If you are in perimenopause, you are probably feeling confused and frustrated. Perimenopause is the time when estrogen levels drop. As estrogen levels drop, the body stores fat making women more prone to gaining weight. Estrogen activates the pathways that regulate metabolism. Decrease in estrogen levels leads to body fat accumulation.
As you may recall in a previous blog, “Are you in perimenopause?”, I spoke of 3 ways to beat perimenopausal weight gain. Today I want to particularly focus on exercise. As I entered perimenopause in my early 40’s, I noticed weight gain. This had never been an issue for me other than in my childhood for a short period of time. As a personal trainer it became rather frustrating regardless of how much I worked out. I soon came to realize that my exercise routine needed to be changed. I included strength training, aerobic exercise and high intensity fat burning (this is not for everyone). If you have never exercised, you should begin slowly increasing to a level that is just beyond uncomfortable. Physical activity according to a study done at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found this to be successful in maintaining normal weight.
While you are in perimenopause, inflammation can increase especially if you are exercising the wrong way or over-exercising. The right kinds of exercise can in fact reduce inflammation during perimenopause and menopause. Maximizing cardiovascular exercise, strength conditioning and balance during perimenopause will increase your metabolism. As we are not able to recover as quickly as perimenopause progresses, the ups and downs of our hormonal shift and perimenopause symptoms such as insomnia, hot flashes and mood swings are ready to take control and wreak havoc. It now becomes frustrating to maintain an efficient workout regimen and schedule as fatigue takes over. My advice would be to hang in there and don’t give up. Start by getting better sleep, this will also help the mood swings. If you are suffering from hot flashes, choose a better diet or you may want to consider some form of hormone replacement therapy.
Here are some forms of low-inflammation workouts if you are faced with inflammation problems:
*Yoga or hot Yoga
*body weight strength training (using your body only, no weights)
As many women, including myself, experience and must go through the nightmare of perimenopause and menopause, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Finding the light may seem to take forever and you may feel as though you will never get through it as you become confused and frustrated about the whole roller coaster ride. One thing for sure is you’re not alone. Taking the necessary steps one at a time and taking the bull by the horns is the path to a smoother journey.
Although my journey has been a long one and is still a work in progress, I continue to step forward and have had successful results and so can you. When wondering if you are in perimenopause, know that the feelings of confusion and frustration are normal. Know that you don’t stand alone and know that the phases of perimenopause and menopause are the end of life but rather the beginning of a new you!
Until next time, Be empowered, Stay motivated, Be connected … AnnaMaria
About the author: AnnaMaria is a 49 year old single mother of two. She has had the privilege of assisting many perimenopausal, menopausal and post menopausal woman transform their lives not only physically but emotionally. It is with compassion and understanding as she journeys through the phase of menopause to share her experiences and knowledge with all women. Her goal is to empower women to know that age doesn’t matter, to know that they deserve to look and feel their best and to help solve the menopause puzzle.
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