This Morning: Early menopause sufferer explains symptoms
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The menopause brings inevitable weight gain for many women who find their waistlines getting slightly thicker. But with a more intense exercise regime, people going through “the change” are more likely to counter mid-life weight gain.
The natural hormonal changes going on in a women’s body during the menopausal phase will bring a host of different symptoms, varying in magnitude.
These include hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings and more, some of which can’t be helped.
But expert dieticians have reassured women that they don’t need to put up with weight gain during this challenging time.
“It’s a fact of life, but we do need to take action to combat it,” admitted Stephanie Faubion, director of the North American Menopause Society.
“It can be hard, but it is possible to do it.”
Doctor Pamela Peeke, author of Body for Life for Women, also recommended a mix of different routines to burn off menopausal weight gain, starting out with a mix of moderate and vigorous exercise.
“What you want to employ now is high intensity interval training (HIIT),” she said.
“Basically that means that moderate levels of exercise are interspersed with high intensity intervals throughout the week.”
This could include aerobic activities such as swimming, walking, bicycling, and running, as well as resistance or strength training.
Aerobic activity can help you shed excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
She also pointed out that women don’t have to go to the gym in order to stay fit, but strong muscles help keep a person’s metabolism revved.
“Try activities that have you lifting, pushing, and pulling,” she advised.
But experts have warned that people must take into account their physical abilities while conducting their daily exercise.
“What we did when we were 30 and what we do when we’re 60 is very different,” said Kathryn A. Boling, a family medicine physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
“We have to adjust our exercise some as we get older.”
In general, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends people undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week or vigorous aerobic activity for at least 75 minutes per week.
It also recommends that strength training exercises should be conducted at least twice a week.
This not only helps build muscle and bone health, but can reduce body fat significantly and burn more calories more efficiently.
It has been noted that exercise isn’t a proven way to reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes and disturbed sleep.
But exercising regularly can help a person going through the menopause maintain a healthy weight and relieve stress.
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