During menopause, women often experience significant changes and among those changes is an increase in weight especially in the abdominal region. Women, on average, gain about five pounds during the menopause transition. While exercise and diet are extremely important throughout a woman’s life, regular exercise and proper nutrition are particularly vital at midlife and beyond.
It is well known that exercise and diet play a key role in weight management and stress reduction, but many women may not know that staying fit and strong can ease menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes as well as reduce the risks for developing heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, depression and osteoporosis.
While calorie intake and calorie expenditure is central to maintaining body weight, women also must contend with the resulting effects of declining estrogen levels. When estrogen is moving through a woman’s body, fat is commonly deposited on her hips and thighs; however as estrogen levels fall, the female body shape changes as fat now finds its way around the middle region.
In addition to the rapid decline of hormones, women typically begin to experience a decrease in bone density and muscle mass. Unless a woman does regular strength training exercises to maintain her muscle mass, she is likely to see a decrease in her metabolic rate and an increase in overall body fat. Less muscle equates to a lower metabolic rate and fewer calories burned.
To learn more about how eating a well-balanced diet and participating in regular exercise have been found to improve a woman’s menopause experience; I invite you to the next Red Hot Mamas support group. I will be hosting the Red Hot Mamas program, “Menopause & Weight Management: Staying Fit, Strong and Fabulous,” on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at Portneuf Medical Center. The free seminar will be held in the Pebble Creek Auditorium. Doors open at 6pm and the presentation will begin at 6:30. There will be a question and answer session following the presentation.
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If you are struggling with significant weight and its associated medical problems, we are here to help.