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Understanding what's really going on in our bodies can help us find natural solutions to the health challenges this phase of life brings us.
It’s a feeling of intense heat emanating from your shoulders and proceeding up through your neck and face. You may read elsewhere that you should where cotton, or natural fabrics, and loose clothing. For many women used to good health in their past, the transition into and through menopause can be fraught with challenges, not only internally but also externally, in the form of fat depositing in places that it hasn’t previously done. For fitness professionals, especially personal trainers, training menopausal women can be challenging, not only in terms of understanding the support that some female clients need at this time, but also in terms of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to exercise and nutrition prescription. Here, we explore why and how menopause and post-menopause are critical events for the health of women and why, now that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is no longer in vogue, finding new ways to manage menopause matters. While menopause is a natural process that occurs in women’s lives as part of normal ageing, for some women this transition can be quite disabling. The years preceding menopause that encompass the transition from normal menstruation to cessation are termed the peri-menopausal years and are generally characterised by irregular periods. Post-menopause begins at the time of the final menstrual period, although it is often not recognised until after 12 months of a woman’s periods ceasing.
Let’s examine these changes and take a look at why it can be a time of physical and psychological chaos.
In the peri-menopausal transition, women experience an accelerated loss of ovarian follicles.
Once menstruation stops completely for 60 days or more (amenorrhea) there are few remaining ovarian follicles.
Androstenedione is the precursor to testosterone production, as well as oestrones and oestradiol which make up oestrogen. While very little is known about the causes of hot flushes (apart from decreased oestrogen production), they may be bought on by stress (the adrenal glands control your stress levels) and even hyperglycaemia (high levels of blood glucose). As a fitness professional, it is important to understand that clients who are having moderate to severe and frequent hot flushes are also experiencing general inflammation in the body. With diaphragmatic weight gain, poor sleep patterns and low energy, what ensues is a jigsaw of metabolic changes that are difficult to isolate. As fitness professionals, it is important therefore to understand that some women who have exercised regularly in the past and maintained a healthy weight could gain weight as they transition through and into menopause.
There is a host of information about dietary choices available, but without going into too much depth, your symptomatic menopausal client needs to focus on nutrition. A substantial number of studies of phytoestrogens and isoflavones have been conducted, motivated by epidemiologic data showing differences in menopausal symptoms in countries with different levels of these nutrients in their diets.
Adjust your programming to moderate aerobic exercise, which is proven to reduce blood pressure. The Women’s Health Study has investigated a number of botanicals on the market in relation to their potential to affect menopausal symptoms. While this article has focused on the physiology of menopause, including strategies for managing it, there also exists a host of qualitative studies that explore the subjective dimension of menopause and what it means to women.
Ha – you’re probably thinking “Props for Menopause” means this essay is all about a big thumbs-up for this crazy change in women. I learned all about the benefits of good props a few years ago when I was part of a parents’ musical theatre group at the performing arts studio my daughter was attending. Some of the physical symptoms I have encountered during this stage have sent me on a bad flashback trip to the seventies – during that lovely puberty phase. Prop number two, in my mind, is brilliant and awesome – exercise mats that roll-up for easy storage and transporting.
Sure, we could go to the doctor and get some HRT or develop breathing techniques or try to be all zen and embracing and whatever. Lynne CobbLynne is a professional writer and blogger, with articles and essays published in local dailies and national publications. Neovadiol does exactly what it says on the jar - it compensates by mimicing the action of DHEA (a hormone that depletes as we age) on the skin. Vichy Laboratories have been at the forefront of menopausal skincare research for over seventeen years since the introduction of the pioneering NEOVADIOL range; the first skincare collection ever developed to counteract the impact of menopause on cutaneous ageing, replenishing and restoring lost lipids to provide immediate comfort to skin. Hepes, with its desquamating action smoothes the surface of skin whilst acting on cutaneous dryness. Hedione delivers an immediate plumping action by increasing the production of lipids characteristic of sebum.
A unique texture that is a hybrid of a cream and a gel named: Glycoserum, specifically designed for mature skin. This soft and fine, yet intensely nourishing cream replenishes the missing lipids menopausal skin is lacking, to offset dryness and discomfort.
That not-so-eagerly anticipated, but inevitable time in a womana€™s life when our estrogen and progesterone hormones take a downward dive and those hot flashes sneak up on us. Others may think you are eccentric, but who cares, as long as it makes you more comfortable.
Hot flushes are merciless, ask your GP or menopause specialist for the most suitable product and when you feel better. By understanding how it affects women in their mid-life years, you can make a difference to how your clients feel, how they look and how they stay healthy.
Defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the permanent cessation of menstrual periods that occurs naturally or is induced by surgery, the Greek derivative is men (month) and pausis (cessation). On average, in non-surgical menopause, peri-menopause begins around the late forties and may last up to four years, but it is well known that smokers begin to transition into menopause about three to four years earlier than non-smokers.


This cessation of menses is known medically as the climacteric, the end of a woman’s reproductive potential.
The overwhelming effect of this is that the amount of oestrogen made begins to decrease significantly.
In the younger menstruating female, progesterone is made by the cells of the uterus to ready it for receiving a fertilised egg. The adrenal glands and ovaries each produce about 3mg a day of androstenedione in pre-menopausal women. This is the system that is driven by the adrenal glands through the sympathetic nervous system and controls blood pressure, including the dilation and constriction of blood vessels. Reddening of the face, a sensation of heat and, in some women, profuse sweating, drive many women to despair and, because they commonly occur at night, hot flushes can be a major cause of insomnia. This makes sense when we think about the adrenal system and the influences of all the endocrine glands as a negative feedback system. Add this inflammation to a poor diet and little or no (or, sometimes, too much) exercise, and you have the accumulation of inflammation in other parts of the body, such as the joints. Although hormone replacement therapy (HRT, which was developed to mitigate the symptoms of hot flushes and night sweats) may help, recent evidence from the Women’s Health Initiative Study linking long-term use to breast cancer has resulted in the use of HRT becoming somewhat curtailed. Two of the main health concerns are to do with the higher risk of cardiovascular disease in post-menopause women, as well as insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance. Low oestrogen has an effect on the sympathetic nervous system, specifically the blood pressure-lowering receptors that control vaso-dilation and calcium channel opening in smooth muscle cells. It is known to worsen with advancing age and increasing central obesity (diaphragmatic obesity in menopausal women), thereby making it difficult for some women who are already overweight or obese to tease out the effects of menopause. This is the name given to the cocktail of clinical disorders, including obesity, insulin resistance (the inability of muscle cells to allow insulin to move glucose into them), high blood lipids (hypertriglyceridemia) and high levels of low-density lipoprotein. Not only does this diaphragmatic weight gain increase their risk of cardiovascular disease three-fold, but low oestrogen also causes the loss of bone-building calcium, thus increasing their risk of developing osteoporosis. Specifically, a Mediterranean-style diet, which is known to be anti-inflammatory, is beneficial.
Several studies of soy extracts suggested that they may have some mitigating effect on hot flushes. The ones most popular, but not always evidenced as effective in mitigating hot flushes, seem to be Black Cohosh (Actacea racemosa), Kava (Piper methysticum) for anxiety reduction, Red Clover Leaf (Trifolium pretense) and Ginseng root (Panax ginseng).
In addition to exploring the practical strategies outlined above, as their fitness professional you might also reflect on how your female clients feel about their transition through menopause, and talk to them about the support they may require from you at this time of their life.
In 2014 she was named Australian Fitness Network’s Author of the Year in recognition of her contribution to the ongoing education and upskilling of fitness professionals. Now, some of those people were considered “cool,” because they were able to function, even though the fluorescent lights were causing considerable pain in their hung over state. No one will actually see this one, however, if you can’t take prop number two with you, because, say, you’re boarding an airplane or going to the movies, you will need something to curtail that work-out aroma. She is blessed with a supportive husband and family, who encourage her in all her endeavors. If I had, I wouldn’t have to drive ten miles out of my way now to go to another FedEx store to make copies. In this post I'm going to share some of my new learnings about skin at menopause and how to look after it. Darker skin holds its shape and texture better than pale skin as it has more collagen and elastin. It stimulates the synthesis of molecules in the dermis and epidermis and therefore acts on improved density and reduces wrinkles. The light consistency is immediately absorbed, leaving skin feeling refreshed and hydrated, not sticky or greasy.
The technology named Fresh & Plump Nectar Cream is an oil in water cream gel formula with a significant aqueous phase and a maximum concentration of glycols for total freshness on application.
Menopause is also linked to high blood pressure and weight gain, as well as a higher risk for breast cancer.
This symptom catches you out in the middle of winter, all of a sudden, you need to excuse yourself from wherever you are and nip outside for some fresh air. With the huge decrease in oestrogen levels that occurs at this time, it is no wonder that, for some women, havoc is wreaked on the endocrine (hormonal), psychological and somatic (bodily) systems.
This drop in oestrogen (which is quite dramatic in some women, especially those who are already overweight) can often be the start of the chaos that some women experience at this time, both physically and psychologically.
Progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy and in peri-menopause progesterone levels also fluctuate. After menopause, however, the production of androstenedione in the adrenal glands generally halves.
This means no refined foods, high protein (up to 30 per cent of daily intake) and low-glycaemic foods (e.g. If your client has poor sleep patterns, then back off the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) until she has greater daily energy. However, you should never suggest botanicals to a client without telling her to check with her doctor, as some medications contraindicate botanicals.
If you remember how “Menopause Turned Our Bedroom into a Brothel,” well, let’s say that the potions and supporting items found in our room may have had led others to believe that things are more exciting than they truly are. To the women of menopause, I would like to suggest prop number one: a great pair of sunglasses.
One you will keep at home and use diligently every morning, because exercise helps manage your symptoms.


Seriously, I could use a power washer and apply several inches of deodorant and baking soda and baby powder and still not have that “stay-dry, fresh feeling.” Kitty litter is super-absorbing and comes in fresh scents and promises to activate while it’s being moved.
The Dermo Advisors have been asked to bring a guest along, often their mothers, so we have a wide age range in the audience.
Serums are quickly absorbed into the skin and penetrate deeper to hydrate from a lower level. Aquakeep technology allows the texture to turn into water on application and deliver a high dose of freshness, whilst a urea derivative ensures day long moisture and comfort.
Skin is left feeling soft, silky and moisturised, whilst fine white micro-pearls make the complexion more radiant. A high dose of glycerine plus a combination of fatty acids derived from rice bran oil, apricot oil, beeswax and shea butter offset the dryness characteristic of menopausal skin.
While hormone replacement therapy can help, we can also battle these negative forces with proper nutrition.
All very well, but what do you do if you are on the 4th or 44th floor or teaching a classroom full of  kids? This is the time when thousands of women may spiral into negative health changes, which may affect how healthy they will continue to be as they age. Although this uneven rising and falling of various hormones can impact hugely on how your client may be feeling at this time of peri-menopause, it is post-menopause that the real health impacts might occur.
These hormones are androstenedione (derived mainly from the adrenal glands, but these do decline with ageing) and testosterone. The impact of this in a post-menopausal body is that a range of symptoms begin to be experienced. Put this alongside diaphragmatic weight gain, and blood pressure starts to rise in post-menopausal women, increasing their risk of heart disease in older age. The change in levels of circulating FSH has been positively correlated with the change in central fat mass. For others who are having a hard time of it, however, the following strategies may be useful. While your client may not tell you that she is having difficulty sleeping due to hot flushes and night sweats, it’s your job to at least ask.
While HIIT is well evidenced in assisting in weight management, your menopausal client may have low iron levels, low calcium and magnesium levels and poor thyroid function, as well as high cortisol through lack of sleep.
So on that note, I have figured out a few ways to manage even more menopause symptoms for those wonderful changes that are bound to happen.
This prop will be used to cover up the bags under your eyes because Mother Nature decided to send both a heat wave and hormones to keep you up all night. The second one will have a cute little strap and you will actually wear this mat on your person, everywhere you go.
As this is probably the first time most women have attended a talk on menopause I start at the beginning with Information: What? Subtle golden micro-pearls invisible to the naked eye gently illuminate skin, leaving it looking radiant. By no means are these definitive, but they can allow you to empathise with and support your menopausal clients in ways that may make a difference to how they feel, how they look and how they stay healthy.
This type of diet supports the maintenance of normal blood glucose levels, keeping insulin secretion by the pancreas low.
A blood profile such as this doesn’t bode well for recovering from HIIT sufficiently.
We had a blast, and the most memorable moments happened when we all rushed to our homes, combed through our basements and garages, and came back to the studio with our treasures to be used on stage. If you are going to sweat and smell like you’ve been attending triathlon training, then let the world think you are an exercise freak. In normal ovulation another hormone, luteinising hormone (LH), works in tandem with FSH in oestrogen-producing ovulation. For women who are particularly sensitive to these changes in hormones, it’s not only irritability and depression that set in, but also weight gain around the mid-riff and poor sleep patterns, as well as exhausting hot flushes and night sweats. By adhering to this way of eating, and drinking sufficient water (at least two litres a day), some women are able to control insulin production, and thereby partially alleviate the severity of hot flushes and night sweats. It doesn’t matter if you are in line at the grocery store or strutting your stuff across the office.
Pulverize to a silky espresso blend, and slap some fresh kitty-pitty powder under your arms.
And should they be brave enough to risk that move, don a tiara and pull-out a magic wand and cop a “don’t mess with the Queen of Mean” attitude. Your exercise mat will be a psychological barrier to warn folks to not invade your personal space.
This should give you a few minutes to breathe, collect your thoughts and find the nearest exit.
It's a brilliant initiative by Vichy to open a wider discussion about menopause with women of all ages throughout the country.



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