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Reduce menopausal symptoms with specific exercise and nutrition




By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness  

Menopause has three stages; perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. And did you know you can reduce a lot of your menopausal symptoms through specific exercise and nutrition?

Let’s start with menopause. This is that one date in time that marks 12 months of you having no period. The average age for this is usually around the age of 50/51 years.

Five to six years previous to this date, we know as perimenopause; the transition from the initial symptoms of menopause to your periods actually stopping. Early in this stage, you are unsure of what is going on. You will experience some of the usual menopausal symptoms like poor sleeping, fatigue, hot flashes, brain fog and night sweats. Things change, you start to lose muscle mass. You may notice your training and nutrition isn’t working for you, you may find that you are not adapting in your usual way or can’t reach the same times you might normally have achieved, you also might notice that you are putting on belly fat even though your nutrition hasn’t really changed much. The closer you get to your menopause date, the more intense these symptoms become.

So what is causing these symptoms?

The primary factor is hormonal. During this stage you will still have a period but you will experience more and more Anovulatory periods, this is when at ovulation you don’t release an egg. This means your body won’t have the stimulus to produce progesterone and this ratio imbalance between estrogen and progesterone is the start of issues.

These two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, have a direct effect on all of your body systems. Your body becomes more insulin resistant as you are less able to breakdown and store carbohydrates and put on more visceral fat. These changes can continue into post-menopause years, the biological state we find ourselves in for the rest of our lives and some women can experience hot flashes for 20 plus years, but these are mainly adipose tissue-related. The greater your body fat percentage, the more likely you will continue to experience hot flashes.

What can you do to help yourself?

Ideally, we want to address these changes before getting to post-menopause. The good news is that you can reduce a lot of these symptoms by working with your physiology to improve your fitness and enhance what these hormones used to do through exercise and nutrition.

When you lose that estrogen surge, you lose that stimulus to build muscle, so you need to find an outside stimulus and you can achieve this with a specific exercise routine that includes heavy lifting (don’t worry you won’t get bulky) and bursts of interval training, particularly those that involve jumping (called plyometrics) which can improve power.

With the changes of estrogen and progesterone, our body needs this exercise stress to make up for the responses these hormones used to stimulate.

So we used to have an anabolic stimulus from estrogen and now we don't have that anymore. This is why we need to lift heavy and do high-intensity work to get that same stimulus.
We tailor our nutrition around these sessions and the reason the timing of nutrition is important is after the strength training you want to really promote muscle protein synthesis and build that lean mass and maintain that muscle integrity.

It is important to note that we need both types of exercise to take over that anabolic stimulus that our natural estrogen used to promote, our ability to maintain fast-twitch fibre action (that is our power and speed) also takes a hit and the reason why it is important to include both.

So the good news is during this perimenopausal state we can prep ourselves for when we get to menopause. Along with including strength training and focusing on your nutrition, choose other physical activities that are enjoyable like walking, hiking and restorative practices like yoga, pilates, and breathwork. These steps will allow you to have a quality of life that includes, lean muscle mass, lower body fat, healthy performance potential (you will still be able to set new goals and achieve them) and all the other things that an active woman wants to have.

Although menopause can cause some noticeable and uncomfortable changes, these can be effectively managed.

So I challenge you, which way do you want to view and approach menopause?
I choose to believe it is something every woman will experience and go through.
So why not embrace this transition that puts us in a new stage of our lives,
Take control and approach it in a positive, powerful manner and become the healthiest, fittest, strongest version we can.

If you would like to know more about any of the above and how we can help you and customise a programme to your specific needs and goals, please contact me at


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Camera club returns after summer break

Killarney Camera Club will begin its new autumn season with an open night in The Brehon Hotel on September 28. This is the first meeting since the club broke up […]




Killarney Camera Club will begin its new autumn season with an open night in The Brehon Hotel on September 28.

This is the first meeting since the club broke up for the summer – new members are invited to attend the open meeting later this month .

“Our final competition of the last season was our Open Print competition in June, and 20 unique and enthralling prints were on display in The Brehon on the night. Well done to everyone who put in the time, effort and expense to enter the competition. Thanks also to the many members who were involved in the logistics of bringing the season’s end competition to fruition.,” said club secretary Deirdre O’Donoghue.

“Throughout the year we hold a series of zoom meetings, fortnightly, and also have many in-house presentations of guest speakers , in their respective areas of photographic expertise , as well as occasional photographic outings throughout the club’s calendar year.”

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Kilcummin Comhaltas CCE launches trad music initiative

A new initiative from Kilcummin Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in association with Conor Moriarty sees the branch offer group music classes for those interested in traditional playing. Conor is combining with […]




A new initiative from Kilcummin Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in association with Conor Moriarty sees the branch offer group music classes for those interested in traditional playing.

Conor is combining with the branch to gather musicians form beginner to advanced to give the ultimate group music experience.

“Its a great chance for newer players to learn from Conor, who himself is a champion musician but also from the other musicians that will attend the group in what undoubtedly will also offer a social outlet to all involved,” said Derek O Leary, PRO of Kilcummin Comhaltas CCE.

Conor has enormous previous experience. He is one of Irelands leading accordion players starting his playing career at the age seven. In 2009, Conor was crowned All-Ireland Champion on Melodeon at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann and followed that up by becoming senior All-Ireland accordion Champion in 2010.

He also completed his MA in Irish traditional music performance at University Limerick that same year. He has worked professionally with many organisations including Siamsa Tire and more recently Gaelic Roots the show. He is also a much sought after music teacher where he has always enjoyed passing on his knowledge to the next generation.

The group sessions start on September 27 for an initial five-week term from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm in Kilcummin Rural Development Office.

For further details contact Conor on 087 9698063


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