Menopause weight loss: How choosing the right exercise can help shift belly fat

The Natural Beauty Show discuss menopause

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The menopause can bring about a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms that can be a challenge to deal with but a personal trainer has outlined how fitness could help women through it. Physiotherapist and personal trainer Lucinda Meade, has trained many clients through the menopause and says it tends to start with surreptitious weight gain around the middle, which they then can’t shift.

It may be accompanied by aches and pains in smaller joints, and an unappetising mix of “mood changes, sleep changes, annoying visits to the GP to be given antidepressants”.

And while exercise is a good way to help with weight gain, Meade explained it’s important for people to find what’s best for them.

Choosing something enjoyable will motivate women to keep going and not give up, she said.

“It’s also important to have weekly rather than daily goals, and be flexible (mentally as well as physically): use your energy when you have it, rather than beating yourself up about the times you don’t,” Meade explained.

“This will mean prioritising yourself and flaking out of other obligations, but that’s fine – your oestrogen’s dropping, so hopefully you’ll be less of a people-pleaser, too.”

She continued: “A lot of women have done a lot of yoga and running and they really need to be coaxed into weight training.

“Dancing, rock climbing, climbing trees, anything: find the thing that works for you.”

She noted there should be a strength element included in a woman’s workout routine in case of decreasing muscle mass.

Olympic runner Jenny Stoute who represented the UK in Seoul and Barcelona, revealed her muscle suffered due to the menopause.

For her, the change started in 2018, and she said she can’t even jog.

“If I went out on the road, springing up and down, my hamstrings would be history,” she explained.

“I know my lower back doesn’t like too much impact, so I’ll do weights and body-bearing stuff, go on the rower, go on the cross-trainer.

“To be fair, I don’t really want to run 100 metres. I had my time.

“All I want to do is look after my body to the best of my abilities.”

Stoute’s experience is one women should consider when thinking about exercising during the menopause.

“People go into the menopause like some ghastly blind date where you know it’s going to happen but you hope it’s going to be OK,” Meade said.

“Everyone in their 40s should be thinking about getting themselves in tip-top shape so that when it happens, it’s as fine as it can be.

“Don’t treat it like a lottery and don’t wait until you’re feeling cr*p and then try to make decisions in that state.”

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