Menopause Mondays: Spring Forward to Fitness
Do you ever feel like your menopause symptoms are getting the best of you? If your answer is anywhere between “sometimes” and “always,” Gail Edgell, Founder of Inside Out Wellness Ltd. has tips to help you put yourself at the top of your to-do list. Mind and body fitness can be a helpful complement to your hormone happiness routine.
Q: Why did you become so passionate about health and wellness?
A: I always had a fascination with the human body. In fact, in high school, when someone would get injured in a game, I was more interested in the injured player than the game itself. In college, I majored in Exercise Science and have not turned back since. I love the health and wellness field and can’t think of any other thing to do for a living.
Q: How did your commitment to women’s health drive you to establish Inside Out Wellness Ltd.?
A: I founded Inside Out Wellness, Ltd. in 2000. It initially started out as a personal training business catering to those who had health challenges but then morphed in to corporate wellness consulting and now its focus has changed to women’s health – particularly those transitioning into menopause. I realized how much mindset, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle play a role in how we feel each and every day, even during menopause, and it seemed no one was really addressing it head-on. Instead, women were and still are being told it is just a fact of life and to deal with it. And many women are dying inside! Women are the foundation of our families and communities, and if they are not feeling well, it impacts everyone around them.
Q: Many women are dying inside – or suffering in silence, as I say – and without knowledge about what happens in menopause, there can be lots of confusion. When I was going through perimenopause, my kids thought an alien had taken over my body! Why is it important for women in menopause to be mindful about their health?
A: We know that mindset plays a major role in anything in life, not just menopause. We constantly are emitting an energy field around us. If we are putting out vibes that I feel terrible, I am tired, I am fat or this menopause transition is going to be pure hell, I can guarantee you that negative energy field is being put out into the universe and it WILL be fulfilled.
Women in Guatemala have mild menopausal symptoms and one of these reasons, they suspect, this is their mindset. They look forward to this time of their lives because they are respected in their communities. My advice is to look at menopause as a journey and a new beginning to do things you have never done before instead of as a dreadful time of life.
Q: Great advice. A positive outlook and physical exercise is tremendously beneficial to us both physically and emotionally. Today’s woman is already juggling too much. What exercise routine would you recommend that would provide us with the greatest benefit in the shortest period of time?
A: I can’t tell you how many times I walk into a gym and women are reading a romance novel on the treadmill at size 7 font. All I can say is get moving. Of course, consult with your health care professional before starting any program.
We have study after study that interval training expends the most calories, particularly fat. So what is interval training? 20- to 30-second bouts of high intensity on any machine, then a 1- to 2-minute recovery. Complete 6-8 rounds of this and you are finished. A total of 20 minutes.
Most important, all women over 40 must, and I mean must, strength train. They are losing about 1% of muscle every year after the age of 35. What this means is not only a flabby body, but decreased metabolism. Ugh!
Q: What was your most significant ‘aha’ menopause moment?
A: I did have an ‘aha’ moment, and that is when all my personal training clients starting going through perimenopause. Some were suffering terribly and yet others felt fine – I thought there had to be a connection. There truly was. If you take care of your mind, body and soul, not only will you decrease your risk of ailments and disease, but also your menopausal symptoms. It is that easy, yet millions of women continue to suffer because the real truth is they are putting themselves last on the list. In my mind, suffering is optional. That is exactly why I started 360Menopause.com.
Hold onto those genes, baby! There are over 30 symptoms of menopause. Most women begin experiencing them during perimenopause, the 6-10 years before they reach menopause. There is no one-size-fits-all experience. The important thing to remember is: You are not alone. Listen to your body and reach out to get the individualized help you deserve.
With interval training exercises, positive thoughts and self-encouragement, you can spring forward to both body and mind fitness. In the process, you might even change your mind about burning that bathing suit in your drawer! Thank you, Gail, for your expertise and excellent tips!