Friday, August 3, 2007


What is menopause?

The three phases of a women’s reproductive life are pre-, peri- and post - menopause. Menopause is said to have occurred when a woman has not menstruated naturally for 12 consecutive months; it usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 years. Peri-menopause refers to the lead up (or transition) to the menopause. These days however peri-menopause is often used synonymously with menopause
For most women menopause occurs gradually over two to six year, during these years the symptoms of menopause can occur due to fluctuating hormonal levels. Finally menopause occurs when the ovaries stop making the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. For most women, menopause simply marks the end of reproductive years.
According to American Council of Exercise (ACE) the average age of menopause is about 51, but ACE also indicates some women may experience it as early as in thirties or as late as their sixties.
Menopausal symptoms may come and go with fluctuating hormone levels, the most common symptom is hot flushes however there are many other symptoms like

Night sweat, Tiredness, Depression, Loss of sexual desire, Mood changes, Forgetfulness, Fatigue, Loss of muscle strength

Change in Body Composition associated with Menopause

Menopause and aging are associated with significant changes in body composition (the proportion of fat, muscle, and bone in the body) such as a decrease in muscle and bone
mass, and a corresponding increase in fat mass. The increase in fat mass is generally associated with the accumulation of fat around the abdomen and organs and is associated with an increased risk of disease. The prevention of excess body fat (particularly fat around the abdomen) is both protective and therapeutic.

Exercise Recommendation to ease into menopause

1 - Moderate intensity aerobic exercise combined with reduced energy intakes from the diet is an effective approach.
2 - Aerobic exercise that involves jumping or hopping which can maintain bone density.
3 - Moderate to high intensity aerobic training which is effective as anti-depressants.
4 - Resistance training to improved bone health at the spine and hip, exercise like squats, functional weight training with a combination of balance exercises.
5 - Resistance exercise target the abdominal and mid section, exercise like weighted crunches, leg raises and dorsal raises.

To reap the benefits of exercise, a balanced program of weight-bearing aerobic activity (walking is great), strength training (with weights, resistance bands, yoga), and flexibility is essential. Consistency is key so strive for some moderate activity daily, or at least most days of the week.

Simple Ab exercise while you work

Push your chair back from your desk until you're an arm's distance away, with room to lift your knees. Sit erect on the edge of your chair and place your hands flat on the edge of your desk, arms straight but relaxed. Squeezing your legs and ankles together, lift your heels until your toes barely touch the flood. Contract your abdominal muscles gently, drawing your navel in as if to place it on your spine, then pull the sides of your torso in; this should be comfortable, and you should be able to breathe naturally. Exhale, and lift your feet a few inches off the floor without leaning backward or collapsing your torso. Inhale, and lower your toes to the floor. Repeat throughout the day.

References: American Council on Exercise (ACE) Women’s Menopausal Health Center, United States, Science Journal, Exercise Ease Menopausal Symptoms, Australian Institute of Physical Activity


Anonymous said...

Well said “ACE also indicates some women may experience it as early as in thirties”

But I still think it is useless to do all that exercise and not enjoy sex
Gals be sexually active you will live longer and when choosing men to exercise [have sex] avoid Vahaabi men they will just enjoy abusing you with almost no sex

fishpeople said...

informative article...most Maldivian women hit menopause a little earlier than expected. don't know why that is ?.i guess its coz too many women become bulky as soon as they have a child, and something in their brain tells them they are old and unattractive to be desired by there partner.Anyway great article to let women realize that time is running out...heheheh..