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[Article]What Are the Recommended Exercises During Menopause?


Table o Contents

  • Types of Exercise and Their Intensity

  • Frequency and Duration of Exercise

  • Recommended Exercise Menu

Menopausal symptoms often stem from disturbances in autonomic nervous system activity. The autonomic nervous system, which activates organs through the sympathetic nervous system and suppresses them via the parasympathetic nervous system, functions best when these two components are balanced. During menopause, this balance is disrupted, necessitating a need for regulation. While we can't control the autonomic nervous system consciously, exercise can indirectly create a condition where the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces relaxation, becomes dominant. When we exercise, the sympathetic nervous system takes the lead, but post-exercise, the body naturally reverts to a state where the parasympathetic nervous system is dominant.


Types of Exercise and Their Intensity

The best exercise is one that you enjoy and can sustain. It could be brief workouts or activities you have enjoyed since your youth.

An ideal program includes aerobic exercises as the main activity, complemented by stretching and weight training.

Aerobic exercises that rhythmically contract muscles while incorporating plenty of oxygen include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and dancing.

Among these, walking is perhaps the most accessible. Here are some tips to maximize the benefits of walking:

  • Look into the distance

  • Swing your arms lightly with elbows bent at 90 degrees

  • Land on your heels

  • Keep your back straight and chest slightly lifted

  • Walk briskly without causing breathlessness


Frequency and Duration of Exercise

Exercise 3-4 times a week is ideal, but if you're not used to exercising, start at your own pace and gradually increase the frequency.

The most important thing is consistency, so start with a frequency and duration that you can maintain without strain.

The duration of exercise varies depending on intensity, but aim for 30-60 minutes per day, totaling 140-160 minutes per week.

When exercising, it's best to avoid doing it immediately after meals, after a bath, or following alcohol consumption. A good time is about two hours after eating.


Recommended Exercise Menu

Creating an exercise menu can make your workout more effective. Combining aerobic exercise, stretching, and weight training can help you enjoy a fulfilling workout. Give it a try!

  1. Stretching – 5 minutes(Light exercises, walking, jogging)

  2. Aerobic Exercise – 20 to 40 minutes (walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobics)

  3. Stretching or Weight Training – 5 to 10 minutes


ーーーーCooling Downーーーー

  1. Stretching – 5 minutes (flexibility exercises, light walking, jogging, massage)


For weight training, beginners might envision strenuous exercises, but there are beginner-friendly options too. You don't need a gym; try these simple exercises at home:


Squats

Target your buttocks and thighs. Simply "sit down and stand up" repeatedly.

  1. Start in a basic standing position. Imagine pulling your buttocks backward and slowly lower your upper body straight down. Key Point: Ensure your knees do not extend beyond your toes.

  2. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, slowly return to the starting position. Key Point: Avoid fully straightening your knees.

  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for 10 to 15 times.

  4. Perform 3 sets, taking breaks in between.


Planks

  1. Strengthen your core. "Lie face down, then raise and hold your body on your elbows." Lie face down.

  2. Spread your arms shoulder-width apart and place your forearms on the floor, lifting your body up. Key Point: Keep your elbows directly below your shoulders in a straight line.

  3. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart, standing on your toes. Key Point: Ensure your ankles are at a right angle.

  4. Tighten your buttocks and slowly lift your hips. Key Point: Be careful not to lift your buttocks too high.

  5. Keep your shoulders, buttocks, and heels in a straight line and hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds.

  6. Perform 3 sets, taking breaks in between.


Knee-pushup

Easier than full pushups, good for beginners.

  1. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

  2. Kneel on the floor with only your knees touching. Keep the rest of your legs lifted.

  3. Keep your back straight and engage your core to prevent your hips from dropping.

  4. Bend your elbows outward and lower your upper body.

  5. Lower yourself to your limit, then slowly straighten your elbows to return to the starting position.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for 10 to 15 times.

  7. Perform 3 sets, with breaks in between.


Remember, the key to these exercises is to do them at your own pace and ensure you're comfortable. Try them out and find what works best for you!

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