Unfortunately, weight gain is common among menopausal women. The hormonal imbalance can slow your metabolism, cause excessive cravings, and result in your body retaining or redistributing fat. As the pounds pack on, you're probably eager to start exercising consistently to keep the pounds off. Instead of reaching for impossible goals, use these helpful tips to make working out fit into your life.
Keep a Workout Journal
There is something innately satisfying about planning out your workout routine in a journal. Once it's down on paper, you will be less likely to disregard it. Schedule out what you want to do each day. Here is an example journal entry:
- Monday - Yoga
- Tuesday - 30 minutes of cardio
- Wednesday - Weight lifting 40 minutes
- Thursday - Rest
- Friday - Zumba in the park
- Saturday - 40 minutes of cardio with the girls
- Sunday - Rest
It can feel very rewarding to cross things off your list when done, and just imagine how you'll feel when you fill a whole book. This is a great way to not only stay motivated, but to see how far you've come in addition to looking and feeling great.
Keep it Fun
Don't turn your workouts into drawn out and boring sessions at the gym. Exercising should be fun, uplifting, and relieve any stress that's built up throughout the day. After all, it increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to promote joy. When it comes to cardio, for example, you don't need to run on a treadmill; take it to the park, swim, or even just dance around your house.
Zumba, yoga, and aerobics classes are also a good way to share a sense of community. Once you find a teacher and participants you love, it keeps you excited to return each session.
Time and Space
Much of the reason why people don't stick to workout routines is because they feel they don't have the time or space to do it. The first thing you need to do is make it clear to your family that you're serious about working out, and it's a valuable part of your life. You don't need much space for calisthenics or aerobic exercise, so reserve a space in your house and turn into your special workout sanctuary. As a rule, if a yoga mat fits, it's enough space. If there are days where it doesn't fit into your busy schedule, try to wake up 30 - 60 minutes early to start your day off on a positive note.
Exercise with a Friend
If you are an outgoing person, you can benefit from keeping active with a friend. If you have a friend who is already in a good workout routine and looking for some company, then you should hop on board. This makes you feel more accountable to stick to your routine. This is a good way to keep motivated, have fun, and even raise levels of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter known to induce feelings of support.
With a little bit of planning, sincere willingness, and a desire to have fun, you can stick to an excellent workout routine. When you don't have a program set, it's much easier to let days and weeks pass without getting your heart rate going. You will feel fantastic, toned, and shed pounds if you make exercise an integral and enjoyable part of your life.
Follow the link below for further information on dealing with weight gain during menopause.
- Harvard Medical School. (2011). Benefits of exercise: reduces stress, anxiety, and helps fight depression. Retrieved June 26, 2014, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/benefits-of-exercisereduces-stress-anxiety-and-helps-fight-depression
- National Institutes of Health. (2015). Exercise and Physical Fitness. Retrieved June 26, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/exerciseandphysicalfitness.html
- Office on Women's Health. (2009). Physical activity. Retrieved June 26, 2014, from http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/physical-activity.html