The Positive Effects of SpeedFit Resistance Training & Nutrition for Menopausal Women

Kayla Braithwaite – SpeedFit Clinical Nutritionist

There are various complex changes that occur to women’s hormones and their bodies as they age. This phase spans over many years and this transition can be challenging causing some uncomfortable symptoms. Menopause has been associated with adverse health concerns such as increased risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, skeletal muscle wasting, bone mineral mass loss, changes in body composition, fat deposition and increased inflammatory markers.

One of the most noticeable side effects of entering menopause is significant changes in body composition. These changes include increase in total fat mass, abdominal fat and reduction in muscle mass, which is associated with reduced mobility, loss of toning which is a direct cause of reduction of muscle strength. As muscle mass affects the body’s metabolism, total energy expenditure is decreased making it more challenging for women to lose fat mass or maintain a steady weight. To ease these hormonal changes and side effects there are certain foods, nutrients and exercise modalities that are recommended to assist in the treatment of menopause which can provide support and nourishment to the body to help make this transition smoother.

Resistance training supports overall body composition changes by stimulating new muscle fibres to improve muscle mass. This is then associated with a decrease in total and abdominal fat and increased resting and total energy expenditure meaning the body burns energy and calories more effectively. As menopause is also a critical time of bone mineral density loss the inclusion of resistance exercise which does not impact on the joints is vital to optimise body composition and prevent further bone weakening.

SpeedFit provides an all-encompassing exercise and nutrition solution to women of this age bracket who struggle with body composition changes and can not participate in high intensity exercise that impacts the joints. Women aged between 31-65 years old make up approximately 77% of SpeedFit members with their main concerns being to increase mobility, strength and to optimise body composition through fat loss.

We know that adequate protein intake is needed in combination with resistance training in order to stimulate new muscle mass production & not break down muscle at a higher rate. As one SpeedFit session replaces 2-3 hours of resistance training in the gym, it is important to support muscle recovery by providing our clients with nutritional support before they leave the studio.

To assist recovery protein shakes are provided to SpeedFit clients after every session to provide an easily absorbed protein source to support muscle recovery.The inclusion of calcium rich foods in combination with protein are particularly important in later life to sustain good quality lean muscle mass and bone density. Magnesium is recommended to support women during menopause as it provides a calming effect to the nervous system, supporting balanced mood and sleep, stress control & hot flushes. Plant based protein from soy, specifically fermented soy can be beneficial to include to support the loss of estrogen which occurs naturally when women age. Last but certainly not least adequate fibre intake which is needed to support the body’s natural detoxification pathways for proper elimination of unwanted hormones. The easiest way to get all of these nutrients is to focus on including a variety of whole foods and add different seeds daily as they are rich in fibre, magnesium and calcium.