Exercise and keeping healthy is the best way you can naturally ease menopause symptoms. But what are the BEST exercises for menopause?
Ladies, if menopause were a sport, we'd be the undisputed champions. But while menopause might bring a whirlwind of symptoms, from hot flushes to mood swings, there's a secret weapon in our arsenal: exercise!
Here are the top 10 exercises to help you glide through this transformative phase like the goddess you are.
1. Walking: The Universal Wonder
Benefits: Walking is low-impact, boosts cardiovascular health, strengthens bones, and uplifts mood.
How-To: Begin with a brisk 20-minute walk daily, increasing your pace and duration over time. Consider investing in a good pair of walking shoes to support your feet. A sports watch that measures your daily steps is also a great way to keep accountable, as is walking with a friend.
2. Yoga: Flexibility and Peace
Benefits: Yoga helps manage stress, improves flexibility, and aids sleep – a trifecta for menopausal woes.
How-To: Start with basic poses like Downward Dog, Child's Pose, and Warrior II. As you advance, explore more challenging asanas. Joining a local yoga class can provide structure and guidance.
3. Strength Training: Embrace Your Inner Warrior
Benefits: It builds muscle mass, boosts metabolism, and enhances bone density, combatting osteoporosis risks during menopause.
How-To: Incorporate free weights, resistance bands, or body-weight exercises like squats, push-ups, and lunges. Aim for 2-3 sessions a week, with a day's rest in between.
4. Pilates: Core and More
Benefits: Pilates strengthens your core, improves posture, and enhances flexibility. It also focuses on controlled breathing, promoting relaxation.
How-To: Begin with mat-based exercises such as the plank, the hundred, and the saw. As you get comfortable, consider using Pilates machines for a more intense workout.
5. Aerobics: Dance the Symptoms Away
Benefits: Aerobic exercises increase endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and mood lifters. They also enhance cardiovascular health.
How-To: Join an aerobics class, dance around your living room, or even invest in an aerobics DVD. Ensure you're getting a good mix of low and high-impact activities.
6. Swimming: Gentle Yet Effective
Benefits: Swimming offers full-body exercise without stressing joints. It boosts cardiovascular health and aids in weight management.
How-To: Start with 20-30 minutes of continuous laps, incorporating various strokes. For added resistance and a leg workout, try water aerobics.
7. Tai Chi: The Art of Moving Meditation
Benefits: Tai Chi enhances balance, flexibility, and mental well-being. It can alleviate mood swings and foster relaxation.
How-To: Learn the basic movements from online tutorials or join a class. Practice regularly, focusing on fluid motions and deep breathing.
8. Cycling: On the Road or Stationary
Benefits: Cycling is excellent for cardiovascular health, building leg muscles, and shedding any unwanted weight.
How-To: Whether you're hitting the trails or pedaling on a stationary bike, aim for 30 minutes a session. Remember safety first: wear a helmet and use appropriate gear if cycling outdoors.
9. Stretching: Keep It Supple
Benefits: Stretching alleviates muscle tension and can be wonderfully relaxing – a boon during those stressful menopausal moments.
How-To: Incorporate dynamic stretches like leg swings before workouts and static stretches, like hamstring stretches, post-exercise.
10. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Quick and Powerful
Benefits: HIIT can be effective for weight loss and revving up metabolism. It can also save time for those with busy schedules.
How-To: These are short, intense bursts of exercise followed by rest. For instance, sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for a minute. Gradually increase the intensity as you grow more accustomed.
While exercise can't eliminate menopause symptoms, it can certainly make them more manageable. Plus, beyond the physical benefits, exercise fosters a sense of accomplishment, boosts self-esteem, and provides a fantastic avenue for social connection. As always, before diving into a new fitness regime, consult with your doctor to ensure it's suitable for you. Here's to strong bodies and even stronger spirits during menopause and beyond!
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