health + wellness

How to Future-Proof Your Body in Midlife

June 26, 2024

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How to Future-Proof Your Body in Midlife

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I know you’re busy. 

I’m busy. 

As women in midlife, we are ALL busy. 

But as we get older, finding time to add exercise into our lives is more important than ever!

Thankfully, I sat down with Lavina Mehta MBE, an award-winning personal trainer and wellness coach, to discuss why it’s so important to keep moving through midlife and how it will impact our longevity in the future. 

Because when it comes to living longer–quality is more important than quantity!

Lavina’s mission is to help people of all ages feel good physically and mentally and reduce risks of common chronic diseases–so we can move into any chapter feeling great.

Check out our full interview here!

Why is movement extra important in midlife?

Let me break down what she told me:

#1 Your mental health

I absolutely love Lavina’s concept that exercise is more about sanity than vanity. Sure, we want to look our best at any age, but when we boost our feel-good endorphins through movement, we can also boost our confidence!

You don’t need to work out for hours in the gym. Even a 5-minute walk outside can have a HUGE effect on your daily mental health and even reduce menopause-related brain fog.

Plus, physical activity is the BEST way to reduce our risks for Alzheimer's and dementia. There’s really no downside here!

#2 Your bone health

As we enter perimenopause and menopause, the risk of osteoporosis skyrockets. Beyond ensuring we’re consuming enough calcium, strength training is the best way to keep our bones strong and prevent fractures.

Unfortunately, many women avoid strength training out of fear of bulking up -- but plenty of exercises can keep you strong and protect your bones without adding mass.

Ideally, we start strength training as early as our 30s, but it’s never too late to start! 

#3 Your muscle mass

We don’t need to worry about bulking up because building muscle becomes quite challenging during perimenopause and menopause.

Without taking action, we lose 3%-5% of our muscle mass every year after age 30 and during menopause, anywhere from 6%-10% or even higher!

Although we can’t see it, muscle mass is absolutely KEY to future-proofing our bodies as we age.

If you want to get out of a chair by yourself at 90, go on a walk, avoid falls, and maintain independence, you HAVE to keep up your muscles.

Plus, muscle is the most metabolically active part of the body, so the more you have, the easier it is to maintain a healthy weight!

#4 Your heart health

Heart disease is the world’s #1 killer for men and women. And unfortunately, we are at greater risk after menopause. So, in addition to weight training, it’s essential to get about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walking, swimming, or cycling) OR 75 minutes of more vigorous activity (running, spinning, or sweating through a HIIT workout) per week.

But that might not be possible with your busy schedule!

Good news? Lavina suggests something she calls exercise snacking.

Sadly, that doesn't mean having a chocolate bar on the treadmill.

But it does mean that EVERY minute of exercise counts.

Sprinkling 1-10 minutes of movement throughout the day will add up and support your long-term health.

This could be 5 minutes of squats while watching TV, a quick walk around the office, taking the stairs instead of the elevator (if you can), or lifting a weight while taking a call.

So, if you can’t hit the gym for an hour, you can maximize the time you do have.

WANT MORE? Here is more insight on how to promote long, lean muscles through menopause! 

I’d love to know what you’re going to do as an exercise snack. If you have any tips or suggestions, please share them with the group in the comments.

Let’s live long, healthy, active lives and support each other on this midlife journey!

And if you’d like more insights into how to live your best life through midlife and beyond, check out The Menopause Masterclass! I've gathered renowned experts to provide actions and answers to pressing questions about how to thrive, really at any age!

To thriving no matter what,

Tamsen 

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