Recently, I was diagnosed with an injury that has benched me from my regular exercise. Couple this with the impending onslaught of eggs, bunnies, and other chocolate wonders that appear this time of year and not surprisingly, my attention has turned to the possibility of weight gain.
Weight gain in peri and post menopausal women is a significant health issue. We know that women in late middle age have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) that rivals men, and that carrying too much excess fat is a significant contributor to CVD. In our age group, carrying too much weight can also increase the risk of things like problems with metabolism, cognitive decline, arthritis, urinary incontinence, cataracts, and cancer. Good times.
Many women have been conditioned since an early age to weigh themselves regularly, but using weight as a measurement becomes more problematic over 50. Most importantly, the number on a scale doesn’t reflect the loss of what we...
As we get older the range of motion around our joints, along with our muscle flexibility gradually declines. Loss of flexibility can eventually lead to issues with balance, increased progression of some disabilities, greater risk of falls, and a reduced ability to complete certain tasks.
Like sarcopenia (the gradual loss of muscle mass over time), loss of flexibility is a usual part of aging. Although flexibility is joint-specific, meaning that each joint has its own range of motion based on the type of joint and many other factors, aging typically leads to increased stiffness in all of our joints. When our joints become stiffer, we lose the ability to move them through a full range of motion.
Where is this the biggest problem in women over 50? Believe it or not, one of the most significant areas of range of motion loss is in the ankle. Women between 50-85 years old can lose as much as 50 percent of their ankle range of motion. Although this may not seem like a big deal,...
Here it is sisters — the truth. If you are struggling with your weight, feeling a loss of strength, or you are having problems with balance, there is a good explanation. After menopause, many of us have a decline in bone mineral density, muscle mass, and the health of our joints. All of this might not be very noticeable at first, but over time has a significant impact on all sorts of health issues.
For example, when muscle mass decreases, we don’t burn fat as effectively. The loss of muscle mass means weight loss and even weight maintenance is much harder. For women in peri or post-menopause, focusing on maintaining muscle mass is vital to both health and weight management.
A typical (but mostly avoidable) part of aging is a condition called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the process of our muscles becoming smaller over time. If you know any sedentary women over 80, have a look at their legs. The longer you live, the smaller the circumference of your...
“Design your life to minimize your reliance on willpower ”Behavior Scientist, Stanford University
This is it. This is the year you will become more physically active. You will go to the gym five days a week and in six months you will be magically transformed into a thinner, happier, and more toned version of you. The fleshy additions of the holiday fun will magically melt away and you will take full control of your fitness…Sound familiar?
How about this year, instead of beating ourselves up with unattainable resolutions, we all practice a huge dose of self-compassion and start exactly where we are. Let’s keep the goals small, manageable, and sustainable.
I’m a huge fan of making small, steady changes to improve health. I know that this type of change, especially when matched to an existing habit, really works!
So, here are some realistic, “micro” but effective things you can do to get on the road to a healthier...
Ever feel alone in the weird changes that seem have overtaken your body now that you’re over 50? You may be comforted to know that another 6000 women a day are starting the journey of menopause. The first stage in the process is called perimenopause and is the time when women may begin to experience symptoms (e.g., hot flushes, mood changes) that carry on until you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months (post-menopause). The number of postmenopausal women in the world is expected to reach 1.2 billion by 2030.
At midlife, our hormones and metabolism change significantly. Along with increased chronic disease risk, weight gain can be an unfortunate side-effect. Weight gain in menopause and post-menopause is a significant issue. Between the ages of 40 to 60, 70% of women are overweight.
Researchers argue that the physiological changes that occur at menopause are less likely the cause of weight gain and that the more the gradual...
Think of our human ancestors, millions of years ago on the African savanna. As early ape-like people started to walk upright, it became increasingly difficult to rely on the protection that they had been previously afforded by living in trees. They were soft, defenseless animals that had to depend only on their wits and their legs to survive being attacked by predators. They truly needed to move to live.
As their brains grew, they also had to cover more ground to find higher quality food. With increased access to a more nutritious diet, their larger brains allowed them to create things like tools and weapons, and this ultimately led to an out-migration to Europe and throughout the rest of the world.
Human brains have grown at...
Keep up to date on everything healthy aging for women. By signing up, you'll get regular alerts on new blog posts and other great content.