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  • clairefrombristol

Exercise outdoors and banish those menopause symptoms

I’ve always been a big fan of the outdoors.

Given the chance, I’d be out walking every weekend. Striding up and down hills, regardless of the weather. Enjoying the chance to be outside.

In the past, my career featured working as a Personal Trainer – always moving, always keen to help people enjoy the freedom of moving their bodies, ideally outside.

Since going through my own menopause and then studying menopause, I discovered that part of what kept me going through the ups and downs, was my love of exercise AND of being outdoors.

Don't get me wrong.

Because I had no idea I was going through menopause, the symptoms became so debilitating. I ended up abandoning my career because I thought I had early onset dementia. Things were tricky, really tricky.

I got through my menopause journey the hard way - with no knowledge or support and yet, I did get through. The fact that I always enjoyed heading outside was surely a factor.

I don’t think it would be a surprise to anyone to know that being outdoors, and getting exercise is good for your health. And anyone going through menopause will likely report that being outside in the fresh air, getting some exercise, makes them feel good.

Do you know WHY getting exercise outside is so good for you?

First off, we know that regular exercise can help to combat many of the symptoms associated with menopause.

  • Good old fashioned aerobic exercise can help to reduce hot flashes.

  • Strength training using weights or even body weight can help to preserve bone density and prevent osteoporosis – even the effect of walking on bone health is now understood.

  • Getting your body moving can also help to lift your mood and energy levels for far longer than the duration of the exercise session.

All of which are helpful for people who are experiencing fatigue, elevated stress levels, anxiety or even depression during menopause.

This is the best part though: spending time outdoors adds a whole layer of goodness! Exposure to natural light outside can help to regulate circadian rhythms, which can improve sleep quality which in turn is vital overall wellbeing.

How long is long enough?

You don’t need to spend a whole day outside – just heading off for a quick march after lunchtime can be enough to give you that daylight hit you need.

Even better: being in nature can also be a great way to reduce stress and promote relaxation. We were designed to be in nature. It’s easy to forget, but before we built the modern world around, we’d have been in nature every day.

Getting back to nature can give your menopausal brain the break from stress it needs to really relax and refresh.

Modern life can make it really hard to get the exercise and nature that your body craves.

Finding space in your home for a plant can be a small step towards increasing your exposure to nature – I find spider plants or aloe vera plants are great for anyone who struggles to remember to water a potted plant. Both a pretty hardy, can cope with a lack of watering, and yet are lovely and green.

The perfect way to add nature to your environment with very little effort.

We know that exercise and spending time outdoors can be incredibly beneficial for people going through menopause. Finding a way to incorporate regular physical activity and outdoor time into your day is a wonderful way to boost your physical and mental health, as well as reduce some of the symptoms of menopause.

I know that exercise and being able to go outdoors played a key role in my own menopause and I’d love for you to experience the benefits too!

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