What Exercise Should I be doing now im a Mum?

Your mobility, your bone health and living a life without stiffness, aches and pains depends on your ability to move and exercise. If you have had your kids, you are 35+ and are struggling to exercise, you may need oestrogen and testosterone hormone replacement to get back moving like you did in your 20s and 30s. Not being physically or mentally able to exercise, when you were able to do it daily when you were a bit younger may be a sign your hormones just need topping up! It may take 1-2 years of hormone replacement to get back to your old self of daily exercising, as it takes time for hormones to build up on the body and settle.

If you have a family history of osteoporosis or osteopenia talk to your doctor as it is worth exploring the area of using hormone replacement therapy also as oestrogen and testosterone are one the most important hormones for laying down new bone, as well as vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium not just the mineral calcium. Calcium comes from oats, broccoli etc and not just milk and cheese. Look up sources of these minerals online and eat for bone health, aswell as take the hormones if you need them. Few in Ireland need calcium supplements as the irish diet has plenty already. Calcium tablets are difficult to digest and are now being linked to atherosclerosis. Vitamin D is a hormone not a vitamin and is best got from sun exposure not supplements and eating foods like mushrooms, sardines and fortified milk like avonmore. In my opinion every woman and man over 35 will still benefit from a little bit of HRT for prevention of cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, osteoporosis as it slows down the bodies aging process.

Addressing any pelvic floor issues and poor posture is useful to optimize your health-so work with a female physiotherapist.

Doing up to an hour of exercise per day is also critical for lowering inflammation, stress relief, blood pressure regulation, weight management, brain health the list goes on. Those that work in manual physical jobs are much more likely to be healthier than those who have desk jobs. Even if you are working out at the gym five to seven days a week, if you’re sitting for the rest of your day, this puts you at much higher risk of dying prematurely so it’s very important for every hour you sit to get up and walk around for 5 minutes. It doesn’t have to be all hard exercising, even gardening, cleaning, walking is all considered movement. Exercise like this is called NEAT, Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the energy used for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from walking to work, performing garden or yard work, undertaking tasks like collecting sticks for fire or harvesting fruit off hedgerows. Even trivial physical activities increase metabolic rate and it is the combined effect of a multitude of exothermic actions that result in an individual’s daily NEAT. Agricultural and manual workers like builders, plumbers etc have high NEAT, whereas computer jobs appear to decrease NEAT. NEAT increases with overfeeding and decreases with underfeeding. Thus, NEAT could be a critical component in how we maintain our body weight and reduce our risk of obesity or lose weight.

Traditional cardio exercises are highly ineffective for fat burning and strength training is recommended after age 35.

Weight bearing exercises are necessary to improve our bone density. Swimming is not weight bearing. We need to be doing exercises like walking, running, tennis, handball, golf. Exercises like doing 10-20 jump squats or high jumps with light weights off the ground is great for building up strong bones.

For me exercising is as important as eating, and now I am established on HRT I am back to my old self being physically and mentally able to exercise everyday, all year round, like i did in my 20s. Usually this means swimming, walking, weight lifting in the gym or in my living room. I rotate these 3 activities every week, back to back.  Flower or fruit picking, gardening or walking the beach with dog or walking woods with my kids is what I do on my NEAT or non-heavy exercising days.

For health consultations email my secretary ei.tugruoyhtiwog@ofni

Hope you all have a great week,