YES, YOU DO STILL NEED TO KNOW HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BODY! In the menopause more than any other time in your life!
I often hear from women: “Oh! I’m way past the menopause, I’m too late to do anything!” “I’m beyond help”
“I don’t have symptoms anymore as I’m post menopause and ok now”
Ladies – it is NEVER too late to learn how you CAN help your body age well. Do you actually think about your bone or heart health?? Are you doing anything about your bone health?? Get Educated!!
I’m talking about this now as this was the subject of week 6 of the Everything Menopause Programme https://www.vickihill.co.uk/class/everything-menopause-fitness/ We looked at how important it is to think about our bones as they are not only affected by the natural aging process, but then post menopause our bones weaken at a much faster rate.
Bone health in the Menopause
I have to admit, before I studied the menopause I didn’t really think about how important my bones were – have you ever thought about it? I doubt it! However, from the age of 35 our bone density begins to slowly decline, but once we are post menopausal they begin to decline at a much faster rate.
For women 1:3 over the age of 50 sustain fractures (men are 1:5)
Women over the age of 45 yrs are hospitalised due to osteoporosis – more than for cancer or heart disease. That’s quite a scary statistic (from the Institute of bone health)
The GOOD NEWS is that bones are made from reactive tissue and if they are stressed and have pressure put on them, they do strengthen and for women, quicker than for men.
What you can do
It is about impact whether it is low impact like standing or walking to high impact like skipping, running, jumping. They can all make a difference to our bones. Move in multidirectional ways, not just forwards and back.
Take a look at what you do. You have to take into account your body – I would not advise those with osteoporosis to be jumping around doing burpees or those with pelvic floor issues to be sprinting or doing squat jumps.
So it is about knowing YOUR body, do what is suitable for you. Build up gently – if you have sore knees – they may actually benefit from more exercise to strengthen them (unless you have had knee injury/surgery, the problem with knees if often from elsewhere in the body).
If you are a cyclist or swimmer, then look at really pushing it on those hills or doing lengths. Build the muscle strength around the bones to support and protect the bones.
Our muscles also weaken with age (called Sarcopenia), again more so post menopause. We want strong muscles to support our body and bones. They also need to move – lengthen & shorten and need to be stressed to strengthen. Remember, the heart is a muscle and it needs to be stressed for short periods of time to then strengthen.
Heart disease is the no1 killer of women in midlife!! So get out of breath for short periods of time – it may feel uncomfortable but it will keep you in better health.
Look at your POSTURE
Look at your posture side on – chin sticking out? slumped upper back? bum sticking out? A few tweaks can actually begin to support and look after your spine.
Think: Shake out shoulders then gently pull them down (rather than hard back), gently tuck your chin in, rock your pelvis till it is not overly tipped backwards or forwards.
NUTRITION & HYDRATION
Are you getting enough Vitamin D?? Time to supplement it – especially in the winter. Look at calcium but try not to take too much and on its own – it calcifies and can cause kidney stones.
Water is essential – our bones are made up of 22% water.
Can you now see there is more to think about than you think. You are never too old to change things and never too old to look after your body and never too old to learn how to look after your body!