Menopause, Weight Gain, and Exercise Tips
Other Benefits of Exercise After Menopause
It's also good to remember that exercise has many benefits separate from weight loss and fitness. The list of exercise benefits is too long to include, but here are a few benefits that are especially helpful after menopause. Exercise helps:
- Lower risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce risk of metabolic syndrome, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases
- Improves insulin resistance
- Keep joints and muscles strong
- Maintain good bowel function
- Relieve depression and anxiety
- Improve overall health
Good Exercise Choices After Menopause
Which types of exercise can best help you lose and maintain weight after menopause?
- Strength training or a weight resistance exercise program helps build muscle mass and improve metabolism. Strength training also helps maintain bone mass. Because you lose muscle mass as you age, add this to your workouts, if you haven't before. Try doing this two or three times a week. Examples of strength training include weight machines, dumbbells, exercise bands, yoga, and gardening.
- Low-impact aerobics increases heart and respiratory rates. Walking is one of the best choices because you can do it anywhere, anytime. Other examples of aerobic exercises include swimming, cycling, aerobics, tennis, and dance. Exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes most, if not all, days of the week.
- Whenever you can, add activity to your day. Wash the car, play hide and seek with your grandchildren, get in a game of ping pong.
Other Exercise Tips for Ensuring Success
Before you begin exercising:
- Talk to your doctor about a new exercise program. Choose activities you enjoy so you'll stick with your workouts.
- Find an exercise partner to help you stay motivated.
- Buy supportive shoes -- the right ones for your activity.
- Pick a start date and start.
After you begin exercising:
- Allow at least 10 minutes to warm up before starting to exercise rigorously. To do this, choose an activity that gently works major muscles.
- Before you work out, stretch the muscles that will absorb most of the shock of your exercise routine.
- Stop, and let your doctor know if you experience any new pain while exercising.
- Gradually increase the distance, length, or intensity of your workout.
- Mix it up. Do different exercises to keep from getting bored and keep your body challenged.
For the best fitness results, combine your exercise efforts with good nutrition. Here are just a few tips:
- Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
- Stay away from processed foods.
- Keep a food diary or explore programs for your computer or apps for your cellphone to help you monitor your caloric intake.
- Don't eat too late in the evening.
- When you eat out, take half the serving home.
- Eat smaller amounts, but more often.