MOVEMENT SCIENCE


There are so many evidence-based reasons why we should get moving in perimenopause, such as weight management, promoting mental health, and strengthening our bone and muscle mass (all covered over the coming weeks). Another reason is to exercise regularly is to help with joint and muscle pain - a symptom that 50% women report experiencing during their menopause transition. Falling levels of oestrogen reduce the amount of fluid the body holds which results in less lubrication to protect joint tissues and declining levels of flexibility of our ligaments and tendons. Women tend to experience joint pain mostly in the morning with aches, stiffness and burning sensations disappearing as the day wears on.  


MOVEMENT HACK


Pain can make the strongest of women emotional. Understanding the right kind of exercise can be crucial in maintaining pain, as well as mental and emotional resilience. Here are some tips you can try:


1. Think of your movement as food. The movement you give your body is just as important as the food you put in your mouth to fuel it. After exercising, how does your body and mind feel? 2. Work out what exercise makes you happy! If you are suffering joint and muscle pain, low impact exercises such as yoga, cycling, low impact aerobics and dance (and swimming after lock-down) are great ways to keep up your fitness. Always warm up first and avoid high impact exercise and heavy weights that can make joint pain worse.

3. Create a weekly movement menu bespoke to your needs. Mixing up your exercise is important not only for your physical health but your mental health too. A movement menu can be a lot of fun, as well as making sure you don't over-do it in a specific area which will see you loose energy, instead of maintain it

4. Pain can be debilitating but always keep moving. We now know just how detrimental stopping exercise altogether can be for our bodies. Instead think about a more gentle way to move that your body can handle until the pain diminishes

5. Be aware of your posture and how you move throughout the day not just when you are exercising. Good posture helps alleviate pressure off the joints. Don't forget to drink plenty of water or herbal teas throughout the day (8 glasses) as hydration helps replenish lost fluids and makes joints more nimble


Today's tip has been brought to you by @Abi Adams, an inspiring and experienced woman's movement coach who specialises in using various disciplines like yoga, martial arts and calisthenics to help women tune into their body's changing rhythm to get the most from their exercise - www.abiadams.co.uk

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STATE OF FLOW SCIENCE

Women in perimenopause are more likely to suffer with acute anxiety and stress than at any other stage in life, so living through a pandemic & perimenopause isn't a great combination!  A drop in oestrogen has a huge impact on our outlook and resilience levels. Heart palpitations, panic attacks and tightness in the tummy and chest are all ways in which our mental state can also affect us physically. One way of calming ourselves down during the day is to find ways to get ourselves into a 'state of flow'. There have been many studies to show that activities that are intensely experiential (demanding our attention & focus and to be in the moment), with achievement is down to our effort and creatively, greatly enhance our wellbeing. 


STATE OF FLOW HACK

This is a perfect time to pick a past-time that gets you into a state of flow. So, today I'd like you to choose an activity that helps you lose track of time and forget what's going on outside your home.  That might be painting or doodling, calligraphy, playing an instrument, gaming, doing a jigsaw puzzle...don't forget to share your experiences on what you did and how it made you feel.


#takechargeofyourchange



SLEEP SCIENCE

Sleep is often the number one thing we need to nail in perimenopause. Many women suffer with insomnia, an early indicator that our hormones are falling. Lower testosterone levels suppress melatonin that tells our body it’s time to go to sleep.  A drop in progesterone reduces a chemical known as GABA that helps us relax into sleep and stay asleep. Finally, oestrogen helps produce serotonin, our happy hormone so when it's low it disrupts sleep. The overall impact of low and fluctuating hormones is poor quality sleep. It's very common for women to complain about waking up in the middle of the night, feeling anxious and agitated or feeling tired during the day.  The result of poor quality sleep leads to elevated stress levels, lower mood and resilience, brain fog and fatigue.


SLEEP HACK

For tonight, I’d like you to create your own 4-stage bedtime ritual to help you get to sleep. Each night you need to follow the same sequence at the same time which shouldn’t be hard as we don’t have any parties to go to! Choose calming activities that soothe you and get you in the mood for bed. For example, Step 1 might be dimming the lights or lighting a scented candle. Step 2 could be writing down a happy thought about the day. By writing this down, it helps you drift off to sleep in a positive and grateful mood. Or perhaps you would prefer to write down a list of worries or things you need to do tomorrow. By getting things off your chest, you are less likely to wake up from it in the middle of the night. For Step 3 consider listening to relaxing music or a night-time guided meditation to put you in a deep state of calm. We bloody love Bethany Auriel-Hagen’s sleep meditations @insighttimer. For Step 4, this may be putting on an eye mask, using a lavender rollerball behind your ears (the gateway to your endocrine system) or taking a few deep breaths so your abdomen expands.  Over time, these associated sleep rituals will instantly put you in the right frame of mind to nod off quickly.



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