Many women experience a “menopause middle” increase in belly fat in their 40s and 50s, and it can be super frustrating!
Weight gain and increased abdominal obesity are both risk factors for coronary artery disease – and both common with menopausal women. Recent studies regarding the benefits of regular physical activity in midlife women are “consistently suggestive of a positive impact on mood and weight control.” source
“During midlife years, women are at risk of increasing body weight and waist circumference. We evaluated changes in weight and waist circumference from enrollment to 2 years later and examined the influence of physical activity level on those changes among 232 women aged between 40-50. Weight increased significantly for the entire sample. Those who increased their physical activity from enrollment to 2 years later had the smallest increase in weight and had a slight decrease in waist circumference. To maintain ideal weight and waist circumference, midlife women should be encouraged to increase physical activity before and during the menopausal transition.” -source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3563258/
As our hormones change, cortisol levels in the body can increase as well, resulting in that dreaded ‘menopause middle’. Working to reduce stress (which also happens to be a side benefit of exercise) via mindfulness and meditation as well as improving sleep can have a major positive impact as well. source
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