Menopause is a normal condition that happens to every woman as they age. The term menopause is used to describe any of the changes a woman goes through just before or after she stops menstruating, marking the end of her reproductive period. The ovaries stop producing eggs, and oestrogen and progesterone drop. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, (the period of time when your ovaries start producing less oestrogen), oestrogen levels decline quickly, and it is then that you start to experience the many symptoms that come with the menopause.
I meet many women at this stage, that are struggling with the symptoms of menopause. It’s a really huge change in life, and if not managed correctly, can lead to turning to alcohol, sugar and other bad habits, that make everything so much worse. There is a big sense of loss, a huge overwhelming sense of worry, fear and a feeling that you don’t have control anymore.
The menopause is such a huge change in a womans life, yet still such a private topic and one I find that we don’t discuss enough.
Symptoms can include
- Irregular or skipped periods
- Mood swings
- Hot flushes
- Racing heart
- Joint and muscle aches and pains
- Changes in libido (sex drive)
- Vaginal dryness
- Bladder control problems
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Thinning hair and dry skin
- Loss of breast fullness
Not all women get all of these symptoms, but many get many of them.
Clients often start with us experiencing many of these symptoms, and feel frustrated and fed up that their clothes are tight, they’re gaining weight around the middle, and they don’t feel in control of their own bodies.
Im my experience of coaching clients going through the menopause, it’s the feeling of not feeling fully in control that hits hardest, as they’ve spent so many years feeling in control. That on top of a lack of sleep, mood swings, hot flushes and changes physically to the body, leave many women feeling quite alone, worried for the future, and not feeling good about themselves.
It’s here when you can feel at a crossroads. It’s here when you make a choice. You may find yourself turning to alcohol or food, while you seek comfort. You start to drink more, most nights, or nightly, until it’s just part of your daily routine. But you know deep down, it’s making you feel worse. You may start to really comfort eat, eating at night on the couch, to comfort yourself and to try to feel good, for just a few moments. You start to get stuck in a vicious cycle. Bad daily habits make you feel sluggish, tired and left with not very much energy. This just compounds how you already feel.
You may feel that there’s no point, but the great news is, is that there’s so much you can do to get back to feeling good about yourself again, and I know this because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. At Inspire Fitness, we’ve coached so many women from feeling bad, their clothes feeling tight, who aren’t sleeping great, and have no energy, to feeling good again, full of hope and ready for the next chapter. Back in the driving seat of their own life.
Yes, muscle mass decreases and your metabolism decreases as you age, (which make weight gain easier), but there’s a type of exercise that you can do, that will increase your muscle mass, and therefore increase your metabolism, reversing the effects, and putting you back in control again.
Interval training, mixed with resistance training is the secret to how we get our clients into shape, with some ladies getting into the best shape of their lives, for the first time ever. Interval training is brilliant for burning fat. It’s time efficient, and gets your metabolism high, so you burn fat long after your session. Because of the shortness of the work intervals, it helps keep you injury free to and can be easy on the joints and bones, with proper guidance.
Resistance training increases your muscle mass, effectively reversing the natural decrease of muscle mass, that happens when you age. You need lean muscle mass to keep your metabolism high and to turn you into a calorie-burning machine. Muscle mass burns fat, keeping you trim and fitting great in your clothes. It’s what some people called ‘looking toned’.
Resistance training is also really important for your bones, as it’s around the menopause time, that osteoporosis can develop, if you’re not doing the correct training.
The third thing that’s essential to do, is to focus on your core, which helps prevent back pain, keeps you strong, and has the added bonus of giving you a defined waist, along with proper nutrition. Both resistance training and interval training also blast fat around the middle.
Interval training combined with resistance training lifts your mood, helps you sleep better and literally leaves you feeling more capable in control. How do I know this? I’ve training over 3,809 women over 11 years at Inspire Fitness and I see the transformation happen with my very own eyes. This type of training will help with your sleep, and help with the mood swings.
You’ll feel in control, you’ll feel you’re taking action, and doing something positive about it. You’ll feel a sense of achievement again, and that you’re progressing once again. And you’ll have something really healthy in your life, that will help keep you away from alcohol and comfort eating. You will have a focus, to help keep you on track with good habits.
If you’re struggling at the moment, my message to you is this.
If I had to pick ONE thing, just one, that will help you so much get through the menopause, it would be to exercise. Exercise will help you find yourself again. Exercise will help you fall in love with your body all over again.
The right type of training (resistance with interval with core work), will actually get you results, which in turn, will get you fitting great in your clothes, helping you feel in control again.
I hope this helps,
If you’ve any questions at all, please comment below, Jessica X