Women Health and Fitness During Menopause

Menopause signals the next – more advance – stage of life. Ii is important to take better care of yourself at this point of your life. Part of taking good care of yourself is to remain physically active.

Benefits of physical activity

Physical activity offers many benefits to women during and after menopause.  Some of these benefits include:

Preventing weight gain

During and after menopause, women tend to lose muscle mass and gain abdominal fat. Being physically active can prevent this from happening. Even little increases in physical activity can help.

Reducing the risk of breast cancer

The weight loss that results from being physically active during and after menopause may provide protection against breast cancer.

Strengthening your bones

Being physically active can slow down bone loss, thus reducing your risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

Lowering your risk of other diseases

Women’s risk of developing several chronic diseases – including hear disease and type 2 diabetes – increase during and after menopause. Regular physical activity can lower these risks.

Enhancing your mood

Physical activity during and after menopause enhance psychological health.

Physical activity goals

Aim for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or an hour and 15 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity per week. It is best to spread your exercise hours throughout the week.

Strength train at least twice a week.

Though frequent, high-intensity exercises provide the most health benefits, it is important to choose a program that you can do for the long term.

Set realistic and achievable goals such as walking for 15 minutes after. Regularly "upgrade" your goals. Recruiting a workout buddy can help as well.

Physical activities to try

Aerobic activity – any activity which uses large muscle groups and increases your heart rate will do. For beginners, start with a 10-minute low-intensity activity, then gradually increase the intensity of your workout.

Strength training – strength training reduces body fat, strengthens the muscles, burns calories more efficiently. Opt to use weight machines, hand-held weights or resistance tubing. Use a weight or resistance level that is heavy enough to tire out your muscles after 12 reps, then gradually increase your resistance level as you get stronger.

Stretching – stretching increases flexibility, enhances range of movement, and improves circulation.

Source; MSN Health