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World Menopause Day 2023 Cardiovascular Disease: Health & Fitness

What is World Menopause Day?

World Menopause Day is led by the International Menopause Society and held annually on 18 October. It is intended to raise awareness of the menopause and to support options to improve health and well-being.

What is the theme of World Menopause Day this year?

What is Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. CVD can largely be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle.

How is this connected to Menopause?

link between reproductive factors and cardiovascular disease is another important aspect of menopause that women need to be aware of.

Researchers have recently discovered that a woman's reproductive experiences (including menstruation, pregnancy, any breast cancer treatments, and menopause) can affect the chances of developing cardiovascular disease later in life.

Shockingly, cardiovascular disease is the number one biggest cause of death and disability in women

And it is increasing

More and more women – particularly younger women – have high blood pressure, obesity or diabetes. This is leading to an increase in cardiovascular disease, and we are seeing it in younger as well as older women. The trend is expected to continue.

By understanding the different risk factors, you can take steps to reduce your chances of getting cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that you can take action. You can make lifestyle changes to lover your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

What can I do to reduce my risk of cardiovascular disease?

It’s about making positive lifestyle choices to maintain good cardiovascular health.

A healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of CVD. If you already have CVD, staying as healthy as possible can reduce the chances of it getting worse.

Cardiovascular disease risk is closely related to lifestyle choices. The risk can be lowered by

  • Reducing smoking and alcohol consumption

  • Regular physical activity

  • Eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables

  • Lowering salt consumption

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Sleeping enough

Having a balanced diet

A healthy, balanced diet is recommended for a healthy heart.

  • low levels of saturated fat – try to include healthier sources of fat, such as oily fish, nuts and seeds, and olive oil, and avoid unhealthy fats such as fatty cuts of meat, lard, cream, cakes and biscuits

  • low levels of salt – aim for less than 6g (0.2oz or 1 teaspoon) a day

  • low levels of sugar

  • plenty of fibre and wholegrain foods

  • plenty of fruit and vegetables – eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day

Please follow my blog the Five-a-Day cook for recipe tips, and practical advice around how to implement realistic dietary changes, that you and your family will enjoy. Five-a-Day Cook (

Take regular exercise

Cardiovascular exercises

Cardiovascular exercise can also increase your energy levels, boost your mood, and enhance your sleep quality. Some examples of cardiovascular exercise include:

  • dancing

  • cycling

  • running

  • walking

  • swimming

  • tennis

Strength exercises

Loss of oestrogen after menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis. This means that issues with bones may lead to a higher chance of experiencing pain or of fracture.

Resistance exercise uses muscle strength, where the action of the tendons pulling on the bones boosts bone strength. Examples include press-ups, weightlifting or using weight equipment at a gym.

Doing strength exercises can also help to keep you metabolically healthy.

This means you’re at lower risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Studies have also shown that weightlifting and other strength-based exercises can help to improve women’s mental health.

This may be useful during menopause when anxiety and low mood may occur.

Balance and mobility exercises

As we age, our risk of falls increases. Exercises that help to maintain balance can help to reduce the risk of falls and to extend our lifespan.

During the menopause, there is a loss of muscle mass which can also contribute to a decreased balance and mobility and an increased risk of falls.

Balance exercises can also be good for the mind and body connection and can therefore bring mental health benefits. Things like yoga and Pilates can help with balance and mobility.

You can find a selection of balance exercises here Balance exercises - NHS (

How much exercise should I do during the menopause?

150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week.

This should include a mix of cardiovascular exercise with at least two strength-building sessions.

So, this could be 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week.

You could also consider incorporating some movement snacking during your day.

To do this you could do some squats while waiting for the kettle to boil and stand on one leg as you brush your teeth.

Making Changes

My name is Tonia. I am 43 and a mum-of-5

I firmly believe that changes are possible in everyone’s life.

The enemy of change is an all-or-nothing approach. In fact, small changes can bring health benefits and you needn’t try and do it all.

If you find the idea of change overwhelming, or just need someone to help you navigate the process, I am here to help you.

My focus as a personal trainer is on the promotion of health and the prevention of disease.

I am a qualified perimenopause & menopause personal trainer meaning I work with you to reach your goals, with a clear and thorough understanding.

My Live Yourself Better approach moves away from fads, diets and restrictive ways of living to support you to achieve your health and lifestyle fitness goals in a holistic, realistic and enjoyable way.

Making changes to your nutrition might seem overwhelming. It doesn't have to be. As a level 3 Nutrition coach, I am able to advise on how to create healthy changes. I can work with you to create a bespoke nutrition plan, that is healthy, delicious and sustainable. You can contact me here

My philosophy is simple. Nourish, Move, Live.

If you subscribe to my website by signing up with your email address, you will have access to my exclusive Menopause Month fitness package.

It's my best package yet and you won't believe how much I've thrown in! The offer ends soon so don't miss out...and please tell your friends about it too.

Subscribe to this offer and receive future offers and news by CLICKING HERE

You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Please do check out the Live Yourself Better Podcast on Spotify and Amazon Music.

Useful links

I volunteered for Our Future Health, driven by the incidence of heart disease in my family. You can read more about that here ‘As a mother of five, I hope Our Future Health can help break the cycle of heart disease in my family’ – Our Future Health

You can read more about cardiovascular health and menopause in this excellent blog post by the Herea Network

International Menopause Society: Free 2023 Resources

World Menopause Day 2023 downloadable flyer from International Menopause Society 2023 WMD FLYER Colour (

You can find links to free resources here to help support you and your work colleagues in understanding more about the impact of menopause and how to support: World Menopause Day – 18 October 2023 | NHS Employers

“Cardiovascular risk represents a lifetime of choices and experiences, but menopause offers the opportunity of a single point in time to step back, take stock, and do all you can toward promoting future cardiovascular health for the rest of your life.”

P R O F E S S O R C Y N T H I A S T U E N K E L Source 2023 WMD FLYER Colour (

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