How a Sedentary Lifestyle Makes Menopausal Women Suffer Unnecessary Symptoms

How to find your “thing” 

Many women would agree that going through menopause is a miserable experience, and most women believe that their experience is the worst. This is true and it is not!  Now a study has been done that shows some women really do experience the symptoms of menopause worse than others do. Read on and find out how a sedentary life style really does make menopausal woman suffer unnecessary symptoms and how to turn this around for yourself and feel like yourself again. 

A study was done of more than 6,000 women across Latin America who attended one of twenty urban health centers in eleven Latin American countries, aged 40 to 59.

The study showed that the activity levels of women going through menopause were directly correlated to the severity of the symptoms they experienced. 

The recent study, done by The North American Menopause Society showed that sedentary women have significantly worse menopause symptoms then those with an active lifestyle. 

64% of the women involved were leading a sedentary lifestyle, of those women, 16% of them were experiencing severe menopause symptoms, compared to just 11% of the active women. 

Sedentary women were also more likely to be obese and have higher levels of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. 

What is a sedentary lifestyle?

A sedentary lifestyle is one without regular physical activity. The study done by The North American Menopause Society, defined a sedentary lifestyle as engaging in less than three weekly sessions of physical activity, such as jogging, walking or swimming, for at least 30 minutes a session. 

Why does leading a sedentary lifestyle make menopause worse?

Leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause women to experience many side effects of menopause unnecessarily. Regular exercise provides many benefits to women who are going through menopause and can counter many of the side effects including weight gain, depression, and bone loss.  

As women start going through all the hormonal changes associated with menopause, they tend to lose muscle mass and gain abdominal fat. If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle, you are at an increased risk of obesity as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Regular cardiovascular activities can reduce these risks as well as lower blood pressure, improve lipid profiles, and increase insulin sensitivity.  

The hormonal changes your body goes through during menopause can cause you to experience emotional ups and downs. Combining those hormonal changes with all the life changes that happen around the same time, such as family structure, relationships, jobs, self-identity, can cause symptoms similar to depression and can even lead those symptoms to evolve into mild or moderate depression. 

Another factor that can cause emotional difficulties is lost sleep. All of the changes that are happening to your body as well as in your life, combined with hot flashes and night sweats, can severely affect the quality and quantity of sleep that you are getting. 

Getting regular exercise has been shown to be helpful in the treatment in mild to moderate depression. Getting regular exercise in the morning has been shown to improve sleep, while exercising in the afternoon or evening can make it harder to go to sleep at a decent hour. 

The estrogen drop that occurs when menopause starts causes there to be rapid bone loss, especially in the first five years following the onset of menopause. This can lead to bones easily being fractured and osteoporosis. Strength training can help you keep the bone mass you have, while remaining sedentary will allow the bone loss to occur. 

These facts make it very clear that leading a sedentary lifestyle leading up to, and throughout, menopause causes women to experience more extreme side effects than what they would otherwise have to deal with if they were engaging in physical activity on a regular basis. Even just walking for thirty minutes a few times a week can have a positive impact on the effects of menopause.

How much movement should I aim for?

At least 30 minutes most days of the week and more if you feel like it! But it has to feel like “JOY’! 

Finding your “thing”? 

Let me say first that I don’t even like the word: “Exercise”! And I am a holistic menopause coach that helps women go through menopause naturally with Joy and no drugs! But the word “exercise” makes me run the other way! The “other way” being the way that would lead me to sit on the couch or at the beach with a good book and a glass of wine or some chocolate! Do you know that one? 

BUT I discovered I do LOVE movement and play! I only discover this 9 years ago in my first Nia Class! It’s all about “no pain and all gain”, it’s about Joy and connection to other women and included moving my body to awesome music from all over the world! Best of all,  with a room full of woman that were welcoming and fun and didn’t judge me!

Nia uses easy steps, which was great because I always thought I had two left feet and was not coordinated at all! Nia is a blend of many modalities that I already learned to love and explore. Long story short, I have been teaching Nia for nine years and am also a qualified Yoga teacher now. It was a good idea to teach these modalities because I do have to turn up to my own classes and can’t stay on the sofa with my chocolate. Anyhow, why did I tell you about Nia? 

I told you about Nia, because I have found my “thing”! The “movement” that makes me happy, that feels like I am playing and having fun and not “excersing”! Remember when you were a little girl and I you loved to be outside and played? Maybe you loved to ride around on your bike or liked to skip with a rope?  Or did you dance around in your room to some music, singing along and pretending you are a famous singer (well you guessed it, that was me too!). 

What is your “thing”? The movement that doesn’t seem like “exercise” to you? Is it running around the park with the dog? Getting on a bike? A dance class? Just close your eyes for a moment and think back! Observe your feelings and when a smile comes to your lips, you will know you are on the right path to finding your “movement” thing! Then take that smile and go with it! Find that class, that club or whatever it is that makes you happy and playful! 

If you like to connect with me and other menopausal fun ladies from all over the world, why not join my free menopause-perimenopause support, love, humor and natural relief” groupwith this link!

I will see you over there. 

Lots of Love 

Susanne 

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