Menopause does not merely mark the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles. It also takes her through a transitional phase punctuated with exhausting mental, emotional, and physical symptoms that can take a toll on everyday life. Medical and fitness professionals repeatedly emphasize the importance of physical activity during menopause. Indulging yourself in yoga, body hamstring exercises, cardio, or Pilates can help alleviate these symptoms and ease menopause. So today we will be telling you about How To Ease Menopause With These Lower Body Fitness Activities.
Common Issues In Menopause.
Menopause enters a woman’s life with baggage. The many symptoms of menopause include loss of bone density and muscle mass, irregular sleep patterns, deteriorating metabolism, increased weight gain, and sudden changes in appetite. Bladder issues, constipation, and depressive symptoms are also not unheard of. While several women turn to menopause supplements or hormone replacement therapy, others rely on lifestyle changes, including lower body fitness activities. Though frequent workouts alone cannot reduce menopausal symptoms like sleep disturbances or hot flashes, they can make the transition easier. If you are wondering where to start, take a look at the workouts listed below.
6 Lower Body Fitness Activities To Ease Menopause.
1. Strength Training.
Women are at risk of osteoporosis during menopause due to a decline in their estrogen levels. Resistance-based exercise helps maintain healthy bones and muscle mass, which in turn revs up metabolism. Aim to do atleast 30 minutes of resistance-based exercises a week to stay fit. Include bodyweight movements like:
- Hamstring exercises
Add dumbbells or kettlebells to your workout routine for greater resistance.
Cardio exercises help strengthen your heart while keeping your body weight in check. The more you sweat it out, the better you feel because aerobic exercises release endorphins, the feel-good hormones that help control menopausal mood swings. Indulge in some lower body cardio activities like jogging, walking, cycling, or running every day. If you are a beginner, start with 10 minutes each day and slowly increase the time. You can also hit the gym and hop on treadmills or exercise bikes if you prefer a more rigorous workout.
3. Yoga And Pilates.
Most women experience limited spinal mobility during menopause, so you need to focus on taking the joints through wide, sweeping motions to improve joint health. If you are not fond of any type of heavy workouts, then try yoga or Pilates. These are very effective when it comes to maintaining supple joints. These activities also help improve flexibility.
Pilates works wonders for strengthening the pelvic floor, which in turn helps the changing environment in the vaginal tissue during menopause. Yoga, on the other hand, helps ease psychological symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and irritability. So, it is one of the best lower body fitness activities to ease menopause.
If music gets you going, what is stopping you from grooving to some tunes and indulging in some fun lower body fitness? You don’t need permission to dance, so pack a calorie-burning cardio session into your dance routine and have some fun!
The ever-increasing popularity of Zumba has swept across people of all age groups, and why wouldn’t it? This activity incorporates merengue, salsa, and other Latin-inspired upbeat music and helps you work your muscles while easing you through menopause. Upgrade your dance routine by joining a Zumba class and work those lower body muscles out.
6. At-Home Exercise Plan.
If you prefer light but effective exercises instead of rigorous workouts, try out an easy exercise plan right in the comfort of your home. Strengthen, mobilize, and stabilize your lower body with a few simple moves that help improve your pelvic floor muscles and overall posture. Targeted abdominal, gluteal, and hip strengthening exercises help ease menopause.
The Importance Of Fitness During Menopause.
It is advisable for women to indulge in at least 150 minutes of physical activity in a week. A consistent fitness routine offers numerous benefits, which include:
Preventing Weight Gain.
Menopause leads to a sudden increase in weight. Fat accumulates especially around the abdominal region. Physical activity can help keep your weight in check while improving muscle mass.
Reducing The Risk Of Cancer.
Regular physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight, which in turn reduces the risk of endometrial, breast, and colon cancer.
Improved Bone Health.
The risk of reduced bone density skyrockets during menopause. Physical activity helps improve bone strength, thus reducing the risk of fractures.
Keeping Other Diseases At Bay.
Regular physical activity helps reduce the risk of other diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Improving Your Mental Health.
Indulging in physical activities helps in the reduction of the risk of cognitive decline, stress, depression, and anxiety disorders.
The Bottom Line.
Menopause is a transitional phase that inevitably brings discomfort and pain, and its symptoms can be challenging to deal with. In such cases, it is essential to stay motivated. It is best to set realistic goals while indulging in any physical activities, and avoid pushing yourself to the excess limit. Instead of diving headfirst into hour-long workout sessions, start with 15 minutes and then increase the time as you build your strength. Spread out the exercises throughout the week and slowly build up the routine. Whatever you choose, take time to warm up first and cool yourself down with some stretching afterward.
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- Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890704/
- Twelve-week exercise training and the quality of life in menopausal women – clinical trial; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828504/
- Primary osteoporosis in postmenopausal women; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5643776/
- Obesity in menopause – our negligence or an unfortunate inevitability?; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5509974/
- Physical Activity and Cancer; https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet
- Exercise for Your Bone Health; https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/exercise/exercise-your-bone-health
- Daily physical activity and type 2 diabetes: A review; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4914832/
- Exercise for Mental Health; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/