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Yoga for Weight Loss during Menopause

For those of us who do not have the luxury of being able to afford personal trainers and dietitians, there are several inexpensive things you can do at home to avoid putting on pounds during menopause.

As women reach their 50's it is common for their bodies to start slowing down. Most significantly, both estrogen and metabolic rates are known to become reduced and less efficient. These reductions can affect almost every other process in your body and trigger some undesirable changes. One of these is weight gain, a symptom which can seem especially difficult to deal with. However, this does not have to be an inevitable part of the aging process.

Yoga for Weight Loss

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If you are looking for an exercise that is not only physically, but also mentally beneficial, you may want to consider yoga for weight loss. If you have never been to a yoga class before you might not instantly connect the practice with weight loss. There are however, many different types of yoga, with different levels in intensity. Kundalini Yoga, for instance, is a form that is concerned with living in godly consciousness and enlightenment. Through the process of awakening chakras and discovering inward bliss, the style is known for making you sweat. Some classes are also performed in small rooms with heaters ablaze in order to induce extra expulsion of toxins.

Yoga is a complex and ancient practice and you don't need to master it to notice the benefits. Here are some simple yoga positions which can be practiced from the comfort of your own home. The two poses below might be particularly beneficial as they target the abdomen, an area in which fat tends to accumulate for menopausal women.

Work Your Abs

1

Utkatasana (chair pose)

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Start standing upright in Tadasana (mountain pose), arms perpendicular to the floor.

Exhale and bend your knees, keeping your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible. Knees should be over the feet, and your torso slightly forward over the thighs to form a right angle.

Tuck your shoulder blades in and lift your arms to the sky. Keep your back long, push your tailbone downward.

Hold for 30 seconds to a minute if you can, then straighten your knees and inhale. Return to mountain pose and exhale.

2

Bitilasana (cow pose)

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Begin in a tabletop position, hands directly below shoulders, knees below the hips. Center your eyes on the floor.

Inhale, lift your rear and chest to the ceiling and let your belly sink. Raise your head to look straight in front of you.

Exhale, return to tabletop, repeat 10 to 20 times.

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If you are interested in learning more about yoga, it is worth enrolling in a yoga class. Often the instructor will let you pay class to class before committing to a series. Classes are typically one hour long, with 40 minutes of practice (posing), followed by 20 minutes of meditation.

For more information about weight gain treatments during menopause follow this link.

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Sources:
  • Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007