Exercise in menopause

We all know it’s good to keep active but what types of exercise are best during the menopausal years? Yoga ticks many boxes as not only can it maintain and increase flexibility it also helps induce relaxation and reduces stress levels. You can’t beat being outdoors to lift your mood too, so I’d definitely recommend walking and in particular Nordic walking which I had the opportunity of trying out recently and discovered is a great all over workout and fun to boot. Maintaining bone density is key because the protective effect that oestrogen has on bone health decreases as the levels of this hormone drop. Therefore weight bearing exercise and strength training such as running and using weights should definitely be considered.

Keep up the cardiovascular exercise in order to prevent heart disease, the risk of this increases at this time. Cycling is a great exercise for this and will also help with maintaining healthy weight levels. If you suffer from aching joints you may well benefit from swimming which is very supportive of the body. You could also look into aquaerobic classes which will improve cardiovascular function without putting too much stress on muscles and joints.

Fatigue, which is very common, can be reduced through exercise. This might sound counterintuitive when you’re feeling too tired to move off the sofa, but exercise really does raise energy levels and helps you feel more motivated and focused on a day to day basis. I know exactly how it feels not to be motivated, especially when it’s cold and wet and I’m feeling tired and achey. The only advice I have to give is have your gym kit, running or walking shoes, bike etc. ready prepared, then without thinking about it just get out there and do it!