June 16, 2024

Ask A Pro by Mollie Millington

Question: I’ve been steadily gaining weight in my midsection for the past 6 months. My doctor says I’m in the midst of menopause. What exercises can I do to tone up?  -Angela in Madison, WI.

Answer: Since you’ve been cleared from your doctor in regards to hormone concerns, toning up and losing inches off your abdomen requires three different actions.

To tone up, do resistance training (lifting weights). Your local gym will provide professional services to teach you how to use the weight lifting machines. Be sure to take advantage of this offering, so you know how to safely set-up the machines and operate them correctly and effectively. Resistance training increases metabolism, and also helps increase bone density. Perform resistance training 2-3 times each week.

To lose inches, add in cardio (at least 30 min of walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, aerobics, dancing, etc) 2-3 times a week. Cardiovascular exercise helps control weight gain, as well as strengthening your heart and lungs. Cardiovascular exercise also helps maintains mobility.

Nutrition plays a critical role in reducing weight gain and improving overall health. Be mindful of appropriate portion sizes, empty calories (for example, drinks with no nutritional value and sugary foods) and try to maintain a set meal schedule. Your body begins to expect fuel when you eat regularly. Skipping meals forces the body into starvation or panic mode and slows down your metabolism. A good start is to adopt the 80-20% rule. If you’re eating healthily 80% of the time, you can reward yourself the other 20%.

By London-based personal trainer Mollie Millington. Mollie may be contacted via www.ptmollie.com or @PTMollie on Twitter.

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