If you are having problems with menopause weight gain, and are now trying to psyche yourself up for a full blown workout at the gym to work off that cookie you ate at lunch, then I have some news for you!
I too battle this menopause weight gain, but was reading about a study that was done about menopausal women and how many can go their whole lives with no weight gain, then all of a sudden at menopause on packs that middle section!
Researchers at Harvard just published a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
In this study they found that pre-menopausal women, who added an extra 5 minutes of brisk exercise to their routine, experience the least amount of weight gain at menopause.
So, it could be that if you were somewhat active before menopause and now if you just add 5 minutes or so of brisk exercise, such as bike riding or walking fast, you may just be able to ward off that menopause weight gain.
This is good news!
I personally did my own study and there may be something to the above. I thought the longer the workout, the better the chances that you will lose that weight. But for me, I don't think so.
I started running to add more cardio and burn more calories to try and budge this menopause weight gain. I thought if I got myself psyched up to run 5 km at least 4 days a week, I would be dropping the weight. I had previously been running (actually more like "wogging" which is running between hydro poles and walking fast between the next pair) for about 2 km.
So, my plan was to double this, and make sure to do less walking in between. I worked my way up to this 5 km, with less and less walking in between, sweating buckets as I went. But you know what happened? I didn't lose any more weight. I was shocked! I was spending so much time with this, that it was now interfering with my day. I was expecting the weight to fall off with all this huffing and puffing and sweating I was doing!
So, I went back to my 2 km, of wogging. I thought, maybe, instead of dragging this exercise out for an hour, I would make it short and intense and see what happened. I ran fast between a set of hydro poles and then walked fast between the next. I am sure the neighbors thought I was being chased or something. But that seemed to help me budge my menopause weight gain. The scale finally started to move, downwards!
That 2 km, only takes me about 20 minutes, and I am set for the day. On the day in between I do some strength exercises, for about 15 minutes, or if I am doing intense gardening I will skip weights and consider my gardening my workout. This all took the pressure off. I now enjoy a bit of exercise.
So, for me, the longer workouts only made me crabby and tired. I didn't seem to drop more weight. The shorter more intense version did. For me that seems to be the trick, short and sweet!. I know there will be athletic people out there who would argue this, but maybe it depends on what stage of life they are in? Maybe short and intense, works for someone whose metabolism seems to be slowing down like mine?
So, ladies, if you are at that "special time", you do not have to run a marathon to budge some of that menopause weight gain (unless you like running marathons!). It could be that you just need to tweak your present workout, or just try and fit some into your day. Take a quick walk around the block, get the heart pumping, even if it is only for a 10 minute walk, everything helps! Run up the stairs a few times each day. Pretend you are late for the bus when you are walking.
Don't, not, do it, because you thought you had to workout for hours to get results. Just fit snippets of action into your day, and hopefully you will start to see that menopause weight gain, actually stop gaining!. You will feel better for it too, as exercise such as a good brisk walk, helps with mood and helps you sleep better.
I know with me, if it is not a long and drawn out workout, but more of a short, sweet and get to the point workout for 30 minutes or less, that I am more likely to stick to it. It doesn't take up the day, and you are done.
Boredom is a big one. I just can't continue with the same exercise for an hour. I need to try different things. So, I joined Curves, as they have a routine that uses 30 seconds of resistance machines and then 30 seconds of running or jogging on the spot on a special impact resistant board. There are many machines in the circuit and by the time you are done you have worked all your muscle groups and are done in 30 minutes! Perfect for me. Cardio and muscles in one workout!
If you were blessed with a fit body before menopause, and you are just starting to notice a thicker middle, then just add something different to your day. You body is a smart machine and it gets used to routine. So, you don't need to add hours and hours of workouts and eat lettuce leaves to get rid of menopause weight gain. Just tweak the workout you do now, with at least 5 minutes of brisk walking or biking like the study said, or I think you could push the 5 minutes to 20 or 30 minutes, especially if you are enjoying the scenery!
If you are just getting to the age of menopause, then you have a heads up on this problem. Start adding that extra 5 minutes of brisk exercise now, and maybe you just might be like the girls in the study and prevent the menopause weight gain from showing up in the first place!