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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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Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry

This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry. The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry […]

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This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry.

The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry is associated with this year, promises to be a fabulous day of cycling and fun!.

The 100km route challenges the stronger cyclists and the 75km route gives cyclists the chance to become familiar with Moll’s Gap which is part of the Ring of Kerry route.
The cycle sets out from Killarney, heading out the Cork Road. The 75km route (one peak) turns right at Loo Bridge for Kilgarvan and onto Kenmare, while the 100km route, (three peaks) heads over the county bounds to Ballyvourney, onto The Top of Coom and then Kenmare. Both routes continue on over Moll’s Gap, passing through the picturesque Ladies’ View and back into Killarney, where all participants will be treated to a burger and drink at the finish line.

“We will guarantee plenty of laughs and refreshments along the way, there are two routes available; 100km or 75km, to meet all abilities, covering some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. This is the perfect warm-up for anyone thinking of doing the Ring of Kerry cycle this year or anybody looking for a really well run sportive with great craic compulsory,” Chairperson of Killarney Cycling Club, Kevin Murphy.

All cyclists who register online will be entered into a raffle for some great spot prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, winners collecting their prize at the finish line.

Down Syndrome Kerry’s goal is to help people with down syndrome to make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way.
Funds raised from this cycle will help Down Syndrome to continue to provide vital services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and job coaching to their members.
As Down Syndrome Kerry do not receive any government funding, they are totally dependent on your support to continue to make these services available to those who need them.
You can register for the cycle which is €40 for Cycling Ireland members, €20 for accompanied under 16’s on event master:- https://eventmaster.ie/event/dW04CnGSwV

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BAR 1661 is teaming up with Pig’s Lane for a night of cocktail mastery

BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21. […]

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BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21.

The dynamic team at Dublin’s BAR 1661, who have recently taken their talents to venues in Sweden, London, and the famous Dead Rabbit Bar in New York, are now hitting the road to Killarney for an epic takeover event.

Staunchly Irish and fiercely independent, BAR 1661 have two goals in mind; to introduce the world to Poitín and lift Irish cocktail culture to fresh heights.
Headed up by their founder Dave Mulligan, the Dublin team will transform Pig’s Lane on College Street for one night only. Since opening just a few months ago, Pig’s Lane has been raising the bar in Kerry with its cocktails, whiskey and wine offering. Kicking off at 6pm, experience a curated selection of Poitín-infused cocktails, featuring a bespoke rendition of BAR 1661’s drinks menu.

The crew will also serve up their unique take on the classic Irish Coffee with their Belfast Coffee, steeped with cold brew coffee, top-quality Irish Poitín, and rich demerara syrup. Guests will be able to chat with the team, get some insider knowledge on how to elevate their own cocktail-making skills, as well as learn insider tips on how to blend flavours to satisfy their own palette.

Two-time World Championship Mixologist and Drinks Development Manager for the O’Donoghue Ring Collection and Pig’s Lane, Ariel Sanecki said of the upcoming takeover: 

“We are very excited to welcome one of Ireland’s leading bars, BAR 1661, for an exclusive collaboration with us here at Pig’s Lane. This takeover is a great opportunity for people to meet with innovative mixologists who will be crafting bespoke creations right in front of them! We look forward to welcoming guests on the night, to what promises to be an epic event, featuring premium drink producers and unforgettable flavours.”

Before the takeover starts, drinks aficionados can join Dave for an intimate Poitín Masterclass. Attendees are invited to explore the diverse landscape of Poitín, accompanied by fascinating insights into its vibrant history and contemporary revival.

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