Not every woman who is significantly overweight (BMI 30+) needs weight loss surgery. For many, improving both physical and mental well-being can be markedly improved by launching and maintaining a dedicated effort to eat well and exercise most of the time (keeping in mind that no one is perfect). This is even more important for women approaching menopause. During this time, women’s bodies undergo many changes which, besides being uncomfortable, also puts them at an increased risk for more serious health problems in the future. Consistent exercise, and getting rid of the bad food, can help to reduce this risk. And with support and dedication, it can be easier than you think.
A big bang for your exercise buck ─ multi-pronged benefits await you
Being physically fit has been proven to be good for mind, body and soul. So it’s not surprising that exercise is the key to combating the adverse physical and mental effects of menopause. Not only can a well-rounded fitness program help to build bone mass and reduce body fat, but it can also improve a woman’s mental health by fighting against the hormonal changes which increase stress and irritability. Some studies have reported that exercise can also decrease the severity of hot flashes. And there is no better time than no to get in shape and reduce the risk of the more serious effects of menopause such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which become more common during and after menopause.
While exercising has numerous health benefits, it is most effective if it is done on a regular basis. Create a well-rounded program which includes aerobics, strength training, and relaxation techniques. Experts recommend post-menopausal women perform three to five aerobic workouts (20-60 minutes in length) and two strength training workouts a week. Beginners should start off slow, with ten minutes of light activity and steadily increase intensity and duration. Most importantly, create a program that you enjoy and mix it up ─ speed walk in your neighborhood today and take a Zumba class tomorrow.
When obesity is advanced or causing chronic health issues
For women dealing with morbid obesity, (BMI 35+ or lower with obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension) exercise and diet may not be enough. If you have tried different methods for losing weight but have not been successful in keeping the weight off, weight loss surgery might be the best option for you. Information about the different types of surgical weight loss procedures can be found on my website and I offer monthly New Patient Information Seminars to discuss surgical weight loss solutions at hospitals near you.
About Dr. Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS
“Dr. Seun” is a board-certified, Columbia and Yale University fellowship-trained advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgeon with expertise performing the safest, most advanced laparoscopic and general surgical operations. To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732) 637-6370.