We’ve all been there – setting unrealistic, difficult-to-follow diet and fitness goals come January 1st that fall by the wayside once February rolls around. For many, going in too hard and too fast with exercise that does not support your current fitness level, lifestyle, or the phase of life you are in, means reaching your targets feels unattainable. Rachel specialises in coaching techniques and protocols that support your learning in how to get fitter, manage the stresses of a busy mum life and exercise safely. Most recently, Rachel has explored how women can use exercise to improve symptoms of menopause. Her studies and personal experience bring a wealth of knowledge and understanding to what can be a challenging time in women's lives.
A wealth of research proves that exercise can have a positive influence on back pain and implementing regular movement can have a life-changing effect.
Much of the information we know about exercising for lower back pain focuses on the ‘lumbo-pelvic’ area and the ‘rhythm’ of this system. Like dancing, lumbopelvic rhythm looks at moving fluidly and how the balance of the front, back, and sides of the body work together to stabilise the spine and pelvis to relieve pressure on the lower back. This works by reducing tension in the tight areas and increasing strength and mobility in others. Tension felt in these areas can not only affect our posture but can have long term health implications. Consequently, working with the body to introduce balance of muscular endurance and flexibility can address these.
Going to the physio for six weeks and then spending the time after treatment sedentary will not help the back long term or improve the movement of muscles. Pilates helps us to adhere to a routine of regular exercise. One way to help your back long term is by setting aside time for regular, fluid movement to improve your physical health, manage pain, anxiety, and depression.
Remaining physically active and maintaining good nutrition during the menopausal phases can influence how we manage our symptoms and improve our psychological wellbeing. Exercise has a positive effect on our health, but the menopause affects our fat burning potential, and we need to be creative in ways we approach fitness and wellbeing. Mixing up resistance and cardio training helps to protect our bones, improves stress levels and the function of our metabolism. Pilates and stretch exercise have an immediate impact on the reduction of stress and anxiety that allows us to sleep better, deal with fearfulness and improve our resilience. While low level exercise has benefits, incorporating (modified) higher intensity training helps manage belly fat that can so often accumulate during the menopause and be detrimental to our overall health.
Whatever exercise we choose to do, leaning on activity and movement through our menopause journey can give us back the feeling of being in control of our bodies and mental health.