No matter how you feel about vaccines how and when you do your next workout is a key to menopause exercise and immunity. It’s here today and it’s free.
Rewards Now and Later
Even a single high intensity exercise session (less than 60 min) compared to being inactive stimulates highly active immune cell to strengthen your immune response.
Every aerobic exercise session improves the anti-pathogen activity of tissue macrophages in parallel with an enhanced recirculation of immunoglobulins, anti-inflammatory cytokines, neutrophils, immature B cells and a dramatic influx of natural killer (NK) cells, and CD8 + T cells. Similar immune response changes happen during resistance exercise training.
Both your session today and regular moderate-intensity exercise down-regulates excess inflammation within the respiratory tract. Daily exercise has a cumulative effect that enhances immune defense activity, improve immune regulation, and improve metabolic health.
“Ideally, we believe that the general public is advised to adhere to the standard WHO/ACSM recommendations of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week and 2 sessions per week of muscle strength training.”
Collectively, research has shown that there are greater benefits in longevity, fat burning at higher intensity. That is, making sure your workouts include some or all of the 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity type. When you factor that to research I’ve shared for nearly a decade specific to exercise during menopause that echoes “adequate intensity” must be present to change symptoms that occur with menopause, and you need to get after it.
If you’re just getting off the couch, start slow and progress. But if you’ve been exercising and you’re not experiencing benefits you can and will experience more benefit to exercising with greater intensity.
One Missing Piece
There’s something missing from some of the guidelines and the immunity research. Though the focus was on intensity and type of exercise several of the studies fail to mention need for recovery. Adequate rest between sessions is as important as your exercise for immunity, and for fitness. This is especially true when intensity of exercise increases. This is particularly true with age, but young athletes are equally as prone to a decrease in immunity and performance without enough rest & recovery.
Exceeding the guidelines generally weakens the immune system by increasing the stress from exercise beyond the point of beneficial post-exercise recovery compounded by the stressors of the pandemic in general.
That is known as the threshold of return on investment. You will actually reduce your results, fitness, and your immunity with a more is better approach.
If you’re a woman in menopause – already susceptible to the negative effects of stress – you can’t afford the additional load of menopause + pandemic stress + exercise load beyond recommendations.
How do you plug in the menopause exercise & immunity balance?
5 Tips for Menopause Exercise & Immunity
- Perform recommended 2x a week strength to fatigue with 72 hours between
- Emphasize major muscle groups over small muscle isolation
- Perform full body workouts, not body part specific
- Do up to 45 mins of HIIT per week and low-to-moderate most days
- Use protocols that plan rest for muscle groups and are specific to women midlife (menopause women were the subjects) See my TEDx talk for more info on why.
If you’re seeing this in late December 202 these two menopause exercise options are OPEN. The difference? STRONGER is a 12-week strength program designed for women in menopause based on research on women in menopause. Offered only a few times a year. Details.
The Flipping 50 Cafe is the first and only fitness membership exclusively catering to women in menopause. It includes all 5 12-week STRONGER programs PLUS dozens of challenges, recipes, master classes, and specifically focused “mini courses” so that you can get EXACTLY what you need to feel good and look great, and love your body and life at every age. Open only twice a year, limited enrollment period.
Are you following Flipping 50 on Facebook? I’m doing a live 3-part workout planning session December 28, 29, 30 where I’ll integrate the exercise needs for menopause and immunity with the most common priorities during menopause: weight gain, belly fat, hot flashes, fatigue.
Seeing this later? You can still find the video series on our Facebook page and access the (3) handouts for each day too.
Chathuranga Ranasinghe, Cemal Ozemek & Ross Arena (2020) Exercise and well-being during COVID 19 – time to boost your immunity, Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy, 18:12, 1195-1200, DOI: 10.1080/14787210.2020.1794818