know facing the side effects of menopause? What tips can you offer for staying fit during menopause? Have you seen things work and not work?
Niamh Curtis is a young-at-heart Grandma who enjoys writing on a range of women’s topics. Recently retired as a nurse, she now enjoys weekends away with girlfriends, gardening and sharing her opinions on the world wide web.