The brighter side of menopause

Hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue and lack of sleep are all signs that menopause may be just around the corner. And for most women, this inevitable discomfort means all sorts of changes to the homes and physique.

But rather than mull over the mundain details of a necessary evil, this blog entry is dedicated to the positive outcome of what menopause brings: fatloss! (or at least improved fatloss potential) One of the major hallmarks of menopause is a decline in the hormone Oestrogen, which research suggests may reduce a woman’s ability to burn fat.

Traditionally enabling women to store fat more efficiently than men, this hormone causes women to burn around half the bodyfat of their male counterparts outside of the gym. For example, previous research has found that after consuming a meal comprising of 20 grams of fat and 20 grams of carbohydrate, males will burn 10 grams of both the fat and carbohydrate, while women burn 5 grams of fat and 15 grams of carbohydrate, the remainder stored in the body.

With this in mind, lower levels of oestrogen mean the body no longer holds on to water or fat as readily, setting the stage for more efficient fat burning. Because oestrogen also stimulates bone growth however, many women often experience bone lose after menopause.

Taking these two factors in to account, the exercise prescription for a strong and lean physique after menopause include two crucial components:

1. 1. Heavy strength training- In the range of 5-8 reps to stimulate bone growth. Due to a drop in hormone    levels, the possibility of “bulking up” is virtually non-existent.

2           . 2. Interval training- In the absence of excess fat storage, the ability to burn fat outside of the gym is markedly increased. This presents the possibility of dropping bodyfat and weight in a similar manner to males.

The bottom line is that while menopause remains an inevitable event, the physical benefits of it affects can outweigh with a few changes to your routine. For more information or ideas on strength training and/or intervals, check out our online video library at: http://www.youtube.com/thespotter123

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