Weight gain is a common problem in menopause and so it’s important to have an exercise program in place. Exercise not only makes your body look better, it’s also a great way to improve a cranky mood.
I found out the hard way that some exercises are no longer appropriate at middle age and beyond. One exercise that appealed to me and involved some friendly competition, was playing racquetball at the gym. How hard could it be, you stand in your court and hit the ball back to your opponent?
I was having fun and jumped up to return a serve and felt a pop in my knee. A visit to the orthopedist confirmed that I had strained my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Her advice was to knock off acting like I was thirty-something and stick with low impact exercise.
Here are three safe, low- impact exercises for women in menopause:
There’s nothing like a brisk walk in the fresh air to put you into a positive frame of mind, and it also gives you time to plan your day, talk to your Higher Power, and put your problems into perspective. If you’re just starting an exercise program, aim for 10 minutes a day and then gradually increase your time. If you prefer someone to walk with you, recruit a friend or join a walking club.
When you swim, you increase the capacity of your heart to take in more oxygen, which relieves stress. Water takes pressure off of aching joints, and works as resistance to your core, arms, and legs. If you use a front stroke, your chest muscles and back receive a nice workout.
Who says that exercise has to be dull and boring? Dancing allows you to socialize with people you know and make new friends. You may prefer something slow like ball dancing or kick it in to high gear with some square dancing. Dancing can help prevent osteoporosis by keeping the bones stronger, and the joints lubricated. Dancing raises endorphin levels, and helps combat stress and depression.
What kind of exercises do you use?