Why strength training so important, especially after 40! PLUS what type of exercise should I be doing during peri/menopause?
I believe strength training is a MUST for all women – especially after 40 – I’ve listed some of the reasons why below….
Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. PLUS by strength training you can actually reverse osteoporosis. Manage your weight. Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
Muscle is metabolically active
You can never out train a bad diet. We’ve all heard of the expression that abs are made in the kitchen. And this is absolutely correct. To gain optimum health and achieve your goals, this must start with your diet. Strength training will help you build lean muscle, and lean muscle uses up your calories really efficiently. That’s why the combination of a great nutrition plan and strength training is perfect for weight loss IF that is what your goal it.
Building lean muscle and reducing fat can help you live longer. If you have more muscle mass, rather than fat mass, you are less likely to die prematurely. After menopause, women are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers, osteoporosis and other risk factors. Strength training plus nutrition plays a significant role in keeping these diseases at bay.
There is a direct link between your mental health and strength training. Studies have shown how strength training can help reduce anxiety and improve depression. We live in such a stressed out world right now, and during menopause the reduction of oestrogen and progesterone, leave us less able to cope with stresses than before. Introducing strength training and other forms of exercise can help release endorphins that can improve your well-being and state of mind.
Our confidence can take a beating in peri menopause and menopause. Some women tell don’t recognise themselves, they feel frustrated, fat, old and just rubbish. Strength training can help you with that. Lifting weights can help change your hormonal profile and how your body responds to them, leaving you feeling a sense of euphoria and confidence that carries over into all aspects of your life. Do a workout and see how much your mood and confidence changes afterwards!
And if all of these reasons aren’t enough to get you lifting weights, consider this. Lifting weights will likely make you shrink. Muscle takes up less space than fat, so most women see a drop in their dress size when working out regularly and see a change in their shape that helps boost their confidence just a little more. Don’t focus on what the number on the scale says – focus on how your clothes fit – how you feel – and how many wobbly bits get tighter!
So what type of exercise should I be doing during this time?
Exercise needs to change once we hit these peri/menopausal years. Instead of doing more, we need to be doing a little bit less than we did in our 20s and 30s and change the way we do it.
The 3 different types of exercise we should be doing is:
- Strength Training
- Huffy Puffy HIIT – I will explain how to approach this in a moment
- Rest and Recovery Exercise
- Yoga, pilates, walking, meditation
Strength training is super beneficial as I’ve stated above. We need this more than ever right now for our muscle mass and our bones and to prevent osteoporosis and to keep us strong and lean and healthy.
You must be doing it correctly and you must be pushing yourself a little further as you progress by either doing heavier weights or more reps and changing the exercises. You will get access to demo videos and workout E-Book in the program to follow, But Andrea will design a program specifically to your needs and work with what you have at home and what you are capable of in the VIP Personalised program. If you have any questions around anything, please do not hesitate to contact Andrea.
HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training. You may know the traditional ‘work as hard as you can’ for 20 secs or 30 secs with 10 secs rest rule already. Well when we reach peri/menopause, HIIT changes a little. What we do now is we ‘work’ – so get your heart rate up as high as you comfortably can for YOU, so you are huffy and puffy and breathless – then you rest UNTIL YOU RECOVER. Then you go again.
So your rest time is as long as it takes for you to get your breath back, until you then work again. This way is not putting the body under too much stress and pressure, and we don’t need to be doing this for long periods of time or often either! It’s short and sweet and just enough to keep our heart strong, keep us fit and healthy and burn fat.
Rest and Recovery:
Rest and Recovery days are exactly as it says These are days when we rest the body.
We can still be active and do ‘active recovery’ exercise such as yoga, pilates, walks (walks in nature are brilliant and I highly recommend it) and maybe some meditation if that’s your thing
If you are tired and rundown and sore or sick, then rest. Exercise as much as it is good for us, also puts a stress on the body if we aren’t doing it properly and over-exercising. If you do exercise correctly then you will see the results. If you are doing running or HIIT and smashing yourself 6x a week by really pushing it, the opposite of what you are wanting to achieve will happen – this is too much!!! And you need to cut back.
Many women find when they decrease their stress levels and scale the exercise back to more gentle exercise rather than thrashing themselves – they actually get better results and long lean muscles!