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Menopause Workout

Discussion in 'Ask Cathe' started by MPeterson, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. MPeterson New Member

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    Hi Cathe,

    Up until a few years ago, I was an avid exercisers. I was always extremely proud of my body and what it could accomplish. Running 10 miles was nothing to me. I also did step, weights, kickboxing... Whatever came along.

    Then a few years ago I started getting horrible migraines when I worked out. They were so bad, my vision was even effected. After, approximately 3 years, my neurologist finally found a drug which prevents them, with no side effects. Since I had never suffered from migraines before, she has diagnosed them due to hormones and menopause.

    So, to the point. I've just started getting back into working out. No running, as I am still afraid of migraines. However, I can do step, weights and my nordic trak again. I workout at least 6 times a week for an hour and a half.

    I have always watched what I ate, but due to not being able to exercise for a few years, I gained approximately 30 pounds. I weigh more now than when I was 9 months pregnant.

    I've started to see my muscle tone return. But, the scale doesn't seem to want to budge. There a 5 women where I work, all the same age, all in the same predicament.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at, is it would be wonderful if someone came out with a workout designed specifically for pre, post and menopausal women. It seems as though fat just loves to reside around your abdomen, upper arms and hips, when you hit this stage of life.

    Just so you have an idea of me, I am 5'6" and weigh 160 lbs. I've always been in the high 120's to low 130's. I also had the pleasure of my breasts growing unbelievably during this time. So much so, I just had a breast reduction in June.

    Anyways, I'm rambling. Do you have any plans on coming out with a workout plan designed for menopausal women? I think there is a huge market for it.

    Megan
     
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  2. ambr1t New Member

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    Our stories are so similar!

    Apart from the fact that I have been fortunate enough not to have suffered from migraines, I feel that our stories are very similar. I have always worked out and back in my early forties I was a gym rat....doing aerobics in the morning and then back at the gym again in the evening to lift. My body showed in a positive way, I was very proud. Then I hit my late forties and menopause struck me like a speeding train. Although the workouts continued my body was refusing to re-act. My stomach swelled with excess fat along with cellulite on my arms and legs. I started to hate the reflection I saw in the mirror. What is so soul destroying is the fact that you try but are not successful so then you start to give up. I gave up and became somewhat depressed with myself. At 5ft 4in I reached 152lbs my highest weight and thought of myself as a failure.
    I have recently been spending a lot of time reading the forums and have felt inspired to read that so many other women are in the same position as myself. I have always eaten a healthy diet, but have started to clean it up even more so in the past year. In the past month I have worked out 6 days a week. I have seen a slow result, my pants and skirts are loose and my body feels more toned. The sad thing is that the scale has not moved a single lb in the past month. What does a girl have to do to move that scale?? :mad:
    I am so frustrated as I know that back in my gym days I would have seen big results by now.
    Surely there must be something out there to help us ladies that are suppossed to be in the prime of our lives. UGH!!!!

    Sorry...just feeling your frustration and full of sympathy. :confused:

    I would welcome with open arms a program featuring nutrition and exercise specifically for women in menopause.
     
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  3. Peaceful Rainbow Cathlete

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    Well I'm there with you, too, minus the migraines. I've had very few issues with perimenopause, but I've definitely been having a struggle with my weight, which is something I've never had to deal with before. Sometimes those few pounds jump on for seemingly no reason that I can figure out. Then I have to make new adjustments to what I'm doing. Right now I'm keeping extra close track on my eating. My workouts have always been consistent, so I feel like the only part I can work on is diet.

    No answers for you, but you're certainly not alone!
     
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  4. bethj Cathlete

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    I am right there with you along with the migraines I might add. It has been so frustrating that I cannot do intense cardio anymore, not to mention the fact that my body has gotten so "soft" looking with the extra layer of fat. I am getting to the point of just accepting things, except for the huge stomach out of proportion to everything. I'm going to have to investigate spanx.
    Beth
     
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  5. netsnotes16 Cathlete

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    Y'all are so not alone. What I find is helpful is adding yoga and/or pilates to my rotation. I can do cardio and weights. But what I find is if I do yoga first to my rotation, my endurance is better. What I can not do is turns, it makes me dizzier than what I am already! So I modify.

    As an aside, friends at church who haven't seen me in along time remarked how "skinny" I was, thank goodness for stretch pants :D,,,,but I am thinkin' 10 more lbs, 10 more lbs in my tummy area and celluite in my thighs.

    I wish insurance companies will pay for tummy tucks, celluite sucking and uplifting boobs. :D
     
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  6. Linda1 Cathlete

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    Bumping this old post... to see if anyone has had success and would like to help out those of us struggling with this belly issue.:)
     
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  7. Gibbee Cathlete

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    I'm curious, too!
     
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  8. NY25 Cathlete

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    Me, too!!!
     
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  9. breathe Active Member

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    I can’t respond from personal experience with “the belly issue” but I’m reading a book that may be of interest. I’m in my late 40’s and so far with minimal peri-menopausal changes/symptoms. The book is “Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life” by an Eastern Medicine doctor, Dr. Claudia Welch.

    The book goes into detail, but the general idea is maintaining hormonal interaction and balance. My basic understanding: when we’re younger, we have enough sex hormones to balance our stress hormones. As we age and our progesterone and estrogen naturally decline, we need to make sure we’re adapting our lifestyles to reduce stress (cortisol production, adrenal overload) so the hormonal balance can be maintained and we can avoid many related health issues. The book talks about many lifestyle choices to reduce stress/help with stress management, including “appropriate exercise” which is going to vary depending on so many individual factors.

    Though many of the suggestions are pretty simple - in theory anyway - nutrition, sleep, regular schedule, meditation, exercise, etc, I have found them helpful in dealing with anxiety and stress, so this approach makes sense to me.
     
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  10. breathe Active Member

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    So sorry! I just realized this question was in the "Ask Cathe" forum and not in the general discussion so I shouldn't have responded. I don't know how to delete my previous post. If there's a way to delete, I'd appreciate if someone would let me know. thank you!
     
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  11. maddiesmum Cathlete

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    To the extent that you can't spot reduce fat off specific parts of the body, because if you raise your metabolic burn, the fat is going to come off from all over, from all areas seeing accumulations, exactly what would a menopuase workout look like? I don't really see this...

    What I do see is a pick and mix approach and finding what works for you, your particular needs and concerns, and there's already lots to choose from in Cathe's fitness collection/

    There's yoga and barre for non-impact strength, stress-relief and isolation moves targeting the lower body problem areas. There is choreographed step for days when migraines threaten and you can't afford to go all out with the intensity because you might trigger one, but you still want to move and just let go, let loose and put a smile on your face. Plus, learning the dancy steps will engage the brain and take the mind off all the stressors of daily life. There's weight training, strength and endurance, heavy and moderate weights, to build bone, stave off the threat of osteoporosis, to build empowerment, to increase lean muscle mass and stop the fat creeping on the belly to begin with. There is both low impact and high impact cardio of high and low and moderate intensity in the STS cardio series and Xtrain, using different props such as gliding discs to protect joints but still burn the fat and build muscle. There is boxing and kickbox to punch out your enemies, stressors and anyone making your life currently a misery. I think the XTrain series on its own covers all these bases..... could be re-named the "menopause solution." Maybe that's exactly why Cathe came out with it at the age she is.

    You can make up a routine to help you through perimenopause, menopause and beyond with what Cathe has already released. And when you need to just move, try swimming, power walking with your favourite tunes, walking with lady friends going through the same menopausal hell so you can all relate and suport each other.

    I don't know what a "menopause series" would look like, but I could put my own together from all this. I am currently putting my own perimenopause rotation together! The key element for now is something different every day so I work my body and brain, so I just keep moving, so I don't just keep repeating the movements patterns I already favour so that I can keep challenging myself mentally and keep creating neural pathways, so that I can feel good during and especially after the session, tired but not drained, so that I can keep a positive outlook because perimenopause is doing a real number on me psychologically.

    The real useful tool right now might be the simplest: a pedometer. How many steps do you take each day? Increase it. Keep moving. It doesn't have to be rocket science.

    Clare
     
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  12. horsing around Cathlete

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    I'd say I'm just beginning perimenopause, so I'm trying to eat better than I ever had (not that I was ever that great). I was noticing a drop in energy. I bought a nutribullet and have been having at least 1 drink a day. I don't feel as bloated as I was feeling, so that's a start. On the infomercial, one woman commented about no longer having migraines and I saw a post from another who said her hot flashes went away. I've only had for about 2 weeks, so need more time to provide any other feedback.

    I haven't had trouble doing any workouts, but for February, I put my own rotation together which is basically a 180 from how I normally work out. I recently bought Ultimate Yogi. Some of the workouts are an hr. long, so I plan to do yoga 4-5 days a week and Ride/100 Rep Challenge combo 2 days.

    My approach is to challenge my body in different ways, recognize that I'm not in my 20s (or 30s) anymore and embrace who I am today.

    Lisa
     
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  13. mini-natty Cathlete

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    Clare,

    I always enjoy reading your responses. As soon as I see a post from you, I'm on it like white on rice :D. What an absolute brilliant response. I will be printing this out and referring back to it when I'm reaching my own perimenopause/menopause state.

    Thank you greatly :)
     
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  14. maddiesmum Cathlete

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    Thanks Natasha, you are sweetheart! When we will meet up?!?

    Clare
     
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  15. Cathe Friedrich Administrator

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    Hi Megan....

    While that's a very interesting suggestion, it wasn't a series I was planning on doing (but as I always follow that up with never say never, ha).

    Probably because when the body is going through all these changes, it effects each individual so differently that there really is no way to say a specific series of workouts would address everyone's needs. Offering a variety of options would be the only thing that would work and I honestly already have that variety in my current offerings. I think my Xtrain Series and my Low Impact Series alone offer 20 different varieties that are perfect for menopause given your mood and physical state on a day to day basis.

    Another thing to be very aware of is your diet....even if you are eating very healthy. As our bodies change we sometimes develop food sensitivities that cause bloating and weight gain simply because our body can no longer process/metabolize them as it once could. I know for me my body has changed so much that I really struggle to digest pasta and grains. I can put on 5 to 6 pounds in one to two days after eating these food and have to drink so much water and make so many cutbacks the next few days to get my body back on track.


    I hope this info is helpful to you. Good luck to you and everyone as we go through our change of life. It's a tricky journey but thankfully we have these forums along with other forms of support to help us with ideas, advice and/or to simply vent frustration.

    Hugs :)


     
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