If you are anything like most of us, you’ll already have picked up a few sports along the way… First you love the idea, then you buy the kit and the membership and then life gets in the way and somehow it doesn’t turn into a regular thing. Right? A few sessions missed, soon turn into months and before you know it, you can’t bear the thought of going back to those classes for fear of being too embarrassed. It happens to all of us. Good resolutions are quick to fall out of favour when time is short and life is busy. But, this time, keeping fit and embracing a new healthier lifestyle will really help so it’s important to stick to it.
Which sport is best for menopause?
The best is simply the one you will keep at. The key is to find something that motivates you. Because there is no getting away from it, it needs to be a regular thing. While it is important to choose an activity you enjoy and go to a place you find motivating, above all, you need to make the time and stick to it - preferably taking the chosen activity 2-4 times per week. Ideally, you should combine two complementary activities based on the following principle: a high-intensity endurance sport and a gentler activity.
Which endurance sports for menopause?
Opt for an endurance sport to strengthen the heart, burn calories and develop muscle mass and stick with it for thirty to forty-five minutes twice a week.
One of the best sports to combat the symptoms of menopause thanks, mainly, to the impacts on the ground, which strengthen the bones, it is also beneficial from a cardiovascular point of view. However, be careful to choose the right running shoes, suitable for your feet and stride. Studies have shown that running for between one and two and half hours per week, in two or three sessions at a moderate pace (just enough to feel slightly out of breath) increases life expectancy.
With the right footwear and at a speed of 5 of 6 km/h, walking is a genuinely valid sport, with no contraindications. A good option for getting moving again, if you have been out of the habit of exercising for several years and want to start with something that isn’t too daunting. Invest in a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps every day.
Swimming works the muscles of the upper body and the legs. The body is supported by the water, which protects fragile joints!
If running is too “hard” on the joints, cycling is a good alternative to stimulate the muscles of the legs, buttocks and back, as well as the abdominal and perineal muscles.
Which “gentle” sports for menopause ?
Add bi-weekly one-hour sessions of a gentle sport to the endurance activity to improve flexibility and balance and tone the deep muscle-supporting the bones.
One of the many advantages of this tried and tested activity is that it can be tailored to any level which means it’s approachable to all, even absolute beginners! There are several types of yoga to choose from, more or less energetic, athletic or advanced, to suit each individual’s tastes and abilities. In general, yoga helps to keep joints flexible, maintains suppleness, relieves back pain and stimulates the blood circulation. It also improves balance, strengthens the core muscles and helps control weight. And, of course, its beneficial effects on stress and anxiety have been well established.
While it shares many parallels with yoga - improved flexibility and balance, toning of core muscles - each posture focuses specifically on the abdominal and perineal muscles… a real bonus!
A system of breathing exercises combined with static and moving postures, this traditional Chinese discipline strengthens the core muscles, works on balance and relieves tension in the back. Everything is done slowly and gently which may appeal to the more sport-shy.