There is not much information about running through the menopause, the main reason being that until recently, running was not that popular a sport among older runners, especially women.
It used to be, your menopausal, you've got a belly, grey hairs and wrinkles, therefore your physical fitness is going downhill ........ only walking and gentle exercise from now on please.
Well forget that I say, as I want to be running into my seventies. In fact I am not alone as there are now a huge number of older female runners , many of whom have been through or are running through the menopause, and they are doing just fine.
Fifty one is the average of women when reaching the menopause (in the US and the UK) but before that most women have gone through a period of 'peri-menopause' which on average starts 4 years before the menopause.
The menopause affects women in different ways and some more than others. Think of hut flushes, night sweats, foggy brain, random emotions, anxiety, tiredness, inflated belly and so on. Now imagine running through the menopause with those issues and you can see it could be not much fun. After all, we want to enjoy running.
It is a fact that the menopause causes our hormones to go a bit crazy. Our estrogen levels drop as our body decides "no more babies thank you". Another side effect of lower estrogen is that our metabolism shifts (hence the few extra pounds round our belly) and it also contributes to the reduction in our bone density and muscle mass.
It does sound doom and gloom but actually it doesn't have to be at all. Yes you might slow down as a runner but at least you can still keep on running. And remember that for the vast majority of women, the symptoms don't last.
In my mind the biggest issues to deal with are decreasing bone density and loss of muscle mass. Those 2 things mean you are more likely to suffer a running injury and therefore you need to take more care to ensure that you keep your muscles and bones in the best shape possible.
> Running can actually help reduce the symptoms of the menopause.
> Exercising during and after the menopause has been shown to give women a better quality if life than those who are much less active.
> Exercise helps you sleep better.
> Running lifts your mood by releasing endoprhins - "happy hormones".
> Running outside boosts your vitamin D levels which are vital in helping to keep your bones strong.
> Exercise contributes to better bone density.
> Running helps control weight gain. More exercise and less time snacking has got to be good.
Running through the menopause and out the other end is totally doable. Just keep on running with these added tips to make it easier:
Balance your Food and Fluids
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Smile and Feel Smug Because.....