10 Reasons Why Running after Menopause Is Great

Yup, we're talking about it today.
Yup, we're talking about it today.

A tongue-in-cheek list with undercurrents of truth about a topic that doesn’t get discussed much: menopause. Input garnered from many mother runners, including Amy, who had a hysterectomy at age 40, Ellison, who is a speedy runner in her mid-50s, and some gals on our Facebook page.

10. You no longer have to stash feminine products in your iPhone arm band, water belt, or shorts pocket.

9. Body hair grows more slowly, meaning legs and pits stay sleeker longer.

Feel empowered by menopause, not exhausted.
Feel empowered by menopause, not exhausted.

8. Running in a sudden heat wave doesn’t faze you: Hot flashes mean you’re already acclimated. What’s more: Amy firmly believes, “that when you hot flash, you burn calories. So when you hot flash while running, it’s double points! Boom diggity!”

7. Your sleep is so craptastic post-menopausally, points out another Amy, you might as well head out on that pre-dawn run.

6. Menopause often means a decreased interest in sex, but as Jennifer, who went through The Change at 38, points out: Running counteracts low libido. “Hooray for running!” she wrote on our Facebook page.

5. Fewer stops at the port-a-potty. As original Amy tells it, “Running during the monthly volcano of doom caused me to have to hit the restroom to, ahem, drop the deuce a lot. Like a dog marking its territory, every restroom I passed I’d have to ‘go.’ Now, my only poop visits are the pre-race deposits, which really saves on time--and aggravation.”

4. Menopausal rages fuels speedwork, helping you run hard and fast.

3. Belly fat settles around your middle, so capris and skirts without a drawstring don't slip southward when you're in motion.

2. No  more screaming, wincing, and dancing around the room as you pull a tight running bra over pre-menstrual boobs, says Ellison.

1. You’re guaranteed Aunt Flo won’t visit on race day!

Ready to make peace with your hot flashes and other symptoms?
Ready to make peace with your hot flashes and other symptoms?


13 responses to “10 Reasons Why Running after Menopause Is Great

  1. I’m in perimeno (I think, on continuous bc pills so pretty sure that’s what the weird symptoms are from at age 47) – just want it all to be OVER already! #7 really hits home for me! I blame mood swings on perimeno – and lack of sleep, heavy training. Surprise bleeding, no fun.

    (and I feel you RacerWife7 – for those of us w/thyroid stuff, more hormone wackiness is not welcome) The occasional hot flash is kinda weird. (Someone sells large “faux pearl” necklaces that are actually cooling beads you freeze to help….)

    My sis (who went into instant meno due to cancer tx) didn’t get the perimeno fun….I describe it as “random and unpredictable attacks of PMS – but now it matters if you’re a homicidal b***h or have a weeping fit, because now that you’re past puberty and people are not okay with that!”

  2. I’m the “only” in this category — all my BRFs are either younger or male!
    I was never a speedy runner, (took it up @ age 35 after quitting a 20-year smoking habit) but feel that my running has become stronger–much stronger–post-menopause, and that I need it (emotionally, mentally) even more now. The kids are teenagers, life changes, big challenges make me even more grateful for any and every day I can “put one on the board”; a long run, an interval run, a track run, a race, even just a “clear your head” run. All this is really related more to age than to menopause. Maybe, related to menopause, here: (1) physically DON’T MISS the monthly nightmare of mess/gut irritability/bloating/uncertain timing etc and (2) I need to run so I can keep even a little calm in my day. And have ONE positive accomplishment to my psyche each day.

  3. I’m trying to lose the weight I put on during those “10” years leading up to menopause, now that I am there, two years now….I have the great “grandma” arm thing going on and I notice my arms and legs wrinkle while I run! So NOT wonderful! Oh, and of course, I still can’t lose the belly!

  4. Could have been written about me! And it’s true – no one talks about it. I can’t seem to outrun weight gain or loss of sleep. So glad that I’m not alone!

  5. I am having moderate success with a focus on lean protein and vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. I try not to eat/limit processed food, including bread. There are no crackers, snack foods, manufactured cookies, etc., in the pantry any longer. I do eat whole grains, but try to time them for after workouts. I drink a great deal of green tea. I try to stick with this approach six days out of seven. I find my blood sugar stays stable, my mood stays stable and charts to the positive side of things, and I am very keen and confident about all of the exercise I tackling. I make sure I lift weight as well as attend to cardio each week. I have dropped about 10 pounds since January and believe I have more muscle and less fat. The approach is not for everyone, I suppose. It did take, for me, a concerted effort to stock the right foods and to regain a desire to cook from scratch every day.

  6. I’m with you on the crappy sleep and weight gain Audrey. 18lbs in the last year alone! I’m down to 2 meals a day and very, very careful about what I eat,and training for a half marathon and I think I’ve managed to lose about 3 ounces, so I’m not going to be any help.*Sigh*

  7. This is so true, thanks for putting a positive spin on it! The crappy sleep is the worst part, and the weight gain. I’ve gained 10 lbs. despite good eating and exercise. Anybody have any success with dealing with the weight gain???

  8. Hooray! for this hilarious post. As Sarah knows I’ve had problems getting other Runners of a Certain Age to talk about menopause and how it affects running. Janet – the good/funny thing about mood swings is you can blame a LOT of stuff on menopause. Especially around the same people who find it embarrassing to talk about.

    Two and a half years after the change I’m still having sweats, hot flashes and sleep woes. So tired of Googling for help only to find the first thing doctors recommend is, “Get more exercise.” Hel-lo?!

    Sweat on, fellow menos!

  9. No idea when menopause hit. I was taking birth control pills that covered up symptoms. Running seems to help with the night sweats. Good exercise helps with the sleeping. I really don’t miss a monthly cycle.

  10. I laughed and nodded my head at this! Having gone thru menopause surgically 6 years ago at 36, this is right on for me. Too bad running doesn’t seem to help with the sleeping, but we’re adjusting my hormones again so fingers crossed. Thanks for the early morning laugh.

  11. I stopped having periods about 5 years ago, but never experienced many menopause symptoms. No mood swings or hot flashes, and I haven’t gained any weight, around my middle or anywhere else. My hair still grows at the same rate, so no post-menopause sleekness for me, not yet anyway.

  12. I’ll never get acclimated to hot flashes!! I absolutely abhor the heat and will do just about anything to stay away from it. As a matter of fact, I JUST sent a link to friends referencing Columbia’s Omni-Freeze Zero Cooling Performance Apparel. I think Columbia should market it for menopausal women to combat hot flashes. 😉

    I want to hear something funny about mood swings because there isn’t anything funny about the fact that I cried through an entire group coached track workout last month. How embarrassing!!! And – worse – I had NO reason to be so emotional. Just stinkin’ menopause, thanks – which made me MAD while I was crying.

    I’m already hypothyroid with Hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroid disease) and have been since age 22. So, my hormones are almost always out of balance thanks to that. Add in imbalances from menopause and hot flashes and emotional upheaval are my life now.

    I’m 48. And I am COUNTING the days until this phase is OVER. I couldn’t care less about having my period or not having it. It never was much of a bother for me. But, the emotional aspect I can do WITHOUT. ugh!

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