Menopause is something you cannot control. It is a natural process every woman experiences and it affects different aspects on physical and mental health. The good news is, if you’re an athlete your menopause side effects will be easier to handle when compared to any other woman. The bad news: the changes to your life will definitely affect your athletic performance.
These biological changed processes are something you can do nothing about. But, what you can is knowing all the possible side effects menopause will can bring to your body and mind so you can better prepare yourself, take necessary measures and know which your next steps will be. Finding out that your body has changed and its components won’t be as useful as they used to, can be a learning experience if you know what’s coming.
Find below some of the major changes that will occur during your menopause period….
Your body will become slower
Your aerobic capacity, after your 30s, drops at least 7 percent each decade. During your menopausal years, you will be able to view these aerobic changes more. These changes include the decreased ability of your cardiovascular system to properly convert oxygen to energy. That is why you feel more tired, you heart less dynamic and unable to fully handle your athletic training routine. The good news is, as an athlete, you can experience these changes more slowly and make them be less obvious than any other normal woman.
Your stomach won’t be in an optimal shape
During your menopausal years, your stomach’s ability to process carbs significantly drops. That is why, as an athlete, your favorite pasta or full-in-carbs snack should be skipped because they might be increasing your blood sugar level. On the other hand, you also lose the ability to fully process fructose and other food-processing issues.
Your bones get weaker
Since estrogen is the element to work with vitamin D and calcium to strengthen and keep your bones healthy, with the body’s lost ability to fully process these elements, after your menopause years, your bones can lose more than 20 percent of their density. The good news is, athlete women start this process with denser and thicker bones. This is because endurance sports like running, tennis swimming, cycling etc. constantly put stress on your bones making them stronger and thicker.
If you don’t stop your athletic activity and keep eating a well-balanced, plenty-in-fish diet, this symptom can be hardly noticed.
Your sleep quality will decrease
More than 60 percent of all menopausal or post-menopausal women admit to suffer from insomnia symptoms. Some of the main reasons for this thing to happen are related with the decline of progesterone and estrogen. They both help people fall asleep and stay that way. Also, hot flashes, sweats and other issues contribute to the lack of sleep. In athletic women, especially when exercising early during the day, the sleeping process can significantly show fewer side effects. Being active in general means your sleeping process will be better. Athletic women report minor changes in their sleep mostly because they haven’t stopped being active.
Menopause women hardly handle temperature changes
When the outside temperature is high or during hot flashes, the women’s blood tends to rush to their skins surface and load all the accumulated heat. This can potentially become a training-ruiner especially when in the middle of competition. This annoying condition makes many menopausal or post-menopausal athletic women feel unable to handle all the heat and energy that they know will spend during a training routine. That is why, doing shorter intervals and less intensive, seems more convenient.