For women over the age of forty, a lifetime of activity, stress and the
menopause can mean a decrease in the metabolism and an increase in the production
of body fat.
We investigated how and why women over forty feel less energetic, are
more susceptible to stress and find that they are constantly in a battle
of the bulge. Read the outcome of this report below.
As women go through the menopause many hormonal changes will occur within
the body, including a dramatic reductions in estrogen, serotin and leptin.
The first two changes listed may result in women craving, and consequently
consuming more carbohydrates than they have done in the past - which in
turn can aid unwanted weight gain.
A reduction of leptin (a protein which tells the brain that the stomach
is full) can leave many women vulnerable to overeating or even binge eating.
As we age the metabolism (the bodies calorie burner) naturally slows down.
This coupled with hormonal changes can mean that weight gain is inevitable
- especially if our eating habits haven't changed from our teens or early
Once women start to overeat and gain unwanted weight it is hard to reverse
this situation. As the cycle of overeating and weight gain continue another
hormonal change may start to occur - an increase in cortisol. Cortisol as
an appetite trigger. Once its production starts to increase it becomes ever
easier for this self-perpetuating situation to escalate into even more weight
Unusually high levels of cortisol can result in chronic stress, fatigue
and a sense of overpowering mental strain.
Thankfully there are a number of tried and tested ways we can overcome this
situation. Some solutions revolve around exercise, while others 'stress'
the importance of fun and above all laughter!
In order to increase the metabolism you must perform two types of exercise.
1. Resistance training and 2. Aerobic training.
Strictly speaking aerobic exercise doesn't directly increase the metabolism,
but due to its capacity to burn lots of excess calories and body fat, we
thought it justified to include it within the explanation.
Resistance exercise, or weight training, on the other hand is one of the
best ways of developing a lean, toned body and increasing the body calorie
Working against an added resistance that's heavier than our normal everyday
activities of walking, shopping, driving etc, the body and its muscles start
to change, develop and become stronger. This strength tends to show in signs
of toning in the areas of the body being used. If this occurs, and the body's
fat level will start to decrease, and what was once a declining metabolism
will now plateau or even increase. The result is than weight loss, weight
control and a fitter, happy you.
Resistance training hints and tips
Get fitter and burn more calories
Check my ideal weight
How many calories do I need?
One great way of relieving stress is to laugh :-). Laughing reduces cortisol
while increasing the release of endorpins (the brains natural 'high' and
relaxant hormone). Laughing aloud also increases the immune systems capacity
to fight of illness and disease by increasing the production of protecting
white cells. Another benefit to laughing is that it can burn as many calories
as cycling and jogging!
Tip: Aim to laugh for at least 10 minutes each day.
Health questionnaire - Am I ready for
Exercise can help beat depression
Develop a sense of well-being
Learn to relax