Menopause is an inevitable part of aging for women. Along with this stage, comes the dreaded changes that women struggle with such as weight gain, hot flashes and reduced energy levels. As estrogen levels begin to drop, it can affect your metabolism. The average woman gains between 5-7 pounds during menopause. It can also affect bone and muscle mass. These changes can be very frustrating to women, because they are eating and exercising as they always have, and it no longer seems to be working.
At menopause, women must pay more attention to a healthier diet and the quality of their workouts. By making small changes in diet and exercise habits, it is very possible to avoid weight gain and other changes in the body.
Here are the top mistakes that I see women make with their workouts during menopause and how you can offset them:
- You only do cardio workouts. Cardio is important for calorie burning and weight management. However, to preserve muscle mass, you must incorporate some weight training into your workouts. I suggest women incorporate interval training workouts with weights, to save time and fit both in. For example, you can do 3 minute intervals of jump rope and then add in squats, pushups and planks for 3 minutes. Repeat this sequence 3-4 times for a complete cardio and strength workout.
- You don’t do weight bearing exercises. Weight bearing exercises such as running, weights or stair climbing will help prevent bone loss. For post- menopause, walking is a very effective way to control your weight. Studies have indicated that walking four times a week at a rapid pace resulted in lower hip fractures.
- Your workouts are too mild. For many people, they tend to go easy on themselves during their workouts. Just because you are getting older, does not mean you can’t continue to do vigorous workouts, as long as your body feels good doing it. Take a challenging class or set new goals for your workouts that will challenge you.
- You try to do it all on your own. Most importantly, if you are working out on your own but not seeing results, consider a personal trainer. Leave it to the professionals to personalize your workouts and get you results. With a personal trainer, you can save time and energy, target problem areas, stay accountable and motivated.