The Weight Series: Exercising but not losing weight? Try adjusting the intensity to your menstrual cycle

exercising tips for weight loss
I love doing all forms of yoga and find it a great stress release.

Melbourne-based menopause specialist Dr Khan has kindly let us share her Weight Series. This is the fourth story in the series. 

Are you exercising daily and finding you are not shifting any of the inches off your waistline?

Exercise is a form of physical stress, and in Dr Khan’s previous post, she explained how prolonged stress releases cortisol hormone and can lead to insulin resistances = weight gain

Dr Khan
Dr Khan, Menopause Specialist

Over-exercising or strenuous exercise (marathons, long distance running, long hard core gym work outs) causes prolonged excessive cortisol release and insulin resistance leading to weight gain in some women.

Peri-menopause can be a time of physical and psychological stress with busy work and personal lives. our already overworked adrenal glands start to become burnt out, so when we introduce strenuous exercise, this starts to deplete our cortisol reserves which causes exhaustion, fatigue and weight gain.

Listen to your body during menstruation, try some yoga or Pilates. Mid-cycle is when women have the most energy, says Dr Khan, so try a HITT workout and 7-10 days prior to your periods, try some weight training and/or restorative exercise (to avoid making PMS and food cravings worse).

Other exercise tips

  • Yoga – find one you enjoy, Vinyasa, Asthanga, Lyengar, Yin Yoga is good for stress relief.
  • Pilates – mat or reformer is great for core strength, alignment and posture.
  • HITT – good cardio and fat burn, try to stick to 20 minutes.
  • Weight training – good for bone health, increasing metabolism and fat burn.
  • Swimming – is great for joints, muscles and cardio fitness.
  • Horse riding, golf, dancing and seasonal skiing.

Melbourne-based Dr Fatima Khan is highly skilled and experienced menopause specialist who genuinely cares about our hormonal health.