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Start exercising early to prevent menopausal weight gain

Posted Nov 16 2010 10:24am

No, I don’t mean get up at 6am to do your weights routine. In fact you’d be better off staying in bed and getting the shut-eye, as sleep deprivation can get those fat-provoking hormones acting up, and contributing the menopausal midriff bulge.

Regular exercise is a habit, and the younger you get the habit, the better. So, if you’re in the early stages of perimenopause and haven’t seen much change to your figure, don’t get complacent and think you’ll hit the gym only when you can’t get your jeans done up.

Senior woman with stickThe younger you are when you start to exercise, the more likely you are to stay strong, slender and fit into later life. A body that’s accustomed to being exercised regularly, can be pushed that little bit more…build more muscle, strengthen more bone. If you leave it until you’ve got a real weight problem, it’ll be much harder to fix. And you’re adding to your risk of a fragile old age, like this lady on the left.

I’ll own up – when I tell people I own a website on menopausal weight gain, they tend to say, ‘well, you don’t have a lot to worry about there’. Yes, I am slender, but it’s not because of my genes, my metabolism or the star I was born under.

It’s because I’ve taken care to exercise regularly and eat healthily (while still enjoying good food and having occasional unhealthy treats) for at least the last 10 years…which was the point when I looked at my mother, then in her seventies, and thought, ‘I want to stay healthier than that…’ She, bless her, detested exercise, and although she didn’t overindulge she had laid down a tubby tum in her fifties that never went away.

Get started as soon as you can with a healthier way of life. It quickly becomes established as the way you live, and the way you want to live. I miss regular exercise now if I don’t get a good walk, a class or a yoga session in for more than a couple of days, and you will too. Better health and a fitter future lies in our own hands – and are yours for the taking, if you just make up your mind to do it.

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