Menopause & Exercise

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Happy Monday, blog readers! Hope you’re all doing well on this warm April day!

Alright, enough with the chitchat, let’s get down to business. This week I want to talk about menopause.  AHH! Menopause. I know, exciting, right? Well, The Train Station has had a TON of new clients recently who are menopausal and I know we have plenty of existing clients who are going through, or soon-to-be going through, menopause as well. There is just SO MUCH to be gained from exercise during menopause that I feel the need to share!

Let’s start with one very interesting bit of information. Did you know that a woman going through menopause needs 3 days of strength training just to MAINTAIN her muscle mass? Three. Just to maintain!!! If you’ve crossed paths with Liz lately at the studio, you may have already heard this. She’s telling this to everyone she sees! I can’t blame her, either. This is a big deal.

Strength training can help with all of the following common affects of menopause:

*Weight gain
Lifting weights helps to build/maintain lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest. The more calories your body burns at rest, the higher your metabolism, or resting metabolic rate. In case you’re not following me, this is a VERY good thing!

Simply restricting calories from your diet can lead to a loss of lean muscle mass. Strength training while staying on a healthy, balanced diet can lead to more lean muscle and less fat. This is what we should all be shooting for… menopausal or not!

*Bone Loss
Unfortunately, bones begin to weaken naturally as we age. Women tend to lose bone mass more rapidly after menopause, which can lead to osteoporosis. The spine, wrists, and hips are most vulnerable. Strength training loads, compresses and puts stress on the bones, which is necessary to strengthen them.

*Hormones
When I think of menopause, I think of hormones. Estrogen to be exact. However, one hormone that doesn’t come to mind is HGH (human growth hormone). Not only does a woman’s body experience a decrease in estrogen during menopause, but also HGH. Well, I have good news! Vigorous exercise and high-intensity workouts lead to a natural spike in HGH. Want to get that natural spike? Work more intensely the next time you’re on the treadmill or elliptical. Remember, if you can have a conversation with someone next to you with ease, you’re probably not working hard enough! And, if you’re a client of ours, we’re getting those high intensity workouts in with you too! Gosh, you have good trainers! We’ve thought of everything! 😉

Hopefully I’ve given you a little extra motivation to complete your workout today. Let’s shoot for THREE days this week! I’d also love to hear what you have to say.  Leave me comments below!

Angela

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