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.