Menopause and running: Everything you need to know

By January 6, 2020 No Comments

In your 50s, you tend to be exhausted and irritated as you’ve officially reached the age when your ovaries have ceased releasing eggs, and you haven’t had a period for a year.

However, you have the right to feel young and healthy even in our 50s when high-impact and weight-bearing forms of exercise can become crucial.

What is Menopause?

The average age for menopause is between 45 and 55, which is caused due to changing hormone levels, mainly a reducing estrogen level, provide a range of signs from hot flushes and night sweats, to mood fluctuations and forgetfulness. Aching joints, fatigue, weight addition, headaches, and palpitations are normal too. It’s no wonder you can detect the groans!

Here’s how running can help

  1. Strengthens bones – Our bone mass rises around the age of 30, and we lose a little each year, there’s an unexpected surge in that loss around the menopause. Running is a weight-bearing workout that helps to drive bone growth, slow down that reduction, and further maintain bone mass.
  2. Builds muscle – In a similar way, as our bone mass diminishes as we age, we lose muscle mass too. This is termed sarcopenia. It’s vital that we build and protect our muscles to protect our joints further and keep us mobile and independent as we age.
  3. Prevent weight gain – Putting on weight is one of the symptoms women dislike most about their menopausal years. Frequent running will help to control this natural weight gain, and building muscle will help to increase your basal metabolic rate; this is the energy your body needs just to keep performing daily, and it typically lags as we age.
  4. Improves mood – Mood changes, varying from moderate grumpiness to clinical depression, are a feature of the menopause. Exercise is a proven method for mild to moderate depression. The body’s discharge of endorphins during vigorous exercise such as running can benefit everyone.
  5. Improve general health – The chances of many diseases start to develop when women reach menopause. Constant running is a great way to decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, breast cancer, bowel cancer, and countless conditions.
  6. Reduce menopausal symptoms – There’s increasing evidence that the aches and cramps, fatigue, and probably the hot flushes of the menopause can be decreased by exercise. It’s not constantly easy to escape, but it’s always worth it.
  7. Brings your friends – Sometimes all you want is someone to have a great moan to, someone to understand with what you’re going through or someone to drive you to step out and run. Running friends are excellent for all of these.

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