Menopausal Women Need to Step Up

Menopausal weight gain can be avoided through proper diet and exercise

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Abundance indicates happiness, wealth and the land of plenty. Abundance in the mid-section for menopausal women is none of those things.  It's a drag. But it is an avoidable drag, though.

Menopause doesn't cause weight gain. The weight gain is caused by bad food choices and declining physical activity which leads to muscle mass loss.

"Exercise before, during and after menopause to keep your weight in check."

Patricia J. Sulak, MD, clinical director of research, obstetrics and gynecology at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, TX reports that weight gain can be a constant problem throughout a woman’s life. The weight gain can start when young girls start their periods and continue to be a burden throughout their lives. She recommends women should get on top of  weight issues before menopause begins.

Sulak says that menopause doesn’t necessarily cause weight gain, but some women become less active with age which causes their metabolism to slow down and their muscle mass to decrease.

She encourages women to realize it is never too late to increase one's physical activity and make healthy food choices.

Women who are initiating an exercise regime should start out slowly to avoid frustration, Sulak suggests.

Many older women can be seen walking briskly through malls as it may be too hot outside. Other than purchasing good walking shoes, this is free and avoids the elements. No excuses such as it's raining or too hot.

Try to improve your speed and distance every week or so. Eventually, add holding hand weights to the program. Joining a gym is also an option, but not necessary to maintain a personal fitness program.

Sulak observes that  women are often playing the game of matching the amount their friends eat. This isn't a healthy approach to life. She encourages women to eat what is needed for nutrition, not what a neighbor or husband eats.

Just because one's husband can eat desserts unendingly without gaining weight doesn't translate into a woman being able to make the same choices. Your body will react differently than his.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 12, 2011
Last Updated:
June 14, 2011