By Lucienne Steel – Naturopath

This post will talk about the link between muscle mass, exercise and perimenopause – an important topic. 

Muscle Mass and Exercise

  • Our mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, where energy is created. Their highest density is found in muscles & nerves.
  • A loss of muscle mass = loss of mitochondria = less energy production & decreased metabolism 
  • Muscle loss is a part of ageing but we can slow it down. To do this, you must exercise.
  • Find something fun! It doesn’t have to be the same thing every day, but it needs to be something every day. Our bodies are designed to move, and it gets easier the more you do it.
  • Bonus if outside or with people – build community, time in nature, vitamin D and mental health. It’s never too late: start small, start reluctantly, just start. 


Hack your Workout

  • Eat before you exercise – a piece of fruit is perfect (25g carbs). 
  • When exercising up to 65% effort, it takes about 30-40 mins to move from using circulating glucose to burning fat, that lasts about 2 hours. (Less if unfit/insulin resistant).
  • Use that window – eat a full meal within 30-60 minutes of exercise. This is a good time to eat carbs/treats but WITH 20-30 G protein for muscle repair/growth.
  • Mix cardio, strength, stretch – endless possibilities. 


Why is Muscle Mass & Exercise Crucial in Perimenopause? 

It increases energy production and use, improves pelvic floor, improves stability and bone density. 

It also improves blood glucose levels, slows weight gain, improves sleep and boosts mood, and increases appetite and digestion – they are all linked.