Physical activity benefits in huge number of ways
• Women in their 40’s tend to have more PMS (premenstrual symptoms). Exercise helps relieve the bloating and pains that come along at this stage.
• A rise of beta endorphins that exercises brings about helps relieve the frequency and intensity of hot flushes as exercises increases estrogen levels.
• Endorphins also decreases stress, relieves depression and improves mood.
• Helps keep body healthy by burning calories and stops the increase in intraabdominal fat that comes along with menopause.
• Exercises helps improve bone density, keeps joints and muscles strong.
• Exercise cuts down cardiovascular disease and cancer.
• Exercises improves mood and body image which in turn helps increases sex drive and satisfaction.
• Insulin resistance improves.
• Overall health improves.
• Healthier bowel function
Be realistic of your exercise goals. Make a simple plan and try to stick it. The challenge is to go back to your plan if you fall of the plan for a few days due to unavoidable circumstances. It would be good to recruit a friend or relative to help keep you motivated and accountable.
Celebrate small victories as a build up to the goal. Be happy with day to day small challenges.
What kind of physical activity?
Weight bearing exercises builds muscle, burns fat and maintains bone density.
Ideally it should be carried out 2-3 times a week for 25-35 minutes These exercises can be done at home with dumbbells and resistance tubing. Use a level that is heavy enough to tax the muscles in 12 repetitions and progress from there.
Weights should be heavy enough so that your muscles feel fatigued at the end of your workout.
Cardio (exercises that increase heart rate)
These exercises keep bone strong and improves bone density. Aerobic exercises makes use of the large muscle groups while keeping up the heart rate is a good thing. Your options for cardio are limitless. Almost any activity counts, for example:
Walking, jogging, treadmill activity, dancing, biking, playing games such as tennis or badminton or swimming, doing housework or gardening.
It is recommended that beginners start with 10 minutes of light activity, slowly boosting exercise intensity as it becomes easier.
Swimming uses the large muscles of the body and increases heart rate. It also is a form of water aerobics which provides resistance without the impact.
Yoga controls breathing which in turn helps reduce anxiety. It helps with pain control, strengthens core muscles, improves joint flexibility, helps decrease hot flushes (with certain positions), and improves blood flow and circulation in the body. It may help decrease blood pressure.
A study done in 2013 carried out on women between the ages of 40 and 62 who did yoga for 12 weeks found significant improvement in sleeping problems.
These poses may help calm your nerves by centering your mind. They can also help alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability and an fatigue.
Dancing is fun and finding a group of likeminded friends to learn and dance together helps take away the issue of forced exercises. Dance can help to build muscle and improve flexibility. Look for a style that suits you such as jazz, ballroom, Latin American dancing or even Zumba.
House work / gardening
Vigorous house work and gardening can increase heart rate and uses both small and large muscles of your body. However it has to be intense and continuous.