The Surprising Ways Exercise Helps With Menopausal Challenges
Want to know how exercise can be your secret weapon against more than just weight gain at menopause? Join me as I spill the tea on how exercise can tackle bloating, hot flashes, joint pain, low libido, painful sex, and God awful fatigue! Let's rewrite the menopause narrative together.
Walking after dinner is an awesome strategy for aiding digestion (and it SO improves your quality of life)! Aerobic exercise at any time, keeps things moving and helps manage cortisol - preventing your body from storing fat around your middle. Core exercises and stretches that involve twisting and putting pressure on your innards, give the intestines a bit of a massage and help gas move through the body. And finally, drinking plenty of water before, during, and after workouts helps with constipation and flushing out excess toxins and sodium.
Regulates Hot Flashes
While exercise might make you feel hot in the moment, it regulates your core temperature overall and reduces hot flashes. Regular physical activity prompts the creation of more blood vessels - which help blood to flow to the surface to cool down during a hot flash. Additionally, controlled breathing, like the kind you do in a yoga class, is said to help prevent the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.
Prevents Joint Pain
Joints get stiff and painful when you DON’T move them (or if you overdo it). The objective is to monitor and preserve the full range of motion in each of your joints. In addition, you want the muscles around your joints to be in optimal condition to keep joints moving in the correct plane of motion. Strengthening exercise, including resistance and anaerobic training (sometimes in the form of physical therapy) helps with stability. Dynamic and static stretches help with mobility.
Boosts Libido and Makes Sex More Comfortable
Believe it or not, exercise can benefit your sex life in a major way. Sexual arousal's physiological aspect depends on increased blood flow. Exercise boosts circulation, promoting enhanced blood flow throughout the entire body, including the genital region. This contributes to improved lubrication. Additionally, the surge of feel-good endorphins and heightened activity in your sympathetic nervous system after exercise leave you ready to roll. Plus - let's not forget – exercise is a stress-buster, and managing stress is a key player in unlocking arousal for many women.
It can be hard to kick start an exercise program when you're feeling tired, but aerobic workouts improve your energy levels fast. Once you adapt to exercise that elevates your heart rate, tackling comparatively easier tasks in daily life becomes easier. Over time, your body starts to crave cardio sessions, heightening your energy levels in anticipation! Additionally, working out helps give you more energy by helping you sleep better - just be mindful not to overdo it or do high intensity workouts right before bed!
So there you have it. There is hope. Alongside weight management, you can use exercise for menopause - to combat bloating, hot flashes, joint pain, low libido, painful sex, and lack of energy as part of a holistic approach.
Aim for 2 full body workouts per week and to be active every day. I hope you will workout with me sometime soon. In the meantime to help kick start your fitness journey, I've got a little gift for you - if you haven't already, download my free exercise motivation journal to tap into your deeper motivations and supercharge your willpower.
Stay fit, stay fabulous,
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Clara Depont is a certified personal trainer at www.claradepont.com where she trains women in their 50s and beyond. When she’s not writing blogs on how to stay vibrant, fit and happy she’s traveling in search of a forest or a sexy coastline. You can get to know her best through Weekly Emails, Instagram or Facebook. She is British and lives in New Mexico.
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