Health

Exercise is beneficial in menopause; see what to do in training – 05/12/2022

Menopause is the time that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles, diagnosed after going 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen around 40 to 50 years old, and the climacteric (pre-menopause period) begins with the menstrual cycle usually irregular and ovulation often does not occur, until the moment comes when the cycle stops and female hormones drop to almost zero, in fact, menopause occurs, which is caused by the “depletion” of the ovaries.

Menopause is a natural biological process and along with it there is a drop in estrogen (“female hormone”) production. Its physical symptoms — such as hot flashes — and emotional symptoms can disrupt sleep, decrease energy and even affect mental health. There are many effective treatments available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there is evidence that low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, can help alleviate some symptoms for many women. While a simple walk around the block is beneficial for your overall health, there are ways to take these steps forward to remedy menopause-related issues.

See some tips.

– Perform weight training to increase strength Loss of bone and muscle mass can be a big problem during menopause. Research from the University of Minnesota (USA) found that muscle cells begin to disappear with a decline in estrogen production, which occurs at menopause. As muscle mass decreases, so does the support the muscles provide to the spine, joints, and other bones. Adding weight training can help maintain muscle mass.

– Perform HIIT protocols While walking can be an effective way to maintain a healthy weight, you may need to change your pace to improve your fitness. There are benefits to interval training to help with cardiovascular conditioning. A tip is to start with short intervals—run or walk faster for 30 seconds and then return to a regular pace for about 2 to 3 minutes. You can also incorporate uphill walking into your route or a gentle incline on a treadmill.

– Long distance and short duration Estrogen helps reduce inflammation in the body, and as levels of the hormone decline during menopause, many women experience increased pain. Areas particularly susceptible to this pain are the joints of the knees, shoulders, elbows, and hands.

Some women experience new or increasing joint pain or intensify pain from old joint injuries. According to Mayo Clinic advice, doing 150 minutes of low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, a week helps relieve joint pain and stiffness common during menopause. If long walks are too painful, break them up into short 10-minute walks.

Choose a good playlist Mood swings, anxiety and depression can all be associated with menopause due to hormonal changes in the body. Hiking can help alleviate some of these mental health symptoms. Exercise improves mood because and relieves stress due to the release of endorphins. You can multiply these natural mood-boosting benefits by creating an exciting playlist for hiking, as research shows that music can reduce anxiety and regulate emotions.

A study of Brunel University London found that adding music to exercise can help spark positive thoughts and stave off fatigue. Music can help distract you from negative or anxious thoughts, as well as reduce perceived exertion, making workouts feel more fun than a chore.

How to split workouts

The best way to reap the benefits of walking is to incorporate it into your weekly routine. To reach the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week, get at least a 30-minute walk five days a week. To help build a routine, schedule yourself to exercise at the same time each day. Always go for walks outside to change the scenery and enjoy the added benefits of fresh air, nature and sun.

A good strategy, too, is to combine it with mindful walking techniques — an aspect of mindfulness, conscious walking, a kind of “walking meditation.” This is an excellent way to clear your mind of negative thoughts and restore your sense of focus.

It’s also a great way to observe your surroundings, giving due attention to everything and nature. It is still a way of practicing movement without a goal or intention. Mindful walking simply means walking, as we become aware of each step and our breathing. Walking attentively allows us to be aware of the pleasure of walking. We can keep our steps slow, relaxed and calm. There’s no rush, there’s nowhere to go. Mindful walking can release our sorrows and worries and help bring peace to our body and mind.

While no exercise plan is guaranteed to remedy all uncomfortable menopausal symptoms, adding in regular low-impact aerobic activities like walking can help build a strong, resilient body and mind. This mental and physical strength will help you deal more easily with changes in your body, both emotionally and physically.

References:

  • Bigliassi M; Karageorghis C; Bishop D; et al. Cerebral effects of music during isometric exercise: An fMRI study. International Journal of Psychophysiology. Volume 133, November 2018, Pages 131-139.
  • Show EC; Etnier JL. Perceived Effects of Music and Video on Effect exertion during high-intensity exercise. Journal of Sport and Health Science. Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2017, Pages 81-88.
  • Collins BC; Arpke RW; Larson AA; et al. Estrogen Regulates the Satellite Cell Compartment in Females. ARTICLE| VOLUME 28, ISSUE 2, P368-381.E6, 2019.
  • Lee, et al. Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation: Gregory N. Bratmana, et al; Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.
  • Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/basics/definition/con-20029473
  • Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic-what-is-perimenopause-menopause-postmenopause
  • Guyton and Hall. Textbook of medical physiology. 13 edition. Ed. Elsevier.

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