Book a consultation

Exercise ‘snacks’ and menopause with Lavina Mehta MBE

Personal trainer, wellness coach and mum-of-three Lavina Mehta MBE joins Dr Louise in this week’s episode to share her advice on boosting your activity levels during the perimenopause and menopause.

As a British Asian, Lavina is passionate about ensuring her message of the benefits of exercise reaches all communities, and highlights how exercise can treat, prevent and reduce the risks of chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease.

Lavina encourages busy women to begin ‘exercise snacks’, which are short bursts of activity that can be slotted into full days.

Finally, Lavina shares her three easy wins to improve future health:

1. Start strength training and prioritise building your muscle mass over losing weight.

2. Start off small with exercise ‘snacks’, which means adding little bite-sized chunks of exercise throughout your day. It all counts and it is never too late to start.

3. Keep talking, keep learning, keep educating yourself and keep sharing your journey with everyone around you.

For more about Lavina visit her website and follow on Instagram at @feelgoodwithlavina, plus feel good workouts and exercise snacks on her YouTube channel @feelgoodwithlavina.


Dr Louise Newson: [00:00:11] Hello, I’m Dr Louise Newson. I’m a GP and menopause specialist and I’m also the founder of the Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre here in Stratford-upon-Avon. I’m also the founder of the free balance app. Each week on my podcast, join me and my special guests where we discuss all things perimenopause and menopause. We talk about the latest research, bust myths on menopause symptoms and treatments, and often share moving – and always inspirational – personal stories. This podcast is brought to you by the Newson Health Group, which has clinics across the UK dedicated to providing individualised perimenopause and menopause care for all women. Today on the podcast, I’m meeting and talking to someone who I have met in real life before, which is quite unusual for some podcasts. But Lavina is somebody who just seems to be everywhere. Wherever I go, she seems to be there and always looking very glamorous and very beautiful. And most recently we were together at the CarFest, Chris Evans’ amazing CarFest, and I turned up the night before with my children and I had on my Patagonia bright pink camping waterproof, and she was there in this glamorous fur, and I was thinking oh my God, I just feel inadequate because she’s so gorgeous. So seeing her the next day I wasn’t wearing my Patagonia bright pink waterproof, but it’s still lovely. And what Lavina is doing is just allowing people to think about movement, exercise, just getting off the sofa a bit, having a little bit of a movement fix as opposed to a huge workout, which is so intimidating people don’t want to do. So I’m really excited and privileged that she’s here today in the studio. So thanks for joining me today Lavina. [00:02:04][113.1]

Lavina Mehta: [00:02:04] Oh, it’s my privilege. So thank you so much for having me, Louise. And you always look wonderful, always smiling and friendly and it was amazing to meet your family, right? [00:02:11][6.4]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:02:16] Yeah, didn’t meet all of them, but it was still lovely that they were there. Really special. So I always find it very interesting because if we’d met each other 20 years ago and you’d said to me, Louise, you’re going to do women’s health work, you’re going to focus on the perimenopause and menopause, and you’re going to run probably the world’s largest clinic, and I would have said, don’t be ridiculous. And if I had said to you, Lavina, you will get your MBE for services what you did, especially in lockdown, for exercise, for reaching out to communities, and you’ll then start talking to women from your communities about vaginal dryness, about hormones, about perimenopause. I don’t think you would have believed me either, would you? [00:02:58][42.6]

Lavina Mehta: [00:02:59] Never in my wildest dreams. Or my parents’, I think, being South Asian. Yeah. I qualified as a personal trainer age 40, and I’m very honest in saying that I was never, ever into exercise. So just the fact that I’m, you know, promoting things that I didn’t necessarily grow up with and complete career change, you know, during the start of my perimenopause. But yeah, we’re both doing things that we probably never imagined. But I love it. And I’m sure, as you, we’re both very, very passionate about it. [00:03:32][32.3]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:03:32] Yes. And I think as you get older, you have different life experiences. And, you know, I remember well, 23 years ago now, I decided to be a GP. I was always doing hospital medicine and I told my mother that I decided to become a GP and she said, oh, that’s really disappointing. I don’t know how I’m going to tell my friends. And I said, it’s not about your friends, it’s about me and my quality of life. And I can’t find a female role model who’s a hospital doctor, and if I get pregnant, I would like to see my children and, and, and…. And then actually, as I’ve got older, I’ve got more selfish, if that makes sense. And I realised that if I didn’t look after myself, I can’t look after my family, my children, my work colleagues, my friends, my patients or anything else. But I think as you get older, your body is a bit less forgiving and it needs a bit more attention as well, doesn’t it? [00:04:19][46.5]

Lavina Mehta: [00:04:19] Oh, God, totally. I mean, look, I’m South Asian and it’s in our culture just to look after others. You know, I’ve got three boys, my youngest is 15 and they’ve grown up so quickly. But I used to live in a joint family and there were nine of us, you know, I had two sisters-in-law, a mother-in-law. And you can imagine how many hormones and things are going on in the house. I had a fabulous experience, so let me put it out there. And as you see, I have a great relationship with my mother-in-law, which I think is another one of those taboo subjects, especially in the South Asian community. But yes, always been about looking after others. And, you know, like you, I feel that now I’m in midlife and we’ve been through so many experiences. You know, what you see on social media is just normally the positive side. And I’m very open. A lot of it, you know, I’m quite vulnerable and I try and keep it as real as I can because, you know, my life isn’t perfect and I’ve been through things that I never imagined, you know, like grief and so many things behind everyone’s closed doors. But I think it’s really important that we really invest in ourselves and the fact that we can do simple things. You know, I’m all about quick, easy, free tools. I call it the feel good tool kit, but I really, really want to share that with women and give them hope, especially during midlife, where people are going through so many varying symptoms. You know, like myself, each menopause journey is just so different. And, you know, my community, the reason that I’m so passionate about is that I still feel so much awareness needs to be done, especially with the fact that South Asian and black communities can go through perimenopause and menopause so much earlier than the average white female. And to this day, Louise, I get DMs, I get questions. It’s like there’s been a huge menopause revolution over the last year and it’s absolutely fabulous. But we’ve got to continue that conversation and really filter down to the communities that may not be on Instagram, on social media and maybe families that aren’t able to have open discussions or there’s barriers in terms of language or cultural barriers that are preventing women to get help. [00:06:38][138.6]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:06:39] Absolutely and I think the problem is, is that every community is affected. Well, obviously, every community is affected, but most, if not every community is also neglected in some way as well. And there’s all this talk and I hear it a lot, Louise what you’re doing is amazing, the conversation, we’re actually now bored of the menopause. Everyone’s talking about it. Can we just talk about something else? And I feel like I’m not going to stop until everybody gets the knowledge and information that they need and want. And there is still a lot of neglected communities. And it’s almost sometimes, I don’t know whether I’m talking out of term, it’s almost sometimes I hear things and I feel it’s a bit patronising. Oh, they’re there, let’s just do a token, help some, you know, ethnic minority people and tick the box and go back to our middle class white homes. And that’s completely wrong. And I think as health care professionals, especially when I was a obviously a GP for many years, but I’ve been very privileged actually to come across people from all sorts of backgrounds. I’ve been to houses that you would not even believe people live like, but I’ve done it as part of my job, but actually I’ve always learned things and I’ve always realised that these people, whatever aspect of life, they actually need more information than they’re getting and they need it in different ways as well. So for some people it will be as easy as Googling, other people that prefer the secrecy of their phone and an app. Other people would like to read something in their own language or other people, it might be their sister or daughter or, you know, someone at their place of worship that they learn from. It really varies, doesn’t it? [00:08:12][93.3]

Lavina Mehta: [00:08:13] Oh, it varies so much. I mean, it’s very common. I had a conversation recently with my mother-in-law very openly about her menopause. I talk to my mum and it’s you know, it was those times where it was very suppressed and they both say to me, oh, I didn’t feel anything. And obviously growing up as children, you remember those moments where you know, Mum could have just flipped like I’ve flipped and I’ve had my, you know, moments of rage that just come out of nowhere or times where I’ve seen my mum cry and she’s forgotten. And they were just so busy because they came in the 60s right, from India and Africa and you know, they are very working class, they really started off with nothing. So their focus was obviously, like I’m saying, just giving their children to make sure that they could provide our education, our basic needs. So it’s very suppressed. And it’s an interesting conversation now because obviously they see me talking about it so much. But, you know, my drive really came from when I actually went on Instagram in tears after I realised just last April, so about a year ago that I was going through perimenopause from the age of 40. And even now, you know, I’ve obviously I’m not promoting exercise for how we look, I’m not one of those body transformation coaches. It’s more about what exercise and lifestyle changes does for, you know, the inside, all the magic that it does inside our mental health. But people look at me now and they still think, oh, my gosh, you talk about menopause, you look so young and the amount of women, you know, these messages that I get that I’ve been to my GP and they’re still being dismissed for being too young. I know there’s so much education going on at the moment and I point everyone to the balance app. You know, I feel like that is the best tool. I used it myself, so obviously I only promote things that I know and I really believe in. But you know, you’re providing such essential information and it’s just in such easy, digestible form, which I love. But, you know, going to your doctor and knowing that if you’re South Asian and if it is five or six years earlier than the average white female. So I guess, you know, correct me if I’m wrong, menopause could hit South Asian women around the age of 45. And if perimenopause is up to ten years before that, for me, you know, when I hit 40, it was literally like my 40th birthday present. My periods just started going erratic. I was kicking off a brand new career path. You know, something that I never, ever imagined I’d be doing. And I was going live twice a day during the pandemic. You know, I was never a public person. Even being on a podcast like this is like a pinch me moment still. I think what we need to get is these key messages out there that it can hit women at completely different points. [00:11:09][176.5]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:11:10] Absolutely. So we shouldn’t be waiting to be a certain age or a certain birthday thinking. And actually, some areas of India, the average age of the menopause, not that any woman is average, of course, is 40. And often that’s related to hysterectomy as well. Many women have an earlier hysterectomy. Many women have lots of children or more children than maybe they would over in the UK. And there’s all sorts of reasons why people have an earlier menopause. And the recent figures have said three in 100 women under the age of 40 have an early menopause. It used to be one in a hundred, but I think it’s a lot higher than that. And we know certainly certain conditions such as HIV, women living with HIV are more likely to have an earlier menopause and less likely to be diagnosed and less likely to receive treatment, actually. And then there’s one thing, learning about the symptoms, but actually the menopause is a cardio metabolic problem. So actually, that means it increases our cardiovascular risk. So our risk of heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, but it also increases our risk of metabolic changes. So type 2 diabetes, and there are many Asian communities where there is a real increased risk, isn’t there, of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, especially central obesity. And I remember you saying to me, you know, these women actually do become invisible and they’re not invisible from their families because often they’re the ones that are holding things together at home, but they can’t function in the same way. But it’s almost shameful to talk about. But even if you don’t talk about their symptoms, they’ve got these changes, these metabolic changes occurring in their body, probably in a faster way than many of us who are Western. And actually that’s really important. And for me as a physician, that’s what I worry about, I worry about the suffering, of course I do, of women with their symptoms, but I worry more about the long term impact. When you’re looking at global health and you’re looking at how do I make the biggest difference to the most people in medicine to prevent disease? You know, we shouldn’t be giving all the drugs to treat obesity. We should be preventing it. We should be preventing obesity. We should be preventing type 2 diabetes. And looking at the role of hormones is absolutely crucial. And then obviously working with exercise as well, because a lot of people say to me, well, I’ll get women to exercise, and then if there’s a problem, we’ll start to think about their hormones. Actually, women are then being set up to fail. And I think that’s really hard. [00:13:39][149.2]

Lavina Mehta: [00:13:39] Yeah, I mean, you’ve touched on the topics I’m so passionate about. You know, I’m not a medic, I’m not a physician. But for me, you’ve probably hear in my workouts I try and back everything with science. So for me, the biggest impact is to get people healthier. And that means not just a six pack and that temporary measure, it’s about reducing risks of all these chronic diseases. And I became an ambassador for Diabetes UK, but it was really pre-pandemic where I kicked off this get UK Asians fit campaign and I was horrified when I started researching behind the science of exercise that South Asians are six times more likely to have diabetes than the average white person. And that was pre-pandemic. And then twice as likely to have heart disease. And we know that heart disease is the number one killer for women. And we know that our chances of heart disease and our risks actually increase during menopause. So when I found out about the stats around diabetes, when I look at my own family and my mum lost her dad at a very young age from diabetes, and when I think about how type 2 and pre-diabetes, how it’s just so prevalent not just in my communities but worldwide, and when I look at how exercise, lifestyle changes, eating healthily, sleep, you know, our stress management, it’s more a holistic approach. So it’s not just about exercise, come on, you’ve got to go and do it because like you say, women’s symptoms can vary so much and sometimes you just don’t have the motivation, right, to actually go and do that hour long workout. And that’s where, you know, when I discovered exercise snacking. It was back in 2017, it was just a random study that I read and I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was very early on, and I feel like it’s coming out in mainstream now and I’m very excited for my book that’s been coming out about all of this. But it was quite early on that I discovered that, you know, just small bite sized amounts of movement are as effective, if not more effective, than the hour long workout that most of us can’t fit into our lifestyles, men and women, let alone women going through terrible symptoms of perimenopause and the fact that I feel that during midlife, you know, there’s studies and research showing that we are more sedentary. And that’s one of the things that I’m really trying to get people to do is just to try and keep moving through their day. You know, I was a corporate project manager for a very large global company in my 20s, and now it’s really weird that I go into workplaces and my main mission is to try and get people to stay active. And not only is it going to benefit the company, it’s going to boost their employees morale, their productivity, the happiness, their mental health, reduced number of sick days. But, you know, it’s incredible when I go to these environments and I get people moving and it’s reducing the amount of time that we’re sitting because the studies are showing, you know, this stuff I’m researching shows that people are sitting for nine hours a day with most of us, you know, I should be getting you, Louise, doing a little exercise. [00:16:59][199.6]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:17:00] I’m standing at my desk today. So I am moving because it’s so important we do. If we’re not sitting at a desk, we’re sitting on our phones, we’re just crouching over. And that sort of awful posture is just so wrong. And it is hard, you know, And I, as many people know, I really enjoy doing yoga, but sometimes, well, quite often I get up early, but I get up and do 20 minutes yoga before I have a shower. And I try to do that three times a week. So that’s an extra hour. But then I also do like today I did a longer hour practice because it’s Sunday and I can do that. So then I think, well, actually I’ve done 2 hours, which actually it’s not brilliant, but it’s fine. But then I also did because I knew you were coming on the podcast, I actually did two days ago, I just did a 10 minutes with some some small weights, upper body, just very, very light weights but when I picked them up I was like, oh, this is nothing because my husband has quite big weights at home, that he’s flexing about. So I thought I’ll do this. Oh my goodness, eight minutes in I had just had enough. And then I thought, right, no, Lavina says. So I did a five minute abdominal muscles core workout. Now my core is strong because of yoga, because I’ve done yoga for a long time. So I do pride myself for having you know really good tone and core. But five minutes of that. And then yesterday I actually didn’t do a yoga practice because I thought, oh, my arms are sore, my tummy is a bit sore, but I was obviously using muscles that I maybe don’t use, but also in a different way as well. And I think this whole muscle memory is very interesting, isn’t it? We just sort of, it’s very easy to do the same, and even in my yoga practice, I do different styles of yoga, I do Ashtanga yoga very sort of almost religiously on a Wednesday. But I do mix it up a bit. And that’s when you do these, you know, you’re not too formulaic, are you? And I think that’s really important. [00:18:46][105.8]

Lavina Mehta: [00:18:48] Yeah I think, you know, variety is key, so. Oh my God, Firstly, I’m so proud of you and you get a big gold star. [00:18:54][6.9]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:18:55] Thank you. [00:18:55][0.0]

Lavina Mehta: [00:18:57] From me. But just the fact that you’ve tried something new and you felt the difference. So I think a lot of the time, especially, you know, for me, I started my strength training journey when my youngest went into kindergarten. So it was only 12 years ago. I mean, that was when I was in my early thirties. I’m 45 now and I’d never, ever lifted weights in my life. I mean, the only weight I lifted was my handbag and my suitcase or whatever. And what I found really, I mean, the light bulb moment was when I just saw, you know, I was going through challenges in life and it was what it did for my mental health. And you’ve probably heard my slogan to exercise sanity, not vanity, but I truly believe in that so much that the fact that it can help your mental health and my whole Feel Good with Lavina is all around feeling good. The endorphins that are released, these happy hormones that even after a couple of minutes of movement and whatever you choose to do, be it yoga, be it go for a feel good walk. You know, I always promote going outdoors if you can, exposing yourself to nature, just that has incredible science behind it in improving our health and reducing things like anxiety and depression, which is so common, especially for menopausal women. But yeah, it was lifting weights that I felt was the missing piece of the jigsaw for a lot of people’s exercise routines, if you want to call it, because a lot of women, you know, do go to the gym and they just go straight onto the treadmill or the row, something they’re very comfortable with. And it was the pandemic, really, but I think one of the best things that came out of it was the fact that people then got so comfortable working out from home or trying new things, you know, just that daily 30 minutes that we could go outside and people started running or they started walking. And for me, walking literally is my therapy, it’s that time where I just try and switch off. It is the time that’s given me the most creativity, really, that some of these crazy ideas and the things I’ve done over the last few years came on my walks. But yeah, you’ve got to find something that you enjoy. But I am very passionate about promoting strength training and it doesn’t mean lifting heavy weights, like just the fact that you’re already doing body weight with yoga, which is absolutely fabulous. So that’s a form of weight bearing exercise and that’s really important for our bone health. So we know about the risks of osteoporosis and just that load being a body weight as you progress, maybe through your strength training journey, called progressive overload and that’s how you can slowly, gradually, over time, you may see me lifting huge heavy weights on my Instagram, but that’s just something that I have found that I love. But yeah, so bone health is important, our heart health, which you touched on, and we know that this year, 2023 is our World Menopause Month, is focused on cardiovascular disease, which I’m thrilled about. And then the other side is our brain health. And, you know, I’m an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society as well, because actually when I lost my grandmother, she lived to 97. But her last decade of her life, there was so much suffering. And as a South Asian family, we found it so immensely difficult to talk about dementia. It’s real taboo subject out there that families just don’t like to confront. And especially when you see, you know, the mother of our whole family suffering like that. When I actually started getting my symptoms, you know, in my early forties when I got that brain fog and I was thinking, oh my goodness, my brain is like the thing I’m relying on at the moment. And I was doing a lot of public facing work. I was then on social media. It really scared me. And like a lot of women, I did worry, am I going through early onset dementia or Alzheimer’s? So exercise is one of the best tools that we can use to reduce risks of dementia as well. I say keep our brains fit. I did a TED Talk literally just on the fact that exercise can actually not only boost your existing brain cells, but it can grow new brain cells in your hippocampus. You know, it can really help with our memory. And the fact that we’re losing so many women, you know, in menopause, in the workplace is one of those things I know we’re both so passionate about. And I do feel, you know, the confidence, that the self esteem, just kind of drops when you start thinking, oh, my goodness, I’m starting to forget things. And I may be, you know, in front of my colleagues and they’re going to judge me or how am I actually going to get around this and this, you know, even just the TED Talk for me was a scary moment because I had no teleprompter and I had to do 18 minutes of speaking off by heart. And I knew that was all the things that I wanted to get into that short amount of time. But it’s you know, I did a little work out before I did my TED Talk because I knew the science behind it. So and even just going into a big meeting, if you’re going into a big meeting ladies, or if you’re going into your GP appointment and you’re worried about how you want to talk about your symptoms or any situation that’s putting you a little bit uncomfortable, just do a minute, just do two minutes. I mean, we could even just do it that boxing now. I could do some sit and stand. You could do some stuff even at your chair, which is the stuff I do with my mother-in-law. And we’ve continued those workouts every week just to show not just the elderly, you know, that was the market that I was really passionate about during the pandemic with her. But I’m finding a lot of midlife women that may not have that motivation, and it’s just a great way to start. Right? Can do simple chair movements with our tin cans or plastic bottles, no expensive gym equipment. You can do it from the comfort of your home. If you’re feeling terrible and you just want to stay in your pyjamas. You know, I’m just all about making it as accessible as possible. [00:25:03][366.4]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:25:04] Yeah. But it’s also important. And you know, for many years as a GP, people say, obviously I haven’t got time for exercise, but also it’s quite intimidating. You know, I hate going to gyms because I’m always feeling inadequate. I look at them and I think, oh no, look at that. So actually I think lockdown, for lots of reasons, we did learn things and one of the things we learned was independence and ability to flex and change, but also to do, like you say, different forms of exercise. But then it’s not just exercise, it’s just movement, isn’t it? I think just sometimes cleaning your teeth and doing some pelvic floor exercises is fine. You’re cleaning your teeth every day anyway. You might as well squeeze and, you know, do it the same time. And just making it part of your routine I think is so important. So it’s not intimidating. And it’s also knowing that often when we exercise we feel better and then we’re more likely to eat better and we’re more likely to sleep better, we’re more like to be happier, like you say. But actually, I think it’s also really important to not expect too much out of exercising initially because it’s so easy to look at people who are picking up heavy weights or who are doing the most amazing yoga pose or who are sprinting marathons. And women, often, especially when they’re in perimenopausal or menopausal have very low self-esteem anyway, these feelings of reduced self-worth. And it’s so easy to just go, no, I’ll do it tomorrow and I’ll do it tomorrow. And sometimes it’s good to have a rest day as well. You don’t have to exercise every day, do you? But I think if it’s coming to a pattern that there’s days and days and sometimes when I am incredibly busy and I don’t go and do my regular Wednesday morning Ashtanga yoga class, it’s very easy to almost forget that you do exercise. You think, oh, well, it doesn’t really matter. But then I look at patients who have never exercised and you get this sarcopenia, this loss of muscle mass and I see their forearms and their arms and then they just can’t get out of the chair so easily. And then I think, oh, I really enjoy my baths in the evening and I don’t want my husband to be pulling me out of the bath. And it’s very simple things that you don’t realize until it’s too late actually. We’re not doing, like you said at the beginning, that’s really important, exercise to be in our bikinis or swimming costumes or our whatever, figure hugging dress, it’s actually about and often it’s the core that you can’t see, is really important. But also it’s about our bone strength and our muscle strength, not just how it looks. And I think focusing on that is really important, isn’t it? [00:27:40][156.2]

Lavina Mehta: [00:27:40] Yeah. I mean, like, you know, you’ve touched on what I say it’s about future proofing our bodies. And, you know, when we put it in perspective, like one in four, I’ve heard, may not get any symptoms. One in four will get debilitating symptoms. I was probably in the middle. But my message really is, you know, and I do want women to not be scared, right? I mean, I want women to maybe look at someone like me that’s doing something totally unplanned at the same time as my perimenopause started and I’m open about my symptoms. You know, I talk about them all the time, but this is our chance to start investing in ourselves. You know, like, this is the moment where we want to think about what you’re saying, how we are going to age well, disease-free, if possible. You know, it’s really high when we look at rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes. And it’s this point in life where, you know, my children are getting a bit older. I yes, I talked to you just before we came on about the challenges of, you know, ageing parents. So we’re in that typical sandwich generation, as they call it. But in order to look after everyone else around us and this is something I really say to women, is that you’ve got to look after yourself. And it’s not just about exercise, Louise. So it’s, you know, like I’m very passionate about what I call self-care snacks as well. So just having that bath, that me time, whether it’s breathwork, you know, breathwork is not just incredible for your brain health, but it’s also great for your blood pressure, for reducing your risks of things like heart disease. Journaling is something that I started in the pandemic. You know, I used to write a diary when I was a little teenager, but it’s just really helped me not just keep on track of my symptoms, like using the balance app as well, but it’s just a way for me to write away my worries. And sometimes small things like just finding little tools that I say that you can do during your day. Rest is so important and our sleep is so important and you’ve hit it hard. Like if we’re not sleeping well, we’re not going to want to exercise. And it’s both ways because exercise will hopefully help you sleep better. But it’s looking at a very holistic approach and I want women to be kind to yourselves, like just start off small. You know, it’s not about comparing yourself to others. And I feel that’s the hard bit with social media. You know, you’ve got daughters, but it’s really looking at your own feel good journey, I say, and just be proud of your little successes, like your wins this week, your eight minute strength workout is just brilliant, right? But even if you just did a minute of squats every hour or like you said, I also wrote about brushing teeth and I do it now single legged and I do it, you know, I get my balance snack in and balance is so important, especially as we age. We want to reduce our risk for falls, but you see simple things and it’s like piggy backing them, like you said. I think it’s very individual. I want it to encourage women to just start and you’ve got to do exercise, find things that you enjoy, right? There’s no point in me saying, just go and do this. It’s not a prescription, it’s in our busy lifestyles. Whether you’re working or not, I’m sure, you know, you’re busy as a woman. And we have so many challenges during this phase that I want women to find tools are going to help them thrive. [00:31:13][212.1]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:31:14] Fantastic. What a perfect way to end. So lots to think about. Lots of positivity there. But before we end, Lavina, I’d just like to ask three tips. So three tips for people who maybe just think oh do you know what it’s great but I still can’t be bothered. What are the three easy wins for anybody can do just to improve their future health. [00:31:32][18.3]

Lavina Mehta: [00:31:34] So I would love you all to start strength training and I want you to prioritise building your muscle mass over losing weight. So one of the examples could be just some press ups against your kitchen island, some standing press ups just to start building your upper body strength. And the other one could be just doing some sit and stands every time you’re sitting too long, whether it’s behind your desk or at your sofa, and then just progress in your strength journey. So the second one, I guess, is to start off small and start exercise snacking, as I say, build small bite sized amounts of movement through your day and know that it all counts and that it’s never too late to start. And I guess number three is, you know, like, this is an honor being on this. And it’s great because it’s just helping us share our experiences. We’re all different. I want women to keep talking, to keep learning, keep educating yourself and keep sharing your journey with everyone around you. Right? So this ripple effect of me, I share it very openly with my boys, my husband, my dad even now. And, you know, that’s conversations I never thought I’d be comfortable speaking about as a South Asian woman. But this is really important so that we do start filtering these messages down to everyone, not just, I guess, you know, like the middle class, but to all communities. So, yeah, just know that you’re going to get through this. [00:33:03][89.5]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:33:04] Absolutely and keep talking. So thank you ever so much for your time today. And those people that don’t follow Lavina sneak over to her Instagram and prepare to be delighted. So thanks ever so much for your time today. [00:33:17][12.4]

Lavina Mehta: [00:33:18] Thank you, Louise. [00:33:18][0.5]

Dr Louise Newson: [00:33:23] You can find out more about Newson Health Group by visiting And you can download the free balance app on the App Store or Google Play. [00:33:23][0.0]


Exercise ‘snacks’ and menopause with Lavina Mehta MBE

Looking for Menopause Doctor? You’re in the right place!

  1. We’ve moved to a bigger home at balance for Dr Louise Newson to host all her content.

You can browse all our evidence-based and unbiased information in the Menopause Library.