Let’s talk about the big elephant in the room that is common for most all women…Menopause! It is important for women to keep training while they go through menopause, but must understand that their training might need to be altered a bit. We are here to be a help through this journey to offer knowledge around the topic, but don’t hesitate to reach out with more questions or support. Touching on three important topics when it comes to ones overall training – strength training and recovery, nutrition and supplements.
Instead of providing more cardio options, we advise our members to double down on strength training.
+ As hormones change because of menopause, muscle mass begins to decline.
+ Strength training helps to combat the decline in muscle mass, keeping you stronger (and more resistant to age-related injury) as you get older.
+ Muscle mass is a major driver of metabolic rate. More muscle = a higher metabolism.
+ By continuing to focus on strength training you can slow down the speed of metabolic decline, and its effect on weight gain.
+ Strength training can help maintain pelvic floor health and decrease the risk of urinary incontinence.
+ Strength training increases bone mineral density, which works to stave off osteoporosis and weakened bones due to aging.
Although strength is important to double down on during menopause, recovery is just as important!!!
Make time for recovery. Menopause decreases your ability to recovery, so make sure to take regular rest days so you can have quality training days.
How do you do it?
+ Focus more of your time and energy on the strength part of class, and challenge the weights when appropriate.
+ Swap more technical, light weight exercises for heavier, more strength based exercises.
+ Lower the total number of reps. High reps make it hard to use heavy weight, so lower the reps and up the load.
Be patient! Finding the method that works best for you might take a little time. Keep coming to class and talk to your coach about any suggestions they have.
Big thing with menopause is that the body is in a more stressed state. You actually produce more androgens which prevent weight loss if they are consistently high.
Major goal is reducing stress on the body when going through peri-menopause and in menopause. To reduce stress on the body, you want to properly fuel and not restrict or go too low in carbohydrates.
However, carbohydrates should be high fiber sources and processed / high sugar carbs should really be minimized.
Getting plenty of fiber and nutrients from whole grains and vegetables is important too along with protein intake.
Then with exercise, you don’t want to stress the body too much. Slower strength training is really good, walking, yoga.
Refer back to the strength section about importance of smart strength training, but how recovery is even more important.
Vitamins + Supplements
Make sure you are getting your vitamins when experiencing peri-menopause and menopause! Some go through the menopause and experience only minor symptoms. Others experience severe symptoms. Some vitamins may help ease menopause symptoms and support overall health.
Add vitamins to your daily routine during menopause, please consult your physician to decide what are best for you.
First off, please make sure you are getting enough protein especially if you are keeping up with your workouts as it will help recovery. If you need suggestions on a protein supplement, please reach out!
Vitamin a is great for healthy bones. You get preformed vitamin A when you eat animal products, fortified foods, or when you take vitamin A supplements. You also get vitamin A when you eat fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene. Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A as needed.
Vitamin A obtained from beta-carotene doesn’t appear to increase bone fracture risk. It may help maintain bone health after menopause. You can help get the vitamin A you need from beta carotene by eating orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin found in many foods. It’s necessary for:
- bone health
- DNA production
- neurological function
- creating red blood cells
Vitamin b-12 deficiency can cause a VARIETY of symptoms like:
- loss of appetite
Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) helps make serotonin a chemical responsible for transmitting brain signals. As women age, serotonin levels drop.
Fluctuating serotonin levels may be a contributing factor in the mood swings and depression common in menopause. Consult with your doctor on dosage of vitamin B-6.
Your body makes vitamin D after being exposed to sunlight, important for ALL to take especially during the winter months. Vitamin D deficiency may increase your risk of bone fractures, bone pain, and osteomalacia (softening of the bones). Make sure you are getting outside as much as you can.
Foods that contain vitamin D:
- fatty fish
- egg yolks
- fortified foods
- beef liver
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Vitamin E may also help reduce inflammation in the body.
Stress may cause cell damage and increase your risk of:
- heart disease
- weight gain
These are conditions common to menopause.