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Reduce menopausal symptoms with specific exercise and nutrition

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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 angela@activate.ie.

 

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Last chance to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising draw

By Sean Moriarty There is just less than one week left to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising raffle. The ‘Cairde Spa’ draw takes place on Thursday night (February 2) the Spa’s […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There is just less than one week left to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising raffle.

The ‘Cairde Spa’ draw takes place on Thursday night (February 2) the Spa’s clubhouse at 7pm.

Funds raised will go towards the upgrade and development works planned over the next few years.

Guest of honour on the night is national GAA president Larry McCarthy and the Sam Maguire Cup will make an appearance too.

“Apart from ongoing and essential maintenance work, the club has a number of development projects in the pipeline. The money is being raised towards improving our grounds to provide top class facilities that can be used year-round, including car parking, perimeter fencing for pitches, ladies and juveniles dressing rooms, outdoor skills wall, player dug outs for senior and juvenile pitches, safety enhancements and lighting on the walking track, landscaping, scoreboard, viewing gallery to the sports hall, alignment of entrance to the grounds and a remembrance garden,” said Michael Cronin, Club Chairman.

“We are calling on everyone to get behind the fundraiser. Our vision is to provide top class grounds and facilities where everyone is welcome to use and participate fully in our activities, games and culture. In order to achieve this vision, we are setting out exciting new developments and investments in our facilities – and we need your support.”

There are 10 prizes up for grabs: 1st Prize: €15,000, 2nd Prize: €3,000, 3rd Prize: €2,000, 4th Prize: €1,000, 5th Prize: Two nights dinner and B&B at the Killarney Park Hotel, 6th Prize: €500 Voucher for Killarney Carpets & Furniture, 7th Prize: €300 Voucher for O’Sullivan’s Cycles, 8th Prize: €250 Voucher for Killarney Oils, 9th Prize: €150 Voucher for Killarney Hardware and 10th Prize: A signed Kerry jersey.

Tickets are €100 each and can be collected/returned at the clubhouse this Saturday (10.30am-12noon), Monday (7-8pm) or Wednesday (7-8pm), and tickets are also available online on spagaa.com.

Any queries contact Andy (087 2236754), Michael (085 8213027), Assumpta (087 6779292) or Deirdre (085 1216359) or any Club Officers.

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Marian Players excited to get back on stage

By Michelle Crean With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on […]

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By Michelle Crean

With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on stage this weekend.

It’s been two years since they staged a show due to COVID but the Marian Players Rathmore are rearing to go tomorrow night (Saturday) with their hilarious show ‘Dame Annie Goes West’.

A medley of comedy and colour, combined with music and dance, locals from both sides of the border have been working together to make it a great production.

“We’re very excited, we can’t wait! It’s great to be back,” Mary Hickey told the Killarney Advertiser.

“They [the cast] got together in October and they’re at it since.”

Val Moynihan is the “genius behind it”, she added, and it’s produced by her son Brian Hickey, and co-written with Eilish Coakley.

She said that they have loads working in the background also doing the stage curtains, lighting and making costumes amongst other tasks.

“It’s a pantomime without the pantomime in the background! It’s a whole community effort both sides of the border.”

Evening shows start at 7.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) and again Sunday (January 29) at 3pm.

Mid-week shows continue on Wednesday next (February 1) at 7.30pm, Thursday (February 2) at 7.30pm and also Saturday (February 4) at 7.30pm and Sunday (February 5) at 3pm.

The booking office (085 2031730) will be open every day from 2pm to 6pm to reserve seats and collect tickets and is located adjacent to the community centre, next to Christy’s Take Away.

Seats may be reserved over the phone too and paid for using a bank card. All proceeds are going to Kerry Parents & Friends Association.

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