Every woman has different experiences of menopause and the symptoms. Many of the symptoms and side effects can be helped or eased by exercising, but knowing what type of exercise is good for menopause might stop you in your tracks.
The answer is all exercise is good for menopause; it’s more what types of exercise are best for you. Menopause is something most women go through from the age of 40 onwards, so you need to make sure you are safe whilst exercising but also that you are going to enjoy what you are doing.
We have compiled a list of the best types of exercise to help manage the symptoms and side effects of menopause and give you the option to choose what is best for you.
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Why Should You Exercise?
The biggest symptoms of menopause that exercise can help with are anxiety, stress and difficulty sleeping. Menopause can be quite stressful, so knowing that exercising can help relieve this side effect can really help improve your mood.
Another big issue with menopause is that it can cause weight gain and loss of muscle mass. This can cause stress and anxiety as it is difficult to prevent this. Loss of muscle mass makes gaining weight easier and weight loss harder. Exercising regularly is a great way to make sure you are staying healthy whilst your body adjusts and helps you can keep any extra weight off.
The NHS advise that adult women should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week. This is a good place to start; now, you need to pick what type of exercise you want to do.
Types of Exercise
Make sure you exercise somewhere that you feel comfortable. Menopause is a time in life when a woman’s self esteem may be low and a gym or the outdoors may not be somewhere you will feel comfortable exercising.
To help with symptoms, it could also be helpful to wear light clothing and keep a fan nearby or make sure the temperature is low to help with hot flushes and getting too warm.
Cardio & Aerobics
Cardio activities are a good place to start. One issue during menopause can be the motivation to get up and do some exercise, so cardio is a good way to fit it in without needing much work.
These are all ways of exercising that can fit easily into your day. You could start walking or biking to work or go for a walk on your lunch break. The importance is to keep moving so that you can shed those pounds. Alternatively, buying an exercise machine for your home could be a good way to keep fit in the privacy of your own home.
Strength training doesn’t always mean big weight and strength machines, especially if you’re a beginner. Small dumbbells and resistance bands are good to help build muscle and burn fat. They can be used at home and pack away easily. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look online, there are plenty of workouts that include small weights that can give you a good workout.
Alternatively, you can use the big strength machines, but make sure you don’t push yourself. You don’t want to be causing any injuries by using too much weight. Strength training during menopause is a good way to prevent osteoporosis by slowing bone and muscle mass loss, a symptom of menopause.
We have some good workout plans to help get you started:
- 6 Week Beginners Dumbbells Workout Plan
- The Full-Body Resistance Band Workout
- 6 Week Kettlebell Workout Plan
Yoga & Meditation
Practising yoga and meditation will probably have the biggest benefits. It can help with anxiety and depression and alleviate hot flushes and fatigue. Menopause can cause issues with concentration and anxiety, making everyday life quite difficult. Doing regular yoga and meditation can help you centre and clear your mind to help you manage any stresses and focus on one thing at a time.
Yoga is also great for improving flexibility and balance, which is important to focus on as you age. By improving these things, it can help make exercising in other ways easier, keep you mobile and overall prevent issues that develop with age.
Keeping up motivation is hard when you are going through menopause, and it can be easy to get frustrated. Don’t push yourself and set achievable goals. Fit it into your daily life, so it feels like less of a chore and more of something you will enjoy, and if you need more motivation, recruit a friend. Going through this together is better than alone; that way, you boost each other up.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.