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Menopause motivation and exercise

Maybe you have been exercising regularly but due to illness, stress, or sheer boredom you have stopped your fitness routine. Missing a day or two is normal and depending on the circumstances may even be good for your body. But what happens when days turn into weeks or months of inactivity? Reclaiming your motivation to exercise during menopause is challenging but it can be done!

Injury or illness
If you injured yourself during exercise or because of some other reason, or you have been ill, it makes sense to stop doing strenuous activity. Your body needs time to rest and heal from illness or injury to prevent further problems. Check with your doctor to learn if you can participate in light activities such as yoga or whether you should avoid all forms of exercise for a time. Your doctor can let you know when it is time to get back on track.

Your menopause symptoms including hot flashes and sleeplessness may be to blame for feeling less than energetic and making workouts seem overwhelming. This is the time to see your doctor and learn about treatment options to deal with troublesome symptoms that affect your daily life. Oddly enough, getting regular exercise allows us to have more energy. But it can be difficult to remember that when the thought of putting on a pair of sweats feels like a workout on top of several nights without sleep.

Menopause and related health issues
Besides menopause, you may be dealing with new health issues that accompany getting older. Heart disease, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, and other conditions make even the most athletic people take a step back to examine why exercise no longer feels good. Your doctor can help here too by suggesting ways to improve your lifestyle and types of exercise to help get or keep your body in shape.

Sometimes women notice that no matter how much exercise they do they no longer see any results. It takes more effort to lose or maintain weight, making physical activity seem hopeless. When no other physical health issues are present, a personal trainer can help you discover new exercises that will work with your body. You may need to increase intensity levels, add a few extra sessions, or incorporate new exercises to see positive results.

Small steps
Getting back to regular exercise is difficult, especially if you have been inactive for some time.

*Try just a few minutes each day; even five minutes of yoga, a short walk around the block, or five minutes of lifting light weights is enough

*Pick a time that works for you; it may be first thing in the morning, at lunchtime, or after work but the most important thing is not when you exercise but to stick to it

*Find a motivational reward such as a facial, manicure, relaxing bath, or other pleasurable activity; just avoid using food as your treat

*If you do miss a workout, do not be hard on yourself; instead just acknowledge the small slip and try again the next day

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Content copyright © 2013 by Tammy Elizabeth Southin. All rights reserved.
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