Exercising is obviously one of the main things I do to feel and look better.
Once I started going through the menopause I had to change the way in which I trained.
There were days I felt I could barely get out of bed let alone train myself or someone else but I still somehow rolled out of bed and either dragged myself to the gym or put some music on and managed a workout in my lounge.
During this time I realised the key was to keep the time I trained short and work as many different muscles as I could in one movement, in doing so, not adding to the stress my body was already under from my hormones going skew-whiff and still getting the maximum benefit.
I think most people start training to change the appearance of their body.
Along the way you realise how great it makes you feel when those endorphins kick in.
As I get older exercise has become more about how I feel and the physical side has become an added bonus.
There were times in my life when depression hit and although on a couple of occasions I did resort to medication most of the time I didn’t and I know this was due to consistently exercising.
I had always trained hard since my twenties and at times, nearly every day for two-hour sessions.
Now I generally exercise for no more than 45 minutes including stretching for around 4 – 5 days a week.
I am a big fan of bodyweight exercises ( Resistance – or any weight-bearing exercise becomes even more important as you age to protect bones and retain muscle mass).
Also, bodyweight exercises can be done absolutely anywhere including at home and often use a lot of different muscles at the same time, keeping in with the way I like to train now.
Less time, less stress, work lots of muscles at once! Yes!
A couple of different size dumbbells and some ankle weights are also helpful to have a great workout at home, again contributing to important resistance work.
I had been hiit training for many years before it became the buzz word it is now.
I was going through a challenging time and when I was in the gym I used to let out my frustration on the treadmill, I would just start sprinting like a nutcase for about 15 – 20 seconds and then recovering and repeating this about 8 times.
After a couple of weeks, I realised I had lost a considerable amount of body fat and I felt my fitness and energy levels increase without spending hours and hours training.
I started to intersperse strength exercises in between the sprints and got even better results and felt great!
This became my “go to” for cardiovascular training and still is, not just sprinting on the treadmill but using various different exercises, working full out as hard as I can for short periods, with a short rest, for a set number of intervals ( again – reducing the time your body is under stress but getting good results!)
I have always stretched, using dynamic moving stretches at the start of a workout to get my body ready for what is to come and also helping to increase mobility.
After my workout, I use static stretching to increase my flexibility.
As I have aged this has become even more a major part of what I need to do as I want to be able to jump around touch my toes and at the very least get out of a chair with ease into my later years.
Because of doing this I rarely feel stiff or have injuries.
I dabbled with yoga which is great for the mind and body but for me, I found the classes were time-consuming and I didn’t want to forgo my other training time for just yoga.
I did start incorporating some yoga moves into my stretching- ( I have always had a naughty niggly lower back so I now use targeted yoga movements for that and I rarely have any problems.)
Alongside the above, I have always been a fan of “my friend” the foam roller which is like having a personal masseur that also prevents injuries and even helps with the dreaded cellulite!
I will talk about him in more depth in a separate blog.
By putting the aspects above together I created what I call my end of workout “thank you” to my body!”
It’s my way of saying thank you for letting me bounce around like a child, lift weights and do all the physical stuff I like to do.
As I do this little routine each time after I have trained I say “thank you” in my head and mean it.
Afterwards, I feel refreshed and completed and ready to take on the days challenges.
Combining the combination resistance exercises with the cardio hiit training and my “thank you” to my body” I have found a really good way to still train throughout the trying times of peri-menopause and menopause, in fact, it is also a great time effective workout for anyone in these busy times.
I am able to feel great and maintain a body that I am happier with now than when I was in my twenties.
This has become my fifdee way of training.
I hope you are going to like it and find it helpful too
Love Dee x