Menopause is a natural biological process that occurs in women as they reach the end of their reproductive years. It is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months. Menopause is a normal part of aging and is caused by a decline in the production of hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. .
The symptoms of menopause can vary from woman to woman. These symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, sleep disturbances, decreased libido, fatigue, and changes in menstrual patterns. Some women may also experience weight gain, joint and muscle pain, urinary problems, and cognitive changes like difficulty concentrating or remembering things (brain fog).
Exercise (more specifically strength training/weight lifting) is highly beneficial during menopause. Physical activity can help manage and alleviate some of the symptoms associated with menopause (ex: exercise has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes). It can also help improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and enhance overall well-being.
Weight training also helps with weight management during menopause. As hormonal changes can lead to weight gain, lifting weights to build muscle can help maintain a healthy weight and body composition. Strength training also has positive effects on bone health. Menopause is associated with a decline in bone density, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. In addition to strength training, weight-bearing exercises like walking can help maintain bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It’s recommended that women lift weights 3 times a week and should seek guidance from a fitness professional to ensure that they are engaging in the right fitness program.
Due to the decrease in muscle mass, women can experience joint pain. One way to alleviate joint pain is by incorporating stretching and foam rolling to their daily routines. Foam rolling can be done anytime of the day including before a workout and after a workout. Learn how to foam roll by clicking the link below:
It is important to note that everyone’s experience with menopause is unique, and the benefits of exercise may vary from person to person. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable exercise routine based on individual needs and health conditions.