Super Seniors Fitness Solutions

Keys to Living Well, Feeling Great & Enjoying Life

Why is Exercise Important for Menopausal Women? June 29, 2016

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

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Top Tips to Avoid Menopausal Heart Disease June 20, 2016

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — jax allen @ 9:56 pm
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Top Tips to Avoid Menopausal Heart DiseaseHeart disease is the leading cause of death among women so taking care of it through diet, exercise and bioidentical natural progesterone will all help your heart stay healthy.

June 14, 2016  

 

Once she reaches the age of 65 a woman’s rate of heart disease has caught up with that of men so it makes sense to be proactive and minimise your risk factors for a long and healthy life.
Risk Factors:
The biggest risk factors are smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, being overweight and having an unhealthy diet. They are also risk factors for a number of other serious health conditions including diabetes so reducing them will improve your health profile immediately.
It is a common misconception that women suffer exactly the same type of heart disease as men, but yet again there is a real difference between the sexes. Women post-menopause can have narrowing of the arteries and a build-up of deposits just like men do, but it is much more common for the cause of the heart attack to be spasm of the coronary arteries. Research suggests that the oestrogen component of HRT may aggravate coronary artery spasm, where bioidentical natural progesterone will relieve it.
What to do to minimize your risk:
You already know to eat a varied, healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables but there is now a new player in the mix. Interesting new research from Malmo in Sweden found that women whose diets were high in fibre had almost 25 percent lower risk of heart disease than women whose diets were low in it. The best fibre source is fruit and vegetables, rather than bread, so you are getting multiple health benefits as well as heart protecton.
A real health boost will be yours if you also follow an anti-inflammatory diet with lots of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants – including vitamins A and C – plus the minerals potassium and magnesium.
Good news if you love chocolate – and who doesn’t – because cocoa has been validated as having these cardiovascular benefits:
• Inhibits the oxidation of LDL
• Improves endothelial function
• Inhibits platelet activation
• Reduces LDL
• Increases HDL
• Increases insulin sensitivity
• Reduces inflammatory proteins
• Lowers blood pressure
Of course these are not just found in chocolate – you will get the same benefits in tea, fruit, vegetables and red wine so you can balance out your chocolate intake! The chocolate health winner though is raw chocolate and you can add it to smoothies, drinks and shakes. If you want to chew on a bar then go for dark (plain) chocolate with a high cocoa content of at least 75%.
Regular, enjoyable, exercise is also key and if it is weight bearing it will help with osteoporosis too.
Stress affects every single part of your body and if you are regularly stressed, and on a long-term basis, then this is a serious risk factor and needs to be addressed. Find ways to reduce the pressure whether that is taking a walk, talking to a friend or taking up a hobby. Singing, dancing, meditation are all good ways to relax – just find what suits you and stick to it.
Summary:
Tackling your diet, exercise regime and stress levels will make a huge difference to your risk of heart disease. There is also another two other things you can do to protect your heart.
It has been known for many years that progesterone is effective in relaxing coronary arteries which have gone into spasm, and that excess oestrogen can in fact cause spasm. As we have seen, most menopausal women’s heart attacks are due to heart spasm so this is a simple and effective preventive measure to avoid a potentially fatal heart attack.
Oestrogen dominance is also linked to heart disease so tackling that as well will give you a good healthy way to take care of you heart.
More information
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2016/01/18/3-ways-to-reduce-high-blood-pressure/
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2016/02/05/top-tips-to-avoid-menopausal-heart-disease/

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2016/03/21/what-signs-of-oestrogen-dominance-do-you-have/

 

Can Sage Help With Night Sweats? November 24, 2015

Filed under: Health,Senior Moments — jax allen @ 9:34 pm
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Can Sage Help Night Sweats?

Around three-quarters of all menopausal women suffer from night sweats. They can be one of the most disruptive symptoms of menopause because they disturb a woman’s sleep, which may lead to other problems, such as fatiguestress, and irritability. So, what’s the best way 

to manage night sweats? For some, sage has helped to alleviate night sweats and other menopausal symptoms.

How Does Sage Help Night Sweats?

Sage (Salvia officinalis), a member of the mint family, has been used as a medicinal and culinary herb for thousands of years. When it comes to menopause, modern studies have shown that sage helps to relieve both the frequency and severity of certain symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats and dizziness. Though not completely understood, the estrogenic compounds found within this herb are unmistakably effective at regulating hormone imbalance. In this regard, it has also been used to treat irregular periods, and many women find that it helps the body make the transition through hormonal change.

Sage makes an excellent natural remedy, because along with reducing sweating, this herb can provide a relaxing, tranquilizing effect – thus making sleep drier, deeper, and sweeter.

Other Benefits of Sage

Sage is an incredibly multifunctional herb and may provide additional benefits, especially when it comes to brain function and cognition. Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, sage may be excellent for:

Delays the onset of Alzheimers disease

Improving thinking and learning in those with Alzheimers

Boosting mood

Improving mental performance in the young

Heightening memory and attention in older adults

Amazingly, its list of benefits continues. Sage is also astringent, antiseptic, stomachic, and tonic, and thus used to soothe scratchy throats, cure canker sores and tender gums, treat asthma, relieve painful bites and stings, clear mucous, and encourage proper digestion.

Side Effects of Sage

Just like any herb or medicine, sage may come with some potential risks. Though considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, taking sage in larger, medicinal amounts may result in restlessness, wheezing, vomiting, vertigo, rapid heart rate, tremors, seizures, and kidney damage. It can also irritate the skin in those sensitive to sage.

To avoid the risk of adverse side effects, it is best to consume sage only in the recommended amounts. As an essential oil, the dosage should not exceed 12 drops per day.

More Information

Sage’s anti-sweating and relaxation properties can make it a great herbal supplement for managing night sweats. 


 

What Causes Hot Flushes? May 6, 2015

Hot flushes on average last for four or five years and occur in up to 80 percent of women – though those on a vegetarian diet seem to fare better – and perhaps surprisingly they also occur in men undergoing certain hormone treatments for prostate cancer. You may have also experienced them during pregnancy as the hormone levels fluctuate in a similar way to menopause. 

We know exactly what a hot flush is – but despite many advances in science no one quite knows what causes our temperature to soar and makes us sweaty and uncomfortable.

All in your your head?

A team of researchers in the department of pathology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine believe they may have come closer to understanding the mechanism however.  It seems it may be related to a group of brain cells known as KNDy neurons as a likely control switch of hot flushes. KNDy neurons (are located in the hypothalamus, a portion of the brain controlling vital functions that also serves as the switchboard between the central nervous system and hormone signals.

It seems these neurons play extremely important roles in how the body controls its energy resources, reproduction and temperature. When you have a flush, your skin gets hot and you can see the redness of the skin. This is the body’s attempt to get rid of heat, just like sweating. Except that if you were to measure your body’s core temperature at that point, you would find it is not even elevated – however much it may feel as if you are within a fiery furnace.

Help for hot flushes:

This is just an experiment on rats so far, but we already know from other branches of science that our minds have a powerful effect on our bodies.  Staying calm during a flush is not always easy, but it will make a difference as stress is a major trigger so taking a deep breath, and having a cold drink will help.  

There are many simple tips you can employ to help keep cool and calm. 

The role of progesterone in helping to control flushes is not well acknowledged, but certainly is effective. It is very common for the temperature control mechanism to be upset during menopause when the levels of both oestrogen and progesterone are falling. It seems as if it is the changes and fluctuations in the hormone levels, rather than the levels of the hormones themselves, that cause a disturbance which leads to a hot flush.

As progesterone rebalances the hormones the symptoms come under control, but some women do find that they get fast relief from flushes by applying the cream during a flush or sweat to the inner wrist where the skin is thinner, and also to make the last application of the day immediately before going to bed as many have reported this has helped with sleep issues. 

If flushes are very severe, and not responding to progesterone alone, then you may be better with a combination cream such as 20-1 which has both progesterone and two natural oestrogens.

Further information:

These articles will be helpful if you are dealing with hot flushes and night sweats.

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/08/06/what-is-oestrogen-dominance/

http://anna.blog.wellsprings-health.com/2013/12/06/what-makes-hot-flushes-worse/

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/06/20/new-study-shows-natural-progesterone-reduces-hot-flashes-and-is-safe-for-the-heart/

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2012/12/17/progesterone-helps-flushes-in-post-menopausal-women/

 

Menopause Monday November 17, 2014

6 Tips For Weight Loss At Menopause

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Menopause and weight gain seem to go together for the majority of women, even those who have always been slim. Your hormones are one factor, but here are some useful tips to help lose those pounds.
October 24, 2014
From Wellsprings
http://anna.blog.wellsprings-health.com

Most women notice that along with menopause comes some unwanted weight, particularly on the stomach, hips and thighs. Unfortunately this is Nature’s way of making sure that your declining oestrogen levels are getting topped up by switching production to the fat cells.
No matter how much you exercise, or how healthily you eat, it is very hard to avoid putting on those extra pounds but there are some simple ways to manage your weight at menopause.

Hormone Balance
1. Get oestrogen dominance under control as oestrogen is produced in the fat cells you want to make sure that it is not being produced in excess. Rebalancing with bioidentical natural progesterone will help keep it under control, and as progesterone is also a diuretic that can help with that bloated stomach too.
Useful article:
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/08/06/what-is-oestrogen-dominance/


Sleep

2. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep because you burn calories when you sleep, so the less of it you get the more calories get stored in your body. Also, when tired we tend to go for a ‘quick fix’ of something comforting which is usually carbohydrate, fat and sugar none of which help lose us weight. These foods are high in calories but they affect your bloods sugar levels and then can leave you feeling tired, irritable, anxious and reaching for the next fix.
Useful article:
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/07/02/5-ways-to-improve-your-sleep/

Control Your Blood Sugar
3. Some will find eating little and often as your body can cope better with several small meals throughout the day, not a couple of large ones. This is the best way of keeping your blood sugar levels stable and studies show that people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks a day are better able to control their appetite and weight. Stick to a Mediterranean style diet for healthy weight loss with fresh wholefoods, vegetables, fruit, salads, nuts, and seeds.
Useful article:
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/01/27/the-dash-diet-is-no-1-for-weight-loss/

Hydration
4. Drink plenty of water as often, though you think you are hungry, you might actually just be thirsty because the majority of us simply do not drink enough water. Your body needs fluid to perform many of its functions, but strangely enough if you drink too little you can actually end up with fluid retention as your body is holding on to whatever it can get to work efficiently. Your body does not need fluids that actually make it work harder, such as fizzy sugar laden drinks and alcohol, so stick to plain water wherever you can.

Alcohol
5. Reduce your alcohol intake as it can be a major obstacle when trying to lose weight. Although there are certain drinks, such as red wine, that have been some health benefits generally it is a good idea to really cut down. The problem is that alcohol upsets blood sugar levels, depletes nutrients, causes liver problems, aggravates the gut, lowers immunity and, if you’re trying to lose weight, it is not good news as it increases hunger and cravings for junk foods. We also know that your liver cannot metabolise fat while it deals with toxins like alcohol.

Get Your HEC in check ( Hinger. Energy. Cravings)
6. Understanding why you eat is crucial, as menopause certainly can be an absolute rollercoaster in terms of your emotions. If it is emotion, rather than physical hunger, that triggers your eating then it will really help you to tackle this in order to lose weight. The simplest method is to keep a food diary; noting down what you eat and why you are are eating it, for instance are you angry, sad, upset? You may find it simpler to talk this through with someone like a counsellor or a therapist who specialises in this area.

Eat Clean Train Smart. Feel Great

Jax

 

Menopause and Belly Fat November 4, 2014

Filed under: Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 2:06 pm
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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.

Jax

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Can’t Lose Fat? – maybe You Need More Sleep! September 14, 2014

Filed under: Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 3:45 pm
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An interesting article for you that ties in with lots of studies about Fatloss…….

The facts on the effects of sleep on fat loss
By
Krista Boulding / Campbell River Courier-Islander
September 5, 2014 12:00 AM

What does sleep have to do with fat loss? Quite a bit actually.

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The most obvious connection is that when we’re exhausted we make less healthy choices; we seek out sugar, caffeine, and fast food to fill the energy reservoir quickly. We don’t have the motivation to make healthy meals from scratch, go to the gym, or walk the dog. Our willpower and drive are greatly diminished and we can’t resist those temptations we normally say no to.

On a deeper level, there is a reason for this. Sleep deprivation completely messes with our hormones. The infamous stress hormone cortisol goes on the rise. And we all know what that means: high cortisol = more belly fat! Grehlin, the hormone in charge of our hunger signals, increases. And Leptin, the hormone that keeps us satiated, decreases. So that leaves us really hungry and never satisfied…oh boy! Another alarming result of sleep deprivation is an increase in insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone in charge of keeping blood sugar levels in check, and it also manages our fat storage. If you have insulin resistance, you will not process dietary carbohydrates properly, blood sugar levels rise, and you lose the ability to effectively burn fat. Not only that, but your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases significantly!

Another interesting fact: if you forgo sleep to wake up at the crack of dawn for your regular 5:30 a.m. boot camp, or morning 5 km run, you may actually GAIN weight. Yeah, I know, that is how important sleep is! Despite all those calories you’re burning, if you’re in a sleep deficit, your body will not respond well. Exercising in the morning is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. But pressing snooze once in awhile and skipping your workout when you’ve had a rough night, can actually benefit your waistline.

Just an aside, for all the ladies going through menopause and gaining weight despite maintaining a healthy diet, focus on your sleep and reducing your stress levels and you will see results!

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I always tell my clients, work on sleep FIRST. Aim for a minimum of seven hours per night. Get off the computer, shut the TV off, and go to bed! It won’t matter how much you exercise or how good your diet is, if you’re sleep deprived you will struggle with fat loss and you may even gain some. Sweet dreams!

Stay Active. Eat Well. Learn to Relax

Jax