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Hormonal changes as we age can lead to extra weight around the middle. Stay healthy and fit with these tips. Before, during, and after menopause, your estrogen levels begin to wane and your metabolism slows, making it more difficult for you to lose weight, particularly around your middle. Studies show it increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and perhaps even early death. Here, 10 ways to successfully fight the battle of the bulge:. Start with a mix of moderate and vigorous exercise to burn off menopausal weight gain.
Your routine should include aerobic exercises, like swimming, walking, bicycling, and running, as well as resistance or strength training. Peeke says. That means interspersing with high-intensity bursts with lower intensity activity during your workout. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC recommends that all adults need at least minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, and two or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities that work all of the major muscle groups, like the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
If you take the HIIT approach, the CDC recommends that you should aim for an equivalent mix of moderate and high intensity exercise every week, along with those same two days of strength training. What you thought you got away with when you were 20 is not happening when you are You have to get that right out of your brain. An increase in activities in your daily routine is the recipe for success, says Peeke.
One low-effort way to do that? Not only will that increase calorie burn, it can also help prevent other health problems. And if your job has you sitting in front of a computer all day, try a standing desk. According to a research report from the Society for Human Resource Managementstanding desks are the fastest-growing employee benefit in U. Your metabolism has slowed down by the time you hit menopause — with some research suggesting it burns a couple hundred calories fewer a day. Cutting back on restaurant meals and takeout is an easy way to control portions, but the timing and frequency of your meals can make a big difference, too.
Fat has flavor and makes our food taste better. You just need to learn how to be more choosy, says Palumbo. Think more walnuts, and fewer Whoppers. The healthiest fats are the ones that derive from vegetable sources like olives and nuts, but keep in mind that healthy fats — like those found in avocados — have the same of calories as the fat found in an ice cream sundae.
The American way is to go overboard, so you have to be extremely cautious when you use it, and measure the amounts of fats and oils that you consume. And restaurant meals — once again — are not your friends in the fat department. Salad dressings are one of the biggest sources of added fat in our diet, so be sure to order your salad with the dressing on the side.
Fortunately, trans fats, once the most notorious type of unhealthy fat, are now no longer a major consideration. Inthe FDA determined that partially hydrogenated oils PHOsthe main source of artificial trans fat in the food supply, are not generally recognized as safe, and as of Junemanufacturers can no longer add PHOs to foods. Midnight ice cream binges and potato chip raids, for example, are generally bad ideas — and would be a poor choice even during the light of day.
Another way to keep calories in check is to avoid nibbling throughout the day or falling into the dreaded afternoon snack trap. To help rein in your snacking, Peeke says to start paying attention Are you an older thick woman your circadian rhythm.
Be strict with your time limit. But at this stage of your life, not getting your move on is not an option.
So, take a Zumba class. See what all your buddies are talking about and them one weekend at a CrossFit center. Give PiYo a go. Never heard of it? According to a classic study published in the Journal of Sport Behavioradding variation to your exercise routine may be the most successful way to make you stick with it. And according to the North American Menopause Societythat transition phase can last for four to eight years.
Inadequate sleep impacts our hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Palumbo says that you should close your kitchen and brush your teeth by 7 p. This will keep you from eating late, which can keep you from getting restful slumber and cause you to pack on the pounds. Aim for a minimum of seven and ideally eight hours of shut-eye. Keep your bedroom cool to offset hot flashes and night sweats, and turn off all glowing screens for at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. Need motivation? Find a friend who needs to exercise as much as you do, and set a date to work out together.
A study published in November in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that actively looking for a new workout partner and exercising together is beneficial for both exercise and emotional support. A study published in November in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that participating in regular group fitness classes resulted in a ificant decrease in stress and a rise in physical, mental, and emotional quality of life compared with exercising regularly on your own or not engaging in regular exercise at all.
Cortisolknown as the stress hormonestimulates the liver to Are you an older thick woman production of blood sugar and helps the body convert fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into usable energy. To reduce stressemploy quick and simple calming techniques:. If your lack of estrogen is contributing to typical menopausal symptoms, such as severe hot flashes and night sweats, you may want to consider hormone therapy HT or other medication. HT has had a controversial history since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Adminstration FDA for the treatment of menopausal hot flashes in Whether the risks outweigh the benefits, though, is something each woman should discuss with her healthcare provider, especially as new, lower-dose formulations have become available.
Some research suggests that HT may actually help women prevent menopausal weight gain. The study reported that, compared with women who had taken HT in the past, current users were found to be nearly 1 point lower on the BMI scale and have nearly 3 pounds less of fat mass. Ask your ob-gyn about medication you might take to help you control your menopause symptoms.
Your doctor will likely want to investigate whether your weight gain is indeed from menopause and not from some other health condition that needs treating as well. Health Topics. Health Tools. Your Guide to Menopause. Last Updated: June 22, Medically Reviewed.
To reduce stressemploy quick and simple calming techniques: Step outside and enjoy the greenery. Research shows that being in nature reduces stress. One study, published in September in the journal Environment and Behaviorfound that people who simply looked at images of trees reported feeling less stressed out.
Try a new app.
Meditation apps, such as Insight TimerHepaceand Calmoffer five-minute and other timed meditations for beginners that can lower heart rate and short-circuit the stress response. Ease up on alcohol.Are you an older thick woman
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