When you are a Personal Trainer your clients can come in all shapes and sizes. Menopause is a significant and often challenging phase in a woman’s life, marked by hormonal changes that can affect various aspects of health, including cardiovascular well-being. In honor of World Menopause Day (18th October), we reached out to the members of the Facebook group “Menopause Muse” to hear their experiences related to cardiovascular health during menopause and their strategies for maintaining an active lifestyle during this transitional period, to help you best understand your clients.
Here, we share the valuable insights and tips provided by these women.
Dealing with Energy Levels and Heart Palpitations
Many women entering menopause struggle with low energy levels and cardiovascular symptoms. One member shared that she experiences fast heartbeats and palpitations during exercise. Despite receiving a clean bill of health from her doctors, she finds this discomfort stressful and tends to avoid exercise. It’s essential to remember that such symptoms can be part of menopausal changes, and it’s crucial to consult with healthcare professionals for guidance.
Zumba Dance Fitness and Stamina
For some, exercise remains a crucial part of their menopausal journey. A member of the group shared her experience with Zumba dance fitness, walking, and high-impact cardio. Despite a prior heart condition, she believes that her active lifestyle is instrumental in maintaining her heart health and managing anxiety. This story emphasises the potential benefits of regular exercise during menopause.
Aqua Aerobics for Joint Pain
Joint pain, especially in the knees, can be a challenging symptom of menopause. One woman shared her discovery of aqua aerobics as an enjoyable solution. This low-impact exercise is gentle on the joints and provides an effective workout, making it an ideal choice for those experiencing painful joints.
Weightlifting and Yoga for Heart and Bones
Another member emphasised the benefits of weightlifting for heart health and bone strength. Weightlifting is not just for bodybuilders; it can help women maintain their overall health during menopause. Additionally, incorporating yoga for flexibility can balance the intensity of weightlifting and create a holistic exercise routine.
Adapting to Changes in Body Shape
Weight gain is a common concern during menopause, and some women find it challenging to adapt to their changing bodies. One member shared her experience of gaining weight rapidly. She decided to focus on exercise she enjoys, like pilates, to maintain her flexibility and overall well-being, rather than solely fixating on weight loss. This story underscores the importance of embracing your body’s changes and prioritising health over appearance.
HRT and Diverse Exercise Regimen
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can play a pivotal role in aiding menopausal women in their exercise journey. One member mentioned that HRT significantly improved her ability to exercise, allowing her to engage in activities like nordic walking, swimming, ballet, and strength training. This demonstrates the multifaceted approaches women can take to stay active and healthy.
Overcoming SVT with a Variety of Exercises
Some women, like a member who developed Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) during perimenopause, must be particularly mindful of their cardiovascular health. Despite a family history of cardiac issues, she participates in a variety of classes, including pump, spin, dance, and body balance. The determination to attend classes has a profoundly positive impact on her well-being, motivating her to prioritise her heart health.
Small Changes, Consistency, and Self-Compassion
The final piece of advice is a reminder to be kind to yourself. The key to maintaining an active lifestyle during menopause is finding enjoyable activities, making small changes, and being consistent. Taking things one step at a time and allowing yourself time to recover is essential. On low-energy days, a simple walk outside can be rejuvenating and may surprise you with how it boosts your motivation.
Menopause is a transformative phase in a woman’s life, impacting both physical and emotional well-being. The experiences and tips shared by the members of the “Menopause Muse” Facebook group highlight the importance of making sure your clients stay active during this time and how it can positively impact cardiovascular health. Each woman’s journey is unique, and their stories provide valuable insights and encouragement for others navigating menopause. It’s a reminder that exercise can be an essential tool in managing menopausal symptoms and promoting overall well-being.
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