Eat Right to Stay Strong

by | Mar 2, 2024 | Moving Through Menopause Podcast, Podcasts

Eat Right to Stay Strong: A Guide to Maintain Muscle Through Menopause

Discover how protein, strength training, and commitment can make a difference to your quality of life as you navigate midlife and Menopause.

Making more Muscle

There’s a common misconception among women that strength training will result in a bulky physique. As a rule, women need to work VERY hard to gain muscle and it’s not likely to happen by accident. What does happen to Women as we age is that we are losing muscle mass and strength, and that loss is more rapid after Menopause.

Does it matter if we lose a bit of muscle? Heck yes! Losing muscle mass and strength affects our ability to function. Have you noticed how opening jars becomes a challenge and you might think twice about lugging a few shopping bags up a flight of stairs? Loss of strength affects our physical performance, but worse than that it contributes to frailty, falls and fractures in older age. So, what can we do?

Why not listen to my Podcast?

In this Podcast Episode, I chatted with Nikkiey Stott, Certified Personal Trainer, Champion bodybuilder, and the founder of Warrior Babe. She shares her top tips to feel stronger than ever as we approach Menopause and beyond. Listen to the end to get in on Nikkiey’s top tips for muscle building and nutrition.

  • We chat about the benefits of strength training, the significance of an adequate protein intake, and the need for balanced nutrition.
  • Nikki shares her journey from becoming a bodybuilding champion to incorporating the science of macronutrients into a more sustainable long-term approach to health.
  • Training and building muscle is not just about how we look we are training for life. Lifting heavy shopping bags, opening stiff jars, gardening, and picking up hefty grandkids. All this takes muscle!
  • Think of muscle as an organ of longevity, it plays a vital role in maintaining physical function, stability, and flexibility. Strength training also contributes to cognitive performance(doing the crossword) and can benefit our mood and mental health.

Listen to the end for Nikkiey’s top tips for muscle building and nutrition.

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00:58 Guest Introduction: Nikki Stott, Founder of Warrior Babe
01:13 Understanding Macronutrients and Muscle Building
02:37 Nikki’s Journey into Bodybuilding
05:14 The Importance of Macronutrients
07:16 The Role of Muscle in Women’s Health
15:30 The Importance of Protein in Diet
17:28 The Benefits of Strength Training
26:58 Top Tips for Starting Strength Training and Nutrition
31:30 Introduction to Warrior Babe
32:57 Conclusion and Farewell

Strength Training—A Game Changer

You may be surprised to discover that muscle mass decreases by 3-8% per decade after the age of 30. This means that maintaining muscle strength becomes more and more crucial as we age. Strength training, especially during menopause, provides a multitude of benefits. Muscle improves our metabolic health, and strength training protects bones, it improves balance, stability, and cardiovascular health. Strength training has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and ultimately improve your quality of life.

More important than any change in your appearance, it improves your ability to carry heavy things, open tight jars, and get on and off the ground with ease. All of which will enable a better quality of life as we get older.

If you’re concerned about how strength training might bulk you up—don’t be. Women naturally have lower testosterone levels than men, which limits how much muscle they can build. Building bulk is not something that happens by accident.

Getting Comfortable in the Gym

The idea of stepping into a gym brings a rush of fear and feelings of awkwardness for many women. Reminding yourself of your capabilities and believing in yourself as you enter the gym will promote confidence. Strength training is a great way to test your limits and understand your potential.

If you’re new to strength training, you could fly under the radar by wearing a cap to the gym; helping to alleviate the fear of judgment or any anxiousness. Try having a trainer to show you the ropes, even if it is just for your first visit.

A Balanced Plate for a Balanced Life

Now comes the part where you unite your workouts with a well-balanced diet. Implementing a diet that has adequate macronutrients—protein, fats, and carbohydrates—goes hand-in-hand with your workouts. Specific macronutrients will improve the strength and performance of your skeletal muscles, which is why monitoring your intake of each macronutrient can optimise your strength and muscle retention.

Try keeping track of your meals for seven days, you may be surprised how little protein is in your daily intake. By tracking meals you will become aware of any unhelpful habits and reinforce healthy eating habits that provide the nutrients required in midlife. Remember, the food you consume has a profound effect not just on your physical health, but on your mental health.

Make Building Muscle a part of your Future

Accessing with the right guidance and support will make your journey through menopause smoother. Joining a supportive community can motivate you to stay consistent with your health and fitness goals. Always remember, “Nutrition is king, exercise is queen” as Nikkiey said.

What’s stopping you from taking a step toward a stronger version of yourself today? There is no doubt that after 40 we need to train to have the kind of life we want to have in old age. Start with small changes, aim for progress, and don’t forget, I am with you every step of the way as we move through menopause together.

Thanks to my guest

Nikkiey Stott of Warriorbabe

Movement made for Midlife and Menopause with Phillipa

Chat with Phillipa Contact Phillipa

Disclaimer: Please note that any information we provide in this podcast does not constitute medical guidance. You should consult your medical practitioner before making any changes that could impact your health.

Pilates for Menopause for Massage Therapists and Manual Therapists  - NAT Diploma Course with Precizion 10 CEUs

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Interested to learn Pilates or Yoga?

Join Precizion for regular online Pilates and Yoga classes.  All led by Phillipa Butler, a Chartered Physiotherapist, Clinical Pilates and Women’s Health Expert. One-on-one consultations also available.

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