What is the best exercise when you are in menopause?
The answer is the one you will stick to and be consistent at, but in perimenopause and menopause, there are better, more effective ways to train.
I know what it is like to struggle with weight gain for apparently no reason. Nine years ago, I began perimenopause. Then at the age of 45, I went into full-blown menopause.
Over the next two years, I gained about 20 pounds. I didn’t change anything in my diet or exercise, but the weight kept creeping on. I found it so frustrating and beyond irritating, so I began researching.
I have found that no one in the medical community agrees with why this happens to women. Everyone has their solution – some even say it is“impossible” to lose weight after menopause.
Guess what? It’s possible.
I love a good challenge, so I used my body and experience to try different solutions to lose weight. The good news: it’s possible. The bad news is everybody is different, and what worked for me might not work for you.
You might have underlying medical concerns causing your body to put on weight and store fat. I recommend getting a complete panel of blood work done by your healthcare provider to rule out medical concerns.
Before I get into what exercise is “best” pre and post-menopause, please understand that you must also fuel your body properly. In menopause, limiting saturated fats, oils, refined sugar, and processed foods is important.
Remember: You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet.
Alright, now, onto what kind of exercise you should be doing. Incorporating these three things after age 45 (or whenever you’ve reached pre or post-menopause) will significantly reduce fat and shedding unwanted pounds.
1. Make a date with some weight!
Muscle is king. Gaining muscle is the #1 thing you want to add to your exercise routine. More muscle will help you reduce body fat, boost metabolism, protect bones, and burn more calories during the day. Train weights 3-5 days a week, and don’t be afraid to go heavy!
2. Woo-hoo, I’m in Zone 2!
A minimum of 3 days a week, you want to do zone 2 cardio for 30-40 minutes. Zone 2 cardio is when your heart rate is 60-70% HR max. Zone 2 training is the most efficient at fat burning. During zone 2 training, we use fat for fuel – so prolonged low-intensity aerobic exercise can help promote weight loss.
When we train in zone 2, we use oxygen to maintain a low-intensity cardio workout. Zone 2 cardio burns more fat and makes your heart stronger because it requires fewer pumps to pump blood, making it more efficient. Click here to find out your zone 2 heart rate.
3. No stress. Choose rest!
Yes, I said it: rest! We must incorporate recovery into our training routine. Restorative yoga and meditation will help you avoid cortisol cycling. When we don’t have the estrogen to offset constant high cortisol levels, we can experience symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Eventually, cortisol imbalance can lead to weight gain, exhaustion, and loss of muscle mass. Incorporating restorative yoga, stretching, and meditation into your fitness routine will allow your cortisol levels to decrease and create balance in your body.
Fill Up Your Cup First
I have dedicated the last 22 years to helping people find love and appreciation for their bodies. This means loving yourself enough to make time for yourself. I’m convinced you cannot truly love anyone else until you love yourself first. Making the time and dedicating yourself to show up on the mat helps you and the people around you. We are nicer, kinder, and more compassionate when our cup is full.