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How To Stay Fit After Menopause

My Observations In Italy Show Me That The Dolce Vita Helps Italian Women Stay Leaner

Stay Fit & Healthy Post Menopause

Ah, La Dolce Vita, The Sweet Life! If Italian women dont count calories or look at the scale as much as French women do, they certainly enjoy a slow and sweet way of eating long meals with fresh foods together with family. Here is a view from an American women living over in Italy:

So my main observations on why Italians are generally thinner than Americans are: totally different ways of preparing food, eating fresh foods, eating organic foods, taking time to eat healthier at home, eating at a slower pace, eating and drinking in a logical order, drinking less amounts of everything, eating less sugary unnatural desserts, walking more, and having a balanced life/work schedule leading to a less stressful life.

Looking at it from the outside it seems like the Italian and French culture support an easier transition thru middle-age.

And here are my tips to help you transition over in this pre and post menopausal period.

How To Stay Healthy After Menopause

Take these steps to help prevent disease

The average woman today has more than one-third of her life ahead of her after menopause.;; The menopausal transition is a good time for lifestyle changes that can help women make the most of the coming years.;

You know about quitting smoking, exercising regularly and working toward a healthy weight.; Still theres more you can do to stay healthy after menopause and to avoid health conditions which are more common after menopause.

Good nutrition

A balanced diet will give you most of the nutrients and calories your body needs to stay healthy. Eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Look for foods that have lots of nutrients, like protein and vitamins, but not a lot of calories. These are called nutrient-dense foods. As you grow older, you need fewer calories for energy, but just as many nutrients.

The USDA Food Guide is one eating plan suggested by the Federal Governments Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. Another eating plan also suggested in the Dietary Guidelines is DASH, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

The number of calories a woman over age 50 should eat daily depends on how physically active she is. Basically you need:

  • ;;; 1,600 calories, if your physical activity level is low
  • ;;; 1,800 calories, if you are moderately active
  • ;;; 2,000-2,200 calories, if you have an active lifestyle

The more active you are, the more calories you can eat without gaining weight.

Practice Preventive Health Care


No It’s Not Entirely Your Fault Yes You Can Shed Those Extra Pounds

by Hallie Levine, AARP, July 30, 2018| 0

As you hit your mid-to-late 40s, you may notice that besides battling the occasional hot flash or mood swing, your favorite black go-to pants are starting to feel noticeably more snug. This time it’s not your imagination.

The average woman gains about four-and-a-half pounds as she starts the transition to menopause in her 40s, according to a landmark study. And it’s a trend that doesn’t slow down, either: Women continue to put on about a pound and a half each year in their 50s and 60s, according to a new review published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“The main reason is the natural loss of muscle mass that occurs with age,” explains Jo Ann Pinkerton, M.D., executive director of the North American Menopause Society and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System. “Since muscle burns more calories than fat, your metabolism slows down, causing you to put on weight.” Starting at age 30, research shows that you lose on average about a half pound of muscle each year; and that number rises to almost a full pound once you hit 50.

Sounds daunting, but there are expert-approved ways to reverse your scale’s upward spiral. Here’s how:;

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Menopause Symptoms Worsen Weight Problems

“During the menopause transition, night sweats, sleep disturbances and problems with mood are common and may affect a woman’s ability to adhere to a healthy diet and regular exercise program,” Pinkerton says. “Whether you are just trying to stay awake or combat a low mood, the candy bar may seem like a great energy booster.”

Similarly, she says, an exercise class may be a bit too daunting after a night of not sleeping well. The combination of poor food choices and lack of movement can lead to a gain around your midsection.

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The Shocking Dumbbell Shortage Of 2020

Pin on Menopause Weight Gain Natural Remedies & Products

Dumbbells and kettlebells are a little harder to come by in 2020 but more and more of my clients and students are finally getting them delivered. Start looking for hand weights now. Even if you return to a gym, the convenient option of exercise at home is one every woman should have for those days she doesnt have time for the commute. If you need to, you can make weights.;

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Tips For Reducing Vaginal Dryness

  • Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers available without a prescription can help lubricate the vagina and make sexual intercourse more comfortable during menopause and in postmenopause.
  • If over-the-counter treatments don’t work, ask your doctor about topical estrogen, available in creams, tablets, or in a vaginal ring. This type of estrogen will not improve other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.

Menopause Expert Dr Kelly Teagle Exercise Physiologist Gillian Logan And Nutritionist Kate Freeman Reveal Whats Really Important To Stay Fit And Healthy Through The Next Phase Of Your Life

Menopause Recap

Menopause is when youve had no ovulations for 12 months, usually between 45 and 55yo. This is usually signalled by a loss of periods for 12 months, unless your periods had already stopped due to a hysterectomy or hormonal contraceptives like the Mirena IUD. The hormonal fluctuations of perimenopause can start many years before you actually reach menopause.

Live-streamed Diet and Exercise workshop, Wed 17th June, 2020

Your Body Changes at Menopause

Due to the changes in hormones during perimenopause, especially oestrogen, our bodies change.

One of the changes you may notice is an increase in belly fat and more total body fat. Besides just not feeling great about how our shape is changing, the increased body fat more importantly impacts on our overall health and wellbeing, putting us at higher risk of chronic disease. Research has shown that if your waist is >90cm and/or your waist to hip ratio is > than 0.85, this places you into this higher risk category for health issues like hypertension, cardiovascular disease and metabolic diseases like diabetes.

In addition, if your Body Mass Index is less than 30 the severity of your menopause symptoms, like hot flashes, unexplained mood swings and sleep disturbances can be less.

Other physiological changes in menopause include

  • reduced bone density
  • increased mood swings and anxiety

Nutrition after Perimenopause

The Link Between Diet and Mental Health

Heart Health

Other key strategies to improving heart health are:

Also Check: How Long Between Periods During Menopause

Where Do I Find Hiit Workouts

In recent years, health clubs have made HIIT classes a core offering. In fact, some chains like Orange Theory specialize in HIIT. If you are more motivated to exercise by taking classes, look for a club that offers HIIT classes at a time convenient for you.

With modern technology, you can easily find HIIT workouts online, from blogs to YouTube to free apps. But you dont even have to go that far. For example, on your next jog around the neighborhood start at a comfortable pace. But then, for 30 seconds, run at an all-out sprint before dropping back into a comfortable pace. The sprint is your interval, and the comfortable pace is your resting period. If you repeat the pattern for several minutes, you will have completed a HIIT workout.;

Dont forget to stretch before, during, and after your workout

If youre new to HIIT, start with 30-second interval bursts and 30-second rests for about 20-30 minutes of total exercise time three to four times a week. A recent study of sedentary men found that just 10 minutes of HIIT three times a week achieved the same cardiometabolic health results as 50 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance exercise. How great is it that you can actually exercise for fewer minutes a week and still improve your health! As you become accustomed to the HIIT style, decrease your resting time, and perform different interval exercises. Some examples include:

  • Jumping jacks

  • Flutter Kicks

  • Pushups, and more

The Importance Of Exercise After Menopause

How to Workout After Menopause

Many women gain weight after menopause. This may be because of declining estrogen levels. Raising your activity level will help avoid this weight gain. Regular exercise benefits the heart and bones, helps control weight, and can improve your mood. Women who are not physically active are more likely to have heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Sedentary women may also have chronic back pain, insomnia, poor circulation, weak muscles, and depression.

Aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, swimming, biking, and dancing, help prevent some of these problems. It also helps raise HDL cholesterol levels, the “good” cholesterol. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking and running, as well as moderate weight training, help increase bone mass. In postmenopausal women, moderate exercise helps preserve bone mass in the spine and prevents fractures.

Exercise also helps improve mood. Hormones, called endorphins, are released in the brain. Improved mood lasts for several hours. It also helps the body fight stress.

Always check with your;healthcare provider before starting an exercise program, particularly if you have been sedentary. Your;healthcare provider can recommend the best exercise program for you.

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Menopause: Exercise For Bone Density

Many women nearing menopausal age have an established regimen of yoga and cardio-focused classes. I would never advise removing classes or exercises that you enjoy. However, if you fall into the category of women who do not incorporate any resistance training into their program, you are doing nothing to mitigate the almost certain loss of lean mass and bone density. Sorry, those 5lb dumbbells and 10lb kettlebells from your cardio classes do not provide enough resistance or loading.

You need heavy resistance training to maintain and improve your bone density. Understand heavy as heavy relative to your size and strength. Know that you do not need to lift tons of weights or bulk up. You simply need to test the limits of your physical strength. Use movements like the following to safely apply heavy loading to your system. Prioritize using the heaviest load you can handle safely. These movements are all about full engagement and time under tension.

Your body might naturally be losing bone density, but you do not need to accept this as a sentence of osteoporosis or frailty. With a few adjustments to your habits, you can maintain strong bone health late into life.

Have Your Thyroid Checked

If youre eating healthy and exercise regularly and are still finding you cant lose weight, your thyroid may not be working as it should. This happens in a small percentage of people, and its most common over 40. In addition to weight gain, it can also cause fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and depression. There are medications that can help, so check with your doctor if you think that might be an issue.

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Menopause: The Final Piece

Controlling stress will help mitigate the other emotional and physiological symptoms like insomnia, irritability, and hot flashes. It is more important than ever to eliminate the stressors in your life. Avoid high amounts of caffeine and alcohol. Avoid foods that cause inflammation like sugar, grains, and dairy. Get plenty of sleep, and take up stress relieving activities like walking, meditation, or yoga.

Avoid Sugar Except In Moderation

How To Stay Fit After Menopause

Sugar is enemy number one for fit women over 40. Sugary coffee drinks, sodas, juices, desserts, energy drinks no matter where it comes from added sugar spikes your insulin and causes serious cravings. Cut back on sugar to avoid adding bodyfat. Making the jump to water or zero-cal drinks can also lower your risk for disease like diabetes.

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Make A Plan To Stay Active

With age, many people let exercise fall to the bottom of their priority list.;Maybe it’s because they’re busy, maybe it’s because they’ve become less body conscious with age, or maybe it’s due to comfortable ruts.;

Regardless, the priority shift away from activity can have consequences.;Many experts believe midlife weight gain has more to do with lifestyle than with hormonal factors related to menopause.

So;your plan to lose weight;after menopause;should include a program to stay active. You may want to;invest in a fitness tracker or activity monitor;to make sure you’re getting enough movement to slim down or stay lean.

Staying Healthy During And After The Transition To Menopause

Midlife can bring a lot of opportunities. Some people say that their life really started in their 40s or 50s because they had more money and time for themselves than ever. But for the female body, this age range also usually marks the arrival of menopause, which may bring some challenges.

The menopausal transition and the time after menopause is part of aging. You cannot prevent aging, but you can help yourself age well. To help you stay healthy and active during the menopausal transition and afterward, whether its already started or has yet to begin, weve prepared a set of evidence-based health tips for you.

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Focus On The Positives

Reaching the menopause is a time of change for your body, and its easy to focus on what is lost. But, research shows that people who take an optimistic outlook in response to changes tend to deal with them better. This could be the start of a new and exciting chapter in your life when your mood settles, your memory improves again, and you feel more self-confident.

It also means you no longer have to worry about menstrual pain or heavy cycles.

If youre struggling with menopause symptoms, or want to support someone who is, were here to help. Theres lots of information, expert advice and signposting on the menopause pages;within our Womens Health Hub, and you dont need to be a Bupa customer to access any of it.

More discover articles…

Menopause: Nutrition For Bone Density


You will likely lose bone density during menopause. This is perhaps the most universal symptom of menopause. Fortunately, you can mitigate or forestall this effect with some adjustments to your nutrition and training.;

Peri- and post-menopausal women lose bone density because their calcium absorption drops drastically during this time: as much as 50% from when they were an adolescent. Before you run out and buy calcium supplements, understand the root cause. Quite often the shortage of calcium is a problem of absorption and allocation rather than of insufficient intake. It is possible that you are not consuming sufficient calcium, but it is far most likely that the calcium you do eat fails to reach your bones.

To ensure optimal calcium absorption and usage, prioritize vitamin D. Natural, unfiltered sunlight remains the absolute best source of vitamin D. To produce vitamin D, we need UVB rays to directly contact our skin. Note that glass and sunscreen can block as much as 99% of UVB, rendering the sunlight you absorb through these media virtually useless for vitamin D production. Get outside and soak up those rays! As little as 20 minutes of unfiltered sunlight can provide sufficient vitamin D each day .

Vitamin D supplements prove effective for those who cannot produce enough naturally. The recommended amounts vary significantly by individual and supplementing in excess can have ill effects. For accurate dosing consult your doctor.

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Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

In a four-year study, researchers found that women who ate more fruits and vegetables and fewer sweetened drinks and desserts lost more weight than women who didn’t make those dietary changes.

“After the age of 50, our need for energy-calories-decreases, but we still need the vitamins, minerals and fibers from foods,” Upton says. “Make your choices count by selecting nutrient-rich foods.”

Case in point: a recent study found that eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

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Why Exercise Is Important Now

Losing excess weight may be a top priority, but there are so many positive effects of exercise for menopausal women. Remember the long list of unwanted symptoms? It is essential to understand that movement can reduce the severity and frequency of several symptoms. Exercise is known to cause the release of endorphins , promote peaceful sleep, regulate hormone levels, and boost libido.

Yet the most significant contributions exercise can make is the relief of stress. High levels of stress can cause weight gain, hot flashes, and anxiety. Exercise has been;found;to lower the level of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Quality of life can improve significantly during these challenging years by exercising regularly and at a higher level of intensity than what youre used to.

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Menopause: Maintain And Build Lean Mass

Like bone density, most women begin to experience losses in lean muscle mass as they enter menopause. Also as with bone density, this does not have to mean an automatic sentence. Maintaining a strong amount of lean mass helps optimize health for everyone regardless of age or gender. Mid-life and menopause both typically lead to significant loses in lean mass. Maintaining and building lean mass is now more important than ever.

Muscle mass is not only important to maintain your strength and vitality. Muscle tissue demands fuel and will take up blood glucose when instructed to. Building and maintaining lean mass are great ways to stave off the effects of decrease insulin sensitivity. This in turn supports a healthy level of body fat.;

Incorporate heavy resistance into functional movements to get the greatest benefit in building and maintaining your muscle mass. Favor movements that support your everyday activities. Some of the best options are:

With a few tweaks or additions to your exercise program, you can maintain and even increase your lean muscle mass during menopause.


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