Training through menopause!
Over the last 6 years a large percentage of clients I've worked with have been premenopausal or menopausal.
There are different challenges for women experiencing these changes especially regarding hormones.
Hormones have a significant effect on our energy, sleep, weight management as well as mood.
In this article I want to share with you my experience in helping minimise some of the symptoms and challenges the menopause may cause.
So you can enjoy your life with the energy and confidence you’ve always wanted 😊
What is the menopause:
This is when the ovaries stop producing eggs and your hormone levels drop (oestrogen, progesterone & testosterone.)
When a woman hasn’t had a period for 12 months, she is considered menopausal. The average age of this happening is at the age of 51, before the age of 45 it’s considered early menopause. Before the age of 40 is premature ovarian sufficiency.
This is known as POI. POI affects 1 in 100 women below 40 and 1 in 1,000 below 30. Sometimes this can affect teenage girls.
The time before the menopause. You still have your period, but you experience the fluctuating & low hormone levels predominantly around oestrogen.
Which can create a whole host of symptoms.
You can diagnose premenopause and menopause by completing a questionnaire.
Symptoms to expect:
The symptoms can be different from person to person, so this will help you in being aware of potential symptoms when speaking to a healthcare professional.
Periods can change in duration, in how heavy or light they are. It can also impact mood swings.
Other symptoms are:
- Insomnia and fatigue.
- Memory problems/ brain fog.
- Lower sex drive.
- Night sweats.
- Anxiety sometimes depression.
- Poor sleep quality.
- Lack in concentration.
- Headaches and sometimes migraines.
- Dry/itchy skin thinning of hair.
- Weight gain sometimes known as (the middle-aged spread).
- Vaginal soreness and dryness.
- Recurrent UTI’s and urinary incontinence.
- Joint, bone and muscle pains.
- Heart palpitations.
- Pins and needles.
- Dry mouth, gum disease, tooth loss (oral symptoms).
There's also the mental health symptoms of menopause.
Sadly, suicide rates have increased 6% in the last 20 years, in women between 45 – 65. Which is the common age of menopause & premenopause.
These numbers are from the Office of National Statistics.
Besides the solutions such as HRT (which has helped many of my clients.)
But some clients I've worked with refused to take HRT and benefitted from using some of the solutions below to manage and minimise the symptoms above.
If you want to learn more about HRT here is a useful article to read
Other than HRT I want to talk about other ways you can minimise the symptoms of menopause. This means either along with HRT or without!
Food & Nutrition:
A well-rounded diet is the perfect place to start. Fruit, veg and less processed foods if possible. You want to increase your healthy fat intake (avocados, olive oil, eggs, nuts). And reduce your sugar intake especially refined sugar (chocolates, sweets etc.)
Hot flushes can be triggered by caffeine, spicy foods, and smoking. So be conscious of if you get hot flushes after having any of the above and then you can eliminate if necessary.
Maybe not all at once but monitoring your intake.
Alcohol can be a short-term solution in numbing menopausal symptoms. Like helping with sleep and change of mood once again temporarily.
But as we all know alcohol makes our sleep quality and quantity worse over time and has a negative effect on our moods after the immediate high of drinking.
Which I wouldn’t recommend if you are experiencing poor sleep and low moods already.
Exercise is always beneficial!
Not only because of the endorphins post workout. But exercise directly impacts your hormones positively.
Having less oestrogen for example is linked to osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Osteoporosis is a deterioration of bone strength and density, so strength training positively counteracts this.
So not only is strength training great for weight loss and endorphins but also keeping your bone strength and density as it known to get weaker as we age as well during menopause.
Unless you’ve been advised specifically to avoid a certain type of exercise by a professional.
Not exercising is a bigger risk than exercising and not being perfect at first!
Weight bearing exercises:
Weight bearing is things like walking, Zumba, Dancing, Swimming Yoga & Pilates. These exercises help with a certain amount of strength. But more balance, cardiovascular health, and coordination.
Strength exercises include resistance. Resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, and bodyweight strength moves.
Things like squats, lunges, press ups and planks etc.
Being older or not being strong right now isn’t the reason to NOT start this. But the reason to start this.
I’d see being a beginner to this as a good thing as you will see instant benefits and results.
In body toning, improvement of posture, increase of metabolism and energy.
And finally like I mentioned at the beginning of the article, strength training will help regulate many of the hormones that you are experiencing less of.
And it’s better to get your body to create the hormones and solutions it needs. Rather than being dependent on getting them externally alone.
I hope this article has been useful and I’d love to help you get started if now is the right time for you 😊
Why you NEED to train from home! Too often we have a fixed idea of what we need to do to get what we want. "I want this body, but I want to achieve it in this way…" There’s a problem with this. You’ve made it 10x harder to achieve your goal because you’ve limited... Continue reading
Why you aren’t resting & recovering properly… The kids are in bed. The dishes are done. And you’ve just switched the tv over to something you like. Perfect right? Maybe not… The average person’s relationship with rest and recovery is toxic. We see rest as lazy and recovery as weak. This mindset tends to kick... Continue reading