Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Hold on, if you are a guy, don’t leave, this information is helpful if you're a female, or know one! There are so many phases of our lives (as well as our fitness) -think about when you were young…..i can remember being outside all day in the summer, until streets lights came on. We were running around all day - running, jumping, squatting, balancing - all these fitness modalities.
As you got into your teens, maybe it was sports practice & games or at least gym class. Then maybe as you hit your 20’s you thought about visiting a gym, working out - aka running, jumping, squatting and balancing.
For a lot of us women, then comes the child bearing years, so the weight fluctuation that comes with that. More gym visits, maybe now a trainer.
Then……you hit the perimenopause phase. (which can hit anywhere from 10 to 4 years before menopause!) followed by menopause. (described as 12 months of no menstrual cycle )
When I hit my 40’s I can now see that I was starting to see the signs of peri, now in my 50’s for sure! Perimenopause is the time in your life when your body is transitioning toward menopause. (the reduction of the body creating your sex hormones) Some fluctuating symptoms can include sleep disturbances, irritablility, weight gain, and more……All on top of the affects of aging. Are you kidding me???!! But there are things we can do to help minimize these symptoms.
One of the major complaints of women, is body composition changes and energy level. The major contributors to the way you feel, is the combination of muscle atrophy, and lower energy level. The diminishing function of your ovaries, your sex hormones (estrogen & progesterone) are now not creating your energy, so your adrehnile glands are kicking in. Plus your muscle mass is decreasing due to age - if you are not weight training you are actually losing muscle
When our bodies were younger and we worked out, our energy source burned calories. But the older we get, the less your body uses your sex glands for that energy, instead your body uses adrenal hormones, the byproduct? cortisol - which creates weight gain.
So how do we help balance the affects of the change of hormones? The easiest way is
strength training -this naturally increases human growth hormone production. This will help equal out the loss of sex hormones. So while intense long cardio runs worked in your 20’s & 30’s, realize that you need to adjust your goals now.
Following is a list of self care that can help you navigate peri & menopause:
1. Reduce consumption of unnatural food, toxins. Our bodies were designed to eat carbs - a small amount of them (so I’m not advocating a diet per say) but we were NOT designed to eat fake food such as sodas and cereals, crackers etc. I know its marketed to us, but they are unnatural foods, and they seriously disrupt our hormones.
2. Legit - stress is killing us. Limit the amount of stress and technology. Studies have shown your brains response to “dings & pings” to be a stress response - so less time on your phone, have times during the day with your phone off
more sleep - your bodies way of re-charging and repairing. Your goal is to wake up feeling refreshed.
3. Then your workouts - your strength training a) decreases signs of osteoporosis. (weakening of the bones) b) increases muscle hypertrophy (muscle gain), c) increase of collagen (skin health)
4. Lower your refined sugar intake (look for healthier options) the quality of the ingredients matter. the more you take care of yourself internally the better you will feel about your external changes.
You deserve to look and feel amazing during this phase of your life! Practice the above self care - oh and get your workouts in!!