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WEEKLY WORKOUT: Moves For Menopause

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It’s no secret women tend to gain weight during menopause. It can have serious health implications, but there are there are some things you can do to reduce, even prevent them.

“The things that’s interesting about weight gain during menopause, is that typically on a woman it will go here,” says personal trainer Angie Gallagher as she points to her midsection.

Love handle, muffin top, spare tire -- we’ve come up with a lot of terms of endearment to describe belly fat, but the bottom line: It’s no laughing matter.

“The bad thing about it going here is it is deep visceral and so it’s a lot more detrimental to our health and it’s a lot harder to take off,” says Angie.

Weight gain during menopause, particularly around the midsection, can increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, stroke and heart disease. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“There are a couple different things you can do. One is to look at your nutritional habits, because as we age our nutritional needs decrease as far as calories.”

Studies also show short bouts of high intensity exercise, mixed with intense strength training are most helpful to reduce weight gain around the middle.

Warning – this is not a workout for wimps. But what do you expect when you’re battling Mother Nature? Two to three minutes of high intensity cardio is followed by high intensity strength training, like one-legged lunges and squats. And don’t be afraid to use heavier weights.

Angie says the weight training stimulates the growth hormone, which wanes as we age. Weight training also increases lean muscle mass, which also diminishes with age. The entire sequence – cardio combined with weights – is repeated for about an hour. It’s not easy, but you’ll see and feel the difference, even if you can’t turn back the clock.

“Accepting some change and not being too critical of ourselves is going to go a long way in keeping us motivated and positive in our workouts.”

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