By Nordic Walking Watford at
Menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline, and menstruation stops.
Periods usually start to become less frequent over a few months or years before they stop altogether. Sometimes they can stop suddenly.
Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.
Common symptoms include:
Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.
The benefits of exercise at any stage of life are well documented and it’s estimated that 40% of adult women in the UK don’t get enough exercise.
Many women struggle with menopause symptoms and it is worth bearing in mind that exercise can have a big impact on our hormones.
Taking part in regular, appropriate exercise such as Nordic walking can bring huge benefits at this stage in our lives.
The key to feeling well and for our bodies to function at their best, is our hormones need to be in balance. As we approach menopause, levels of the main female hormone Oestrogen, start to fluctuate and eventually decline. This gives us a range of physical and emotional symptoms. They can sometimes seem and feel overwhelming or even debilitating.
Our lifestyle – diet, sleep, exercise – can have a hugely beneficial effect on managing our hormones, helping us feel more in control, and also preventing the more severe physical effects on menopause, such as osteoporosis – a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break
An exercise that increases your heart rate, such as Nordic Walking, gives your Oestrogen levels a boost and helps in many ways to improve overall fitness, health and wellbeing. Exercise is also known to increase the release of endorphins in the body which help us feel happy and energised. This can be particularly important during menopause when our mood, emotions and levels of motivation may fluctuate.
Nordic walking is gentle on your joints and your pelvic floor and will help to protect and strengthen your body rather than aggravate any weakness. It helps to strengthen muscles, maintain mobility and improve flexibility ensuring that our bodies age well.
There is a direct relationship between the lack of oestrogen during menopause and the later development of osteoporosis. Women’s bodies need extra weight-bearing work from mid-life in order to improve bone density and strength. Nordic walking is the perfect weight-bearing exercise, enabling support but building strength.
As well as oestrogen levels being boosted when we exercise, the stress hormone Cortisol, responsible for regulating sleep, is also released through exercise. This, combined with a natural rise in cortisol levels from our late 40s means that menopausal wake-sleep cycles are often disrupted.
High-intensity exercise actually releases a flood of cortisol into the system, which is the last thing it needs to help with sleep. But Nordic walking can provide us with regular moderate exercise which works to balance cortisol levels, thus promoting better sleep.
As levels of Oestrogen drop, your pelvic floor also becomes weaker and less elastic. Nordic walking provides a workout that focuses on your core and pelvic floor muscles without you even realising it. Every time you push through your pole you are engaging and strengthening the deep core stabilising muscles that support your pelvic floor. In addition, the active heel-toe roll used in Nordic Walking engages the whole backline of your body and activates your pelvic floor via its connection to your pelvis.
One of the best things you can do for your wellbeing, irrespective of age, gender or life stage is just get outdoors. Exercise, particularly outdoors, is known for reducing anxiety and improving mood. Add to this the social element of our classes and the sense of community they bring, and you’re ticking a lot of boxes for your menopausal wellbeing.
Then join me and the Savvy Sisters on Saturday 5th March for a fabulous day of talks and workshops.
For more information visit :
Lead Instructor and Business Owner
NORDIC WALKNG WATFORD