Not enough is discussed, though, about how these hormonal changes have long-term effects on brain, heart, and sexual health — or how certain exercises during menopause can help us cope.
“Women who have gone through menopause feel like they’ve lost control of their bodies – things are happening to them, and things are not happening to them,” said Jackie Gianelli, a nurse practitioner and founder of Electra Health. “Fitness and exercise are, for a variety of reasons, a way for women to control the menopausal experience and how they want to feel.”
Fortunately, P.volve’s head trainers Giannelli and Antonietta Vicario have teamed up to create a workout plan specifically designed for menopause that they say can benefit women the most by focusing on this time. Their workout protocols are science-based and evidence-based, but may be the opposite of the way you are training today. “Unfortunately, much of what we know about exercise is based on overweight, sedentary men, so women need to learn a lot from what they’ve learned about growing fitness,” said Gianelli.
“Much of what we know about exercise is based on overweight, sedentary men, so women need to learn a lot from what they’ve learned about growing up fitness.” – Jackie Giannelli, a nurse practitioner
For example, Giannelli and Vicario both suggest that workouts should be shorter to prevent your body from exerting extra stress and increasing cortisol levels – which is already high during menopause. It is more realistic to fit into a to-do list, which makes continuity, an original, more achievable. “When you think of someone in their 50s, they’re probably running a career and family life, and 20 to 25 minutes more is possible জন্য for everyone, really,” says Vicario. “You can get what you need from these short sessions, if not more, and hopefully it creates less friction for people.”
In addition to the duration, it is also about sharing your allotted time to work in the following buckets.
4 types of exercise should be preferred during menopause
1. Lifting heavy weights
“We’re losing estrogen as we go through menopause,” Giannelli said. “Estrogen is the motivation to build lean muscle mass, so you need to be strength training to maintain muscle.” Vicario says that without an extra energy workout, women begin to lose one to two percent of their muscle mass each year after menopause.
Muscles are metabolically active, so the more lean muscle mass you have, the better your resting metabolic rate. More importantly, lifting heavy weights triggers a hormonal response that burns visceral fat around your midsection, which tends to increase during menopause, according to Giannelli. “During menopause, their body composition changes [ratio of body fat to lean muscle] And the shape of the body, ”he says,“ so going from pear shape to apple shape. Visceral fat accumulation can have long-term health consequences, such as diabetes, insulin resistance, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. “
Structural strength will help to cope with bone loss which can occur as women get older. Vicario recommends strength training two to three times per week and focusing on the underweight reps. “You’re not going for patience, you’re going for the maximum load, so keep up the form, like eight or 10 repetitions, but you’re leading yourself to muscle failure where your muscles are breaking down and then rebuilding,” he says.
The other thing about heavy weightlifting is the sensitivity of the joint and the pain in the joint that starts due to the loss of estrogen, says Vicario. “Estrogen is very hydrating for the body,” he explains. “It’s really important to keep our connective tissue flexible, stretched and supportive and so we really want to build muscular support around the joints so that we can take care of them in the long run.” Focus on the exercises that take you through all the different planes and speed ranges. “Not just moving forward and backward, but reaching down, up, rolling, all around,” says Vicario.
2. High intensity interval training
Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for women, says Vicario, and as such, aerobic exercise is very important during menopause. But he says that these minutes should not be focused on building endurance through steady-state cardio, but on increasing your heart rate through high-intensity interval training (HIIT), your maximum effort should not exceed 20 to 30 seconds. Time “then you go back for a while,” Vicario said. “You want to go metal paddle, and then you take it down one or two or three [rate of perceived effort]. Steady-state cardio like six or seven over a long period of time can be quite the opposite. I’m actually post-menopausal, and this science was fascinating to me – a maximum of 20 to 25 minutes in these 20 seconds, and then two or three minutes to recover, and then hitting again can be very transformative. “
HIIT lets you cut back on cardio health benefits without increasing your cortisol levels like long-term endurance exercise. “When we have high levels of stress in our body, it is actually detrimental to the functioning of our heart,” says Vicario. “When our body is in a stressful state, everything slows down – metabolism, our body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients from food – we go into this homeostasis hold and we don’t even process things.”
HIIT often tends to include jump training or plimetrics, which have a high impact on your bones, something that can help them stay strong and stay that way. “We need impact and stimulation to keep our bones strong, as well as weight-bearing exercises,” says Vicario. “So cardio is really good for maintaining bone density, which is important, because after the age of 50, 50 percent of women break a bone and osteopenia and osteoporosis are real problems later in life.”
Cardio increases blood flow to your brain, flooding it with oxygen and supporting its optimal function. “These short bursts of cardio fight against brain fog and memory loss,” said Vicario.
3. Pelvic floor training
In addition to supporting your reproductive organs and bladder and playing an important role in your sexual health, your pelvic floor is your foundation. Because estrogen is so lubricating, and so many estrogen hormone receptors reside in this part of the body, women are more susceptible to pelvic floor dysfunction during menopause, says Vicario. “So incontinence, constipation, pelvic pain, which can be associated with intercourse, are all common,” he added.
As a reflection against these side effects, women sometimes train their pelvic floor to contract by holding them too tight or with too much weight, when they really need to be able to do both. And Relaxing “Also, people hold the tension in the buttocks and between their ankles,” Vikari added.
Pelvic floor training is about first learning how to properly compress and relax your pelvic floor (aka do a kegel) and then when you need help from your core, for example, do certain exercises each time during heavy weight lifting. “It can also happen when you are adding load, when you are stabilizing, adding effects, or when you are balancing on one leg,” Vikari added. “These are places where getting involved through the pelvic floor can be beneficial.”
4. Breathing exercises
The benefits of breathing exercises are doubled in menopause. It can help you better connect with your pelvic floor and it can also help keep you calm and control your nervous system, which in turn can help reduce stress and negative side effects. Creates throughout the system.
“Breathing techniques can help you move from that high-cortisol, fight-or-flight state to your parasympathetic nervous system, so your rest and digestion levels, which can help with things like insomnia and insomnia, even night sweats,” Vicario said. It’s not that breathing will stop the night sweats, or prevent you from waking up, but it’s more of a strategy and tool that people can use to reduce their stress. “
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