Weight Loss: Tipping the Scales in Your Favor
Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell
Menopause Bloating… Why Me?
For many women entering menopause increased belly fat is cause for alarm. Without an understanding of what is happening to their bodies, these women can feel awkward and begin to experience menopause anxiety when fat begins to build up around the mid section. A pot belly can start to creep up with the onset of menopause even for those that have had a slender figure their whole lives. The important thing to remember is that an increased level of fat around the midsection is common for women during menopause.
Is there something I can do about that?
Before the issue can be addressed it is essential to understand why fat tends to migrate toward the stomach area during menopause. The following list contains the common causes of increased belly fat during menopause:
• Age – As we age, our bodies undergo changes that require a change in our lifestyles. Metabolism slows, we engage in less physical activity, and tend to eat less healthy meals to accommodate the “on the go” lifestyle required when we were younger, but our bodies aren’t keeping up anymore.
• Hormones – During menopause, our bodies decrease the amount of estrogen produced while ramping up the production of testosterone, causing fat to migrate from other areas of our body, such as our hips, to the belly.
• Stress – It has long been known that the effects of stress on the body are harsh and unforgiving, and in a world full of fast deadlines and high stress environments, it is common to incur more stress. One of the major effects of stress on a woman’s body is increased production of cortisol, which also encourages body fat to be stored in the abdomen.
Core Training Your Way to a Flatter Stomach
There are a number of exercises that can be done to keep a tummy toned. The most beneficial exercises are core exercises. Core exercises are an integrated approach to working the muscles in the anatomical center of the body, the core, and training them to function as a unit instead of in isolation. Not only can core training help to flatten the stomach, but it can also help improve back strength. Read below for a list of exercises that can be done at home to help reduce belly fat.
- Cardiovascular (Cardio) Exercises – Exercises that raise the heart rate and keep it elevated for prolonged periods. Try running, skiing, bicycling, or swimming to get this kind of exercise. When our bodies engage in cardio, they begin to shrink fat cells, reducing the amount of fat on our bodies.
- Crunches – Crunches target the rectus abdominis, or the “six pack” muscles, and will help to keep a sleek waistline.
- Twisting Exercises – Side crunches for example, target the oblique’s, or the abdominal muscles on the side of the waist.
- Dead Bugs or Plank Exercises – These exercises work the transverse abdominis, or deepest abdominal muscles.
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