How and when to exercise

I will be focussing on three areas –

Stamina:  I just love to walk.  If I can’t get out to stretch my legs every day I get jittery.  However, as we menopausal women need to be careful of our cortisol – see Menopause and how it relates to weight – it’s critical to avoid over-exerting yourself and stressing your body.  I have personally found over-exercising counterproductive to weight loss.  So I never walk more than an hour a day.  I have also learned to be careful of what footwear I walk in, so now always wear a discreet pair of walking boots.  When I was struggling with my knees, I also used elasticated tubular supports every time I left the house, just to be on the safe side.  I figured that the positive of the support outweighed the negative of not strengthening the muscles surrounding my knees to the maximum – and I turned out to be right.  For now, fingers crossed, my knees are pain free.

Strengthening/Toning:  So here’s what I do:  if the day has a “U’ in it, then it’s an upper body+obliques day.  If the day has no “U” in it, then it’s a lower body+abs day.

The bright sparks amongst you will have spotted there are 4 days of the week with a “U” in it :  so on the 4th of those days, you rest.

Designating a whole day to a portion of your body means you don’t need to restrict yourself to your workout only.  Cleaning your teeth?  Do a few leg lifts.  Waiting for your bath?  Do a few oblique crunches.  The whole day is about working those areas;  so if you can’t fit a designated workout into those days, doesn’t matter too much.

You can still do a few crunches in bed if you’re ill.

I’ll have more to say about the types of exercise I find useful.

Stretching/lengthening:  a physiotherapist recently told me that the days of sudden ie (stressful to your body, and likely to cause injury) movements are drawing to a close;  and that flowing series of movements are the future.

For years, I did yoga and it was undoubtedly beneficial to my body.  However, one day I was mid-session and I suddenly realised ‘I am bored to death’.  At that point, I stopped going to classes, but I still incorporate adapted Sun Salutations into a series of stretching movements I’ve devised that work well for me.