Exercise to Lose Weight Gained in Menopause


Why Exercise?

Becoming, or staying, fit during menopause, and using exercise to lose weight is vital.

Why? Because on average, you can expect to gain 5-10lb (2.25-4.5 kg) during your menopause. And guess what? Women who exercise least are the ones who gain the most.

If that wasn't enough to spur you on to using exercise to lose weight, there are other persuasive reasons to get off your backside and get moving!

  • Exercise makes you feel better. Exercise can help lift depression, it boosts self-esteem, improves your mood and makes you feel good about yourself.
  • By speeding up your metabolism, exercise helps keep menopause weight gain at bay, especially around your oh-so-susceptible middle.

How Can Exercise Help You Lose Weight?

Mature woman on bike

Losing weight is a simple numbers game. Look at it like this. One pound (just under half a kilo) of stored fat equals roughly 3500 calories. Over a week, all you need to do to lose that pound of fat is cut the calories you take in by eating and drinking, OR increase the number of calories you use up in exercise by 3500, OR do a bit of both!

Every day, your body uses up energy - measured in calories - just to exist. Even if you sat completely still all day, your body would still burn calories just to keep you warm and keep your heart breathing, your lungs breathing and so on.

The good news is that around a quarter of the amount of energy your body uses up every day comes from the activity and exercise you do. That's a good-sized chunk of energy-out, and it's under your control. All you have to do is increase the amount of movement you make consistently, and you'll burn up more of those demon calories.

Using exercise to lose weight helps the battle of the bulges in several ways:

   -    it burns off calories which would otherwise be stored as fat
   -    it kickstarts your metabolism, so you burn calories more efficiently
   -    done regularly, it changes the proportions of muscle-to-fat that you carry

Your Weight Loss Exercise Program

The best way to exercise to lose weight is by using a combination of aerobic exercises and resistance training. Both types are essential to your overall fitness and longterm health during and after the menopause. Make sure you also include some weight bearing exercise as well, to strengthen your bones.

Aerobic exercise

This gets your heart working. Not only that, it sends a message to your fat cells, that it's okay to relinquish some of the blubber they have in store, because exercise itself can help make up for your estrogen shortfall.

In an aerobic exercise program, you pit your own body weight against gravity, and the effort that that takes burns off the calories. Think in terms of about four hours of aerobic exercise spread over a week, and choose from a variety of activities such as walking, running to lose weight, swimming, cycling, sport, ball games, or gym workouts.

Strength training

Strength training exercises, also known as resistance training, are what you need to lose fat and gain muscle. And muscle is great stuff for menopausal women. Muscle mass declines with age, and with it goes your strength.

But the good news is that you can stop this reversal in its tracks and up the amount of muscle on your body through tapping into the benefits of strength training using simple exercises. And no, you won't end up looking like an Olympic shot-putter, in fact you'll look trimmer and feel younger and more energised.

Preserving your muscle mass through resistance training holds back any age-related drop in metabolism, and, even better, helps stop that menopausal body fat from getting a grip.

Strength training - muscle training - also reduces flab. Because muscle is sleek and compact when compared to fat, it makes your body look more toned and slender.

Added to that, one pound (0.45 kg) burns up more calories than the same weight of fat even when you're resting, so the more muscle you have, the easier it becomes to lose weight.

It's Never Too Late to use Exercise to Lose Weight

Once you get the exercise habit, you won't want to stop. As your fitness improves you'll be able to do more - and you'll feel like doing more! It's great not to feel puffed as you nip up the stairs, or to be strong enough to lift a bag of groceries without groaning.

Exercise has huge health benefits right through life, and never more so than during and after menopause. Use a weight loss exercise program and you'll reap the rewards more and more as the years go by. Using exercise to lose weight can have major benefits in your life.

So, do you want to end up fit, or frail? The choice is yours.

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Facts about Menopause

Fit? Or frail? You choose.

The older you are, the more you stand to benefit from exercise.

And please - no pretending!

In a UK survey, women kidded themselves they were doing three 30-minute sessions per week, when in reality they were doing far less.

Only 25% of women aged 35-44 were exercising enough.

By age 55-64 the numbers breaking a weekly sweat were just 16%.

And among the over-65s, a mere 7% were managing their weekly exercise stints.

Exercise improves your chance of staying fit and active for longer, so forget your age! If your overall health is good there's every reason to get active.

Read aboutwalking shoes for women - essential equipment for your walking regime.

Read a review of mbt shoes - a fantastic exercise tool.


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