Why is exercise important for menopausal women?
Women go through so many hormonal changes in their life and staying positive and living a healthy, active lifestyle can help them cope better with the changes, both physically and mentally.
What specific issues will exercise address?
A healthy, active lifestyle as you age can help counter ageing effects such as muscle loss, decreased bone density and decreased joint mobility. Bone loss during menopause is always a concern, so following a balanced plan which includes moderate impact exercises can help. As hormones change, many women also find that they gain weight. Being active, combined with healthy nutrition can help with weight loss and weight maintenance. Many people believe that as we age, our need for activity diminishes but, the older we become, the more focused we must be on staying active so that we can have good overall health.
What are the other benefits?
The benefits of being active go far beyond the physical. Exercising releases endorphins that make you feel good; sweating and improved circulation give your skin a youthful post exercise glow and although we can’t stop the ageing process, building lean muscle mass and promoting bone density can help counteract nature’s plan. Exercise is wonderful for all stages of life but especially during a period when women need a confidence boost and some stress relief.
Can exercise reduce menopausal symptoms?
I believe that exercise can reduce stress and feelings of anxiety as well as combat the feeling of being tired which often accompanies menopause. Exercise can help you to feel energised, positive and in control.
How often should they exercise?
How much exercise you need depends on your overall goal. For weight-loss and general health, 150 minutes (or about 30 minutes, five times a week) of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week may be enough. Although a workout time of 30 minutes is adequate, I believe it’s best to schedule for a slightly longer duration of approximately 50-60 minutes each day. Allocating an extra 20-30 minutes will allow adequate time for a warm up and cool down as well as time to write in an exercise journal or prepare a healthy post exercise snack. Exercise produces the best results when you are consistent in your routine. It should be part of an overall wellness strategy to improve your life. Thus, your activity plans should not be something that stresses you out. It’s counter-productive if you have to rush off right after your exercise routine because it somehow spoils the stress relieving effects.
Why is strength training important for menopausal women?
As part of the ageing process and the hormonal changes that take place, women naturally lose muscle mass which can negatively affect their metabolism, how they feel and how they look. Whether you are trying to lose or gain weight or maintain your current body composition, strength training can help you to achieve your body-focused goals while improving the way you feel. The benefits of strength training include weight loss, increased lean body mass and improved strength as the training adaptations that happen in the body as a result of strength training can greatly enhance the activities of daily living, such as lifting, standing, walking and enjoying simple activities. If you love to play sports, strength training can also help you to improve your overall performance. Training for strength does not have to mean lifting weights. You can do body weight exercises, use resistance bands or objects around the house, such as water bottles.
Should yoga and meditation be included in the fitness routine?Meditation is an ancient practice associated with health benefits; exercising your mind is just as important as exercising your body. Meditation is a great way to regain your focus, calm your mind and, at the same time, avoid the pitfalls that come with reaching for the cookie jar when stressed. Complementing meditation with yoga may help you develop mental strength, flexibility and physical strength. Whatever your needs or fitness goals, there are styles of yoga that will suit you.
What about dietary changes?
Our daily nutrition choices are important, not only for controlling our weight but for being and feeling our best. Nutrient-dense foods packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, can enhance our overall sense of wellbeing. Calcium is important for bone health, protein essential for healthy muscles, and consuming healthy fats is also important. During times of major changes within the body, it’s best to make small daily changes instead of one big jump. It’s about being a little more mindful of what we are putting into our body each day. Hydration is also crucial because of all the sweating that menopausal women experience, so one must replenish lost fluids.
Train Smart. Eat Well. Feel Great !
Why is Exercise Important for Menopausal Women? June 29, 2016
Why is exercise important for menopausal women?
Avoid Hospital!! May 2, 2015
Addicted to Bread? November 7, 2014
Loaf Lie #1: “Whole Grains & Whole Wheat are an Essential Part of a Healthy Diet”
If you’ve set foot in a grocery store or read a newspaper in the last 50 years, you’re familiar with the message that whole grains are healthy… and the more you eat, the better off you’ll be.
This is a LOT more than a “little white lie” invented to sell cheap agricultural products at huge markups… it is the biggest health scam ever perpetrated on the public!
Of course, this message comes to you from the same corporate interests and government health nannies who urged you to replace farm-fresh butter with heart stopping trans-fat (in the form of industrially-manufactured margarine).
The truth is that there is nothing “essential” about whole grains. In fact, they are among the unhealthiest foods you can consume.
One of the most important reasons is that…
Whole Grains Spike Your Blood Sugar
You probably know that high glycemic foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin.
This triggers a cascade of inflammation and increases your risk for cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, fatty liver and diabetes.
And it doesn’t make you look very good either…
High insulin levels promote the storage “visceral” belly fat, which surrounds your organs and sends metabolic messages that promote disease.
High blood sugar also causes the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) – nasty little compounds that speed up the aging process and damage tissues (especially the skin, in the form of wrinkles and lost elasticity).
And guess what?
And it’s the specific TYPE of carbs in bread that are to blame.
About 75% of the carbohydrates in wheat are in the form of amylopectin A – a compound that is unique in just how rapidly it is transformed into glucose.
This is why wheat spikes your blood sugar higher than almost all foods – even when the same number of carbohydrates is consumed!
And that’s not all this health-harming carb can do…
“Heart Healthy” Whole Wheat… Causes Heart Disease!
The medical establishment has greatly exaggerated the role of cholesterol in heart disease.
But there is one type of cholesterol closely linked to this killer – small dense LDL particles.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that people with high levels of small dense LDL have a 300% greater risk of heart attack!
Many doctors believe it is the number one risk factor for heart disease in the U.S.
And guess what triggers these dangerous compounds to form more than any other food?
It is the amylopectin A found in wheat!
Think about that the next time you see the American Heart Association “Seal of Approval” on a package of whole grain bread.
And to think they recommend you eat this food AT LEAST three times per day!
In fact, if you are eating grains this often, it might not be your fault…
Are You High on Bread?
The Addictive Properties of Wheat
You’ve probably heard that sugar triggers the same pleasure centers in the brain as drugs of addiction. That’s why it can be so hard to “just say no” to
But wheat has drug-like properties even more powerful than sugar!
That’s because in addition to the rapid sugar rush wheat provides, it also produces specific compounds that bind to morphine receptors in the brain.
In addition to subtle euphoria, these opiates cause a repetitive cycle of cravings – for more grains!
It’s no wonder a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine showed that people who eat wheat consume an average of 400 calories more per day.
So, next post we’ll look at another dangerous misconception about bread (as well as cookies, crackers, cereal, pasta and cake)…
Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results.
Menopause and Belly Fat November 4, 2014
Menopause Weight Gain & Belly Fat
Menopausal belly fat is extremely common. As women age, they find that weight gain becomes harder to avoid and their hips and waist will begin to expand and merge.
Menopausal belly fat can be upsetting for women who find themselves obsessing over their ‘muffin tops’. Furthermore, this menopause symptom can be dangerous for a woman’s health and does not have to be accepted with blind resignation.
‘Middle Age Spread’ common NOT Normal!
There are actions that women can take to combat their belly fat.
Why Should I Worry about My Menopausal Stomach Weight Gain?
Some women may look at their menopausal belly fat and decide that it does not concern them. For women who are of a healthy size, eat a balanced diet, and take regular exercise their menopausal stomach weight gain may be minimal and they should continue to live a healthy lifestyle.
However for other women their menopausal muffin tops can be both upsetting because of their changing image and the health consequences of an excess of belly fat.
Women who experience rapid menopausal belly weight gain and do not take regular exercise should be aware of the health risks of this menopause symptom. Weight that is gained around the middle is dangerous because the fat is surrounding vital organs and it can lead to diseases such as type II diabetes.
It’s so important that I offer free bodyfat / body composition check ups to my clients after any training session. Visceral or internal fat is dangerous and brings with it increased serious health risks – Heart disease, Diabetes, cancers and more.
Women should be motivated to combat their menopausal stomach weight gain. A woman with a goal is far more likely to succeed in losing dangerous belly fat.
Women should undertake a regular exercise routine and ensure that they are eating a healthy diet. To find out more about weight gain and how to manage this problem, search this blog for helpful posts.
If you’re local to Cheltenham get in touch for a FREE trial, or come chat about your diet and lifestyle.
Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results.
Full Fat Dairy & Diabetes Shock October 16, 2014
Full-Fat Dairy Products May Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes
For years we have been told that a low-fat diet, and in particular the avoidance of saturated fats, will reduce the risks of both type 2 diabetes and its most important complication, heart disease. But recent research has shown that not all saturated fats are equal and that those in dairy products could actually help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
A new study at the University of Cambridge examined the relationship between blood levels of nine different saturated fatty acids and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life.1 From an analysis of data on 340,234 European adults, 12,403 of whom developed type 2 diabetes, they found that one group of saturated fatty acids was associated with a lower risk of this condition, while other saturated fatty acids were associated with a higher risk.
Grains steal the calcium from your bones August 6, 2014
The Osteoporosis, calcium and grain story.
This is a really useful and interesting article, especially if you are over 50!
By Joan Endyke
For The Patriot Ledger, 30/7/2014
Today, sophisticated medical equipment can detect osteopenia, the first sign of osteoporosis, yet simple follow-up care known to prevent progression to debilitating osteoporosis – like the type of calcium to take, dosing and diet changes – is often lacking and is an example of a fractured medical system in need of repair.
Pat was diagnosed with osteopenia five years ago and started taking a calcium supplement when advised by her doctor, in addition to choosing calcium-fortified foods. For years, she took 600 mg of calcium carbonate (Caltrate) with a glass of orange juice fortified with calcium (300 mg,) a multivitamin (200 mg), and Multigrain Cheerios with milk (400 mg) at breakfast time. Unbeknownst to Pat the body can only absorb roughly 500 mg of calcium at one time; the rest was not helping her bones but was being eliminated in urine.
Pat did not consume significant sources of calcium later in the day and it wasn’t until she saw a registered dietitian for a different medical concern that she became aware of this dietary problem.
Osteoporosis can cost billions in healthcare dollars for medical services related to hip and spine fractures, rehabilitation care and medications. A quick check of diet and supplements from a registered dietitian can reduce this risk and should be part of the treatment plan.
Dietitians look at overall diet quality first to assess ways to increase nutrients beneficial to bone as well as food sources of calcium, preferred over supplements. Aim for three good sources, providing 25 to 30 percent of the daily value on a food label (250-300 mg) spread throughout the day. This could include orange juice fortified with calcium at breakfast, milk at lunchtime, and yogurt for snacks. The daily value is set at 1,000 mg per day to accommodate the needs of the general population but be aware women over 51 years old and men over 71 should be aiming higher, 1,200 mg daily.
Make careful food selections. For example Greek yogurt is higher in protein but tends to have 50 percent less calcium than standard yogurts and foods like broccoli (40 mg per cup,) Kale (100 mg per cup,) cottage cheese (typically less than 100 mg per cup,) and almonds (60 mg per quarter cup) are low sources. For those with lactose intolerance, Lactaid milk (or lactase pills), soy or almond milk or orange juice fortified with calcium could be options.
If a calcium supplement is warranted, buy one with vitamin D for best absorption. The two major types are calcium carbonate (Caltrate, Tums, Viactiv and others) and calcium citrate (Citracal.) Carbonate forms should be taken with food for adequate stomach acid for absorption but Citrate can be taken anytime. Check the serving size on the label to determine the amount of calcium per pill. If two servings are needed, space them out in the day.
It’s not all about calcium either. New research finds too many grains, like breads, cereals, muffins, crackers, bagels, cookies, and the like increase blood acidity that causes calcium to leach out of bones to neutralize it. Fruits and vegetables do the opposite; they assist in neutralizing acid and provide magnesium an essential bone nutrient. Produce with the highest acid-neutralizing ability are raisins, apricots, kiwi fruit, watermelon, pear, orange, apple, pineapple, strawberries, pears, spinach, zucchini, carrot, tomato, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans, broccoli and asparagus.
To protect your bones eat generous portions of fruits and vegetables, get enough calcium and vitamin D, and cut back on grain foods.
Joan Endyke is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in food and nutrition. Send your questions to her at http://www.wickedgoodhealth.com. This column is not intended to diagnose or treat disease. Check with your doctor before changing your diet.
Interesting – take note of the food choices that will combat an acid system and damage your calcium reserves.
The only thing I would add is that to get the full nutrient content from fruits and vegetables you MUST buy in season, lock and organic or fresh-frozen. Produce that’s been chilled for 3-9 months or grown on overused intensely farmed land will not have anything like the nutritional value you are looking for.
Eat Clean. Move Often. Feel Great!
Menopause Monday #3 July 28, 2014
Sage Tea, Fresh Mint & Smoothies
I’ve continued with the sage tea plan. Boy, you get through leaves quickly!
I’m now completely used to the taste of safe on its own. But, occasionally add fresh mint – I now have a good selection of mint plants including-
Chocolate, Peppermint, Moroccan, Apple, Pineapple, Spearmint, PennyRoyal and common mint.
Our local garden centre had a sale!!
So, not only have I cleansed my drinks choices but the planters around my studio door now look beautiful.
I’ve settled on about 2 pints of tea a day. The ‘surges’ have settled to 1 or 2 a day, they have been much shorter too!
My birthday present of a Magic Bullet has been earning it’s place on the kitchen counter.
I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many vegetables! To begin I used fruit juice to loosen the mix, and I had as many fruits as veggies in each cup.
But now I have many more veg than fruits and am completely used to using water to make the mix.
I also add my seed mix to these smoothies- another cheeky way to increase Omega 3’s.
Eat Clean. Live Well. Feel Great