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.
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