Exercise your way into Menopause

Now that I’m in my forties I’m thinking a lot about what effect menopause will have on my body.  I already notice changes happening as I enter into the peri-menopause stage.  This can last from 8 – 10 years prior to actual menopause. So it’s really important to tune into your body during this transition.

Many of my female clients are also in their forties and their main concern is dealing with what is known as the “middle age spread”  What happens is that a lot of women tend to exercise less during this time and therefore the weight creeps on as the hormones change.  But if regular exercise is part of your routine then the symptoms of menopause can be reduced.  Anxiety can become a problem for woman during this time and the best way to combat that is by keeping fit to reduce stress.  The focused breathing techniques used in Yoga have been known to reduce hot flashes.  During peri-menopause bone density decreases so it’s essential to strength train to protect against weakening bones and the threat of osteoporosis.  If we can maintain our muscle mass through regular resistance training then we can keep our metabolism from declining.  Exercise also helps to prevent joint pain, sleep disturbances, irritability and weight gain.  And we all know that it can help protect against high blood pressure, heart attack and strokes.  All of which become more of a concern as we age.

This is a stage in life when many women are dealing with other life changes.  It should be a time when women can focus on themselves more.  Just don’t let yourself slow down too much.

The female body is complex but at the same time pretty darn incredible! So ladies….keep active, eat healthy, tune into your body and enjoy life.

Menopause photo

Cardiac Deaths higher over the Holidays

My dad had his massive heart attack on the morning of Christmas Eve.  He was working crazy hours to meet deadlines before taking a break over the holidays.  He also hadn’t done his Christmas shopping.  My mom later found his shopping list. He had planned to do it all that day.  It was the most difficult time I have ever experienced in my life and the fact that it happened at a time of year that’s supposed to be the happiest made it that much more trying for my family.

The main reason I became so passionate about health & fitness is because I lost my father to a disease that can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle.  It’s always been my mission to help people realize how important it is to reduce stress, exercise and eat right.  These are pretty simple things to do really but it’s amazing how people think that this will never happen to them.  It’s this kind of denial that prevents people from seeking medical help when they are feeling the symptoms of heart attack or stroke.

At this time of year there are so many more stressors that weigh heavily on all of us. Not to mention the overindulging in holiday treats and alcohol.

Studies have shown that the number of cardiac deaths is higher on Dec. 25th than on any other day of the year, second highest is Dec. 26th and third highest is Jan. 1st.  The study also suggests that people may put off getting medical treatment over the holidays because they don’t want to disrupt the festivities.

This is the most important time to stay with your exercise routine, drink in moderation and continue to make healthy eating choices. Listen to your body and get plenty of rest and relaxation during this time of year.  If you feel off it’s better to get checked out than leaving your family to plan your funeral over Christmas.

I wish you all the best for a healthy, happy and fit holiday season and the best of the New Year!  And most of all, give your family the most special gift of all, your presence for many, many more years!

I miss you dad! xo

Me and dad

Exercise for relief of anxiety

Coming from someone that suffers from anxiety, I can tell you that exercise is one of the greatest, natural ways to relieve those feelings.  Studies have proven that exercise can provide effective relief from anxiety and continue long after a workout is over.

 It doesn’t necessarily have to be strenuous exercise that will help cleanse your mind, but rather something that takes the focus off anxious thoughts.  I tend to be a “catastrophizer” so I require workouts that will allow my brain to drain itself of worry.
Mountain biking on difficult terrain keeps my mind tuned in to every little obstacle and I know if I don’t stay focused I will end up off my bike.  Yoga is another amazing way to become aware of your mind, body connection.  It really is a wonderful cleanse for the mind.  If you are into dancing, you will find so many great benefits there, especially if you have to learn some choreography.  You won’t even notice the workout and the social aspect alone can do wonders for anxiety relief.  The focus required of any workout will decrease overall levels of tension, improve mood, help you sleep better and will no doubt improve your self esteem.
I continually encourage my clients to try to get a workout in when they are really feeling the ill effects of stress. One of my clients just sent me a text to tell me that she just completed an hour long workout and she feels so much better. 🙂  She said she could share this feeling with me because she knows I will get it.   It sounds like she is enjoying a good endorphin high! 🙂
I hope that if there is something weighing heavily on your shoulders you can surely find some relief in moving your body.