We’ve invited Jane Dowling a clinical exercise specialist to discuss with us why exercise keeps us young during menopause and beyond.
Ageing and menopause come hand in hand and both can be a struggle. However, those who know me, know I strive to feel as young as possible but this can be harder when menopausal due to both menopause symptoms and the ageing process.
If we are feeling good then looking good shines through. This is highlighted by the research undertaken by the charity Women In Sport.
Women in modern day Britain have 6 core values those core values change when we hit menopause and feeling good over looking good is key.
I know if I am not on my A game with exercise and eating well not only does my mind and body suffer it shows in my face, skin and how I move. Waking up feeling stiff is common, but with daily mobility and stretches helps me feel like my younger self.
Our skin becomes less elastic and firm; however, our ligaments and tendons become stiffer, our joints become less mobile and we lose power from our muscles. So, we need to tackle both our body from the inside out.
When I exercise, I feel energised and the bags under my eyes disappear, my skin looks better along with my muscle tone and how I hold myself.
Exercising helps promote sleep; the body repairs itself when we sleep, you know yourself how you feel and look after a bad night’s sleep.
Sleep can be a problem during menopause and I understand it is hard if you are suffering with night sweats and waking up at in the middle of the night, I have been there and glad that part of my menopause has passed. If you are having problems, then you might want to read my blog from “Why I feared my bed”.
Moving and challenging your body will have amazing benefits not only physically but mentally. I post regularly on Instagram and my Insta stories about how I move on a daily basis – it isn’t just about going to the gym; it’s just about moving and becoming breathless on a daily basis and I try and demonstrate this. I also talk about how I am feeling and coping with life and menopause which is always linked back to how much I move, what I eat and if I am practising mindfulness or meditation; I have been in the health and fitness industry for 25 years, but even my halo drops occasionally!
I have been active most of my life; from being a gymnast when I was younger to teaching aerobics for a long time at the beginning of my career. The worst time of my life was when I entered menopause, at the same time, I was also recovering from a car accident and life changing shoulder surgery.
I was very inactive; not only did I feel horrible I looked dreadful!
My body felt old, I felt and looked tired all the time and I could not see the positives in life and really thought I was finished.
I rehabbed my injuries and slowly became active over time; I am happy to say (touch wood) that if I am careful, I can pretty much do most activities.
When I exercise not only does it have a positive impact on how I feel right then, it has longer term health benefits. My skin glows and I feel energised, I feel more positive and I am certainly more productive.
My point I am trying to make is that exercise keeps us young! So, take small steps today and over time you will feel and look younger. Do 1 thing today to make you feel better, even if it is lying in bed stretching, tomorrow you could go for a walk, by this time next year you will feel and look a whole lot better!
Jane is a clinical exercise specialist and has over 20 years’ experience in the health and fitness arena. She is a public speaker and blogger, as well as running a successful fitness studio in London Bridge. Inspired by her own menopause experiences she founded MENO&ME which offers evidence-based exercise, diet and lifestyle advice to women on how to find their fabulous again through menopause and beyond! Jane has extensive experience in dealing with a variety of clients, including older adults suffering from heart disease and osteoporosis. This ignited a passion to help educate younger women on how to take preventative measures towards improving their overall health www.menoandme.com