Menopause athlete and cold water swimming
Swimming has long been hailed as a great cardiovascular exercise and is certainly produces significant health benefits when done on a regular basis. Recently cold water or open water swimming has become increasingly popular. So, what ARE the health benefits of this new found cold environment activity and is it beneficial to women at menopause?
There are many groups which have sprung up over recent years offering people the support to go open water swimming locally, such Aberdeenshire Open Water Swimming. The friendship and camaraderie in this and other similar groups are amazing and if your reason for going swimming is to meet friends or new people, then your mental health has benefited immediately and the exercise becomes the secondary aspect for you meeting.
Menopause and swimming
Physically the health benefits of swimming are enormous for women at menopause.
Undertaking 30 mins of swimming, an endurance exercise, a week, in warm or cold water brings benefits to your cardiovascular health, which means that, at rest your heart will work more efficiently and use fewer beats per minute to deliver the same amount of blood and oxygen to the body. Swimming also reduces the pressure on joints as the water absorbs your body weight. You will achieve a grater range of movement in water, which in turn will improves your land based movement.
Benefits of cold water swimming
Cold water swimming will also lower the body temperature, increase the good cholesterol, HDL levels and burn more body fat. As weight gain is an issue for women at menopause due to the metabolic rate dropping, this is a great way to manage body fat. Cold water swimming increase metabolic rate not just during the exercise, but for some time after the activity also.
Oestrogen and menopause
Oestrogen, among many other functions, has a protective element on our cardiovascular system. As oestrogen lowers during menopause this protection is also significantly lowers. With cold water swimming or indeed exercising outside in the clod, this exercise protects and supports the cardiovascular system to be healthy and efficient as the oestrogen support is reduced. This kind of activity in a cold environment will also help to manage other menopause systems such as hot flushes.
Switch It up
There are many symptoms of menopause and they differ form one person to another, as you can find out at my Switch It up day – Successfully Managing Menopause, in January. There are also many different ways to manage these symptoms as we will discuss when you join me on the 29th January at The Marcliffe Hotel to Successfully Manage your Menopause. Read more about Switch It Up HERE.
So, when it’s a grey and wet autumn day outside in Scotland, and the desire to go swimming is significantly reduced, think of those health benefits. All the things you can do to remain healthy and active to support your body through and after menopause.
Photo form an article by the BBC can be read here.