I have never heard anyone say they are looking forward to glory days of menopause. Granted, most women I know are pretty happy to wave goodbye to their periods. Some of my female friends and family, though, are a bit nervous about the “spare tire” weight gain.
According to the International Menopause Society and the North American Menopause Society, there is no scientific evidence to confirm that menopause causes weight gain. It is that lovely thing called aging that gives us saddlebags or a muffin top, that extra something around the middle.
However, a recent study by the International Menopause Society concluded "that the loss of the female hormone estrogen leads to a change in the pattern of body fat, which shifts from the hips to the abdomen."
Susan Davis, lead investigator and professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia says, "It is a myth that menopause causes a woman to gain weight."
Unfortunately, we can’t blame menopause for weight gain but we can blame other factors.
Davis continued, "It's really just a consequence of environmental factors and ageing which causes that. But there is no doubt that the new spare tire many women complain of after menopause is real. This is the body's response to the fall in oestrogen at menopause -- a shift of fat storage from the hips to the waist."
So, what can we do about that annoying tire in the middle?
Fitness Magazine states that the best way to get rid of belly fat is to tighten up your core muscles. The tightening and strengthening of your core muscles will result in a flatter stomach, and who doesn’t want a flatter tummy?
Here are some beginner exercises for a toned stomach. Try these exercises a couple of times per week for 20 minutes and add more exercises as you become stronger or if you need more of a challenge.
The Lunge Twist:
· Stand with feet hip-width apart
· Knees slightly bent
· Elbows bent 90 degrees by hips
· Lunge forward with right leg and rotate torso and arms to right
· Rotate back to center as you quickly push off right foot to return to start
· Do 16 reps, alternating sides