Menopause isn’t something that women look forward to and when it eventually does arrive, the symptoms can be difficult to avoid. From hot flushes and night sweats, to changes in your weight and your mood, menopause could quickly become a stage of life which can be difficult to manage.
Some symptoms of the menopause might affect one woman much more severely than another. Whilst joint pain might be the biggest problem for one person, irritability might be more concerning for someone else going through the same transition.
While there’s no miracle cure to prevent the symptoms associated with the change, there certainly are ways to alleviate and lessen the impact.
Specific types of exercise can help to reduce some stress and alleviate the symptoms associated with the menopause. In this article, we’ve listed some of the recommended exercises that are known to help and explained why they are beneficial.
Experts recommended at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five times a week. This might sound like a lot, particularly if a fitness routine is new to you. This is why aerobics is a fantastic place to start.
Not only is aerobics great cardiovascular exercise, it’s a fun, social activity which can help you forget how long 30 of moderate exercise actually is.
Depending on the type of aerobics class you sign up for, this kind of exercise can be easy on the joints, which can help to relieve achy joints, which are a common symptom of the menopause.
Top Tip: Speak to your instructor and they may be able to recommend modifications on particular exercises within their aerobics class, if sore joints are an issue for you.
Yoga is the perfect exercise to promote wellness through a healthy mind and body. During the stressful times of menopause, yoga can provide solace to your body, creating a sense of calm whilst you exercise. Introducing mindfulness into your daily routine could also help, find out more about mindfulness here.
This relaxing form of exercise can help to balance out hormone levels that may have been affected by the stress of going through menopause. Not only that, but you’ll also benefit from better digestive health which can help to prevent weight gain.
Top Tip: Try a beginner’s yoga video on YouTube to see if it’s something that you enjoy, before committing to a class.
On the other side of the exercise spectrum is cycling, a high-intensity cardio workout that cannot only improve circulation and regulate your body’s functions, but can also introduce serotonin and endorphins into your brain. The two together help you to feel more happy and content, helping to lift your mood.
Not all cycling has to be high-intensity, however, and you can equally benefit from a slower, more leisurely bike ride in beautiful countryside settings. This type of cycling exercise allows you to clear your mind and be in the moment, another fantastic way to ease the symptoms of menopause.
Top Tip: When the weather takes a turn for the worse, an indoor bike could be a good investment. They take up little space and can be used during any spare minutes in an otherwise busy day.
4. Strength training
As we age, our bones can become weaker and in some cases, osteoporosis can start to set in. This process kicks into gear during and after menopause, as levels of oestrogen naturally reduce. As such, it’s wise to begin fitting in some strength training exercises into your routine, if you aren’t already doing so.
Strength training helps your body to build and maintain muscle as well as kicking your metabolism into gear, burning fat and helping you to maintain a healthy weight.
Dumbbells, weight machines, free weights and resistance tubes all come in handy when it comes to strength training, so add some reps and sets with these into your routine, during the run up to menopause and thereafter.
Top Tip: If you’re a member of a gym, it’s worth getting advice from a personal trainer before starting any strength training routine. It’s vital that all weighted exercise is carried out with correct form under guidance.
We understand how difficult it can be to fit in the recommended amount of exercise, in-between work and your personal life. Some of your everyday activities can quickly and easily become exercises that will help to reduce your symptoms of menopause, including cleaning and any DIY tasks on your list of things to do.
Why not make it your mission to paint that spare room? It could even be as simple as quickening the pace of your everyday cleaning, to raise your heart beat that little bit more. However you choose to fit in some more exercise into your everyday life, it’s a great way of working your muscles and reducing your stress levels like other forms of exercise.
Top Tip: Consider downloading a fitness tracker app on your smartphone, or investing in a fitness tracker like a FitBit. This way you’ll be able to track every single exercise, you might be surprised at how many minutes you can rack up, even without realising!