Types of Exercise

What your changing body requires

The benefits of regular exercise during the menopause are huge and some research suggests that women who are physically active may have fewer menopausal symptoms.

You need to be mentally and physically strong enough to deal with all the challenges that menopause throws at you, such as hot flushes and night sweats, muscle aches and pains, mood swings, memory loss, lack of energy and lack of sleep.
You need to get those endorphins flowing and put the ‘fizz’ back into your life.
You should aim to do at least 20-30 minutes of exercise five to six days a week.

The three main areas you need to concentrate on are:

Cardio-vascular (aerobic)
To lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, build resistance to stress, reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes and speed up metabolism.
Many activities count in this category, such as brisk walking, stair climbing, swimming, tennis and even housework, as long as you are doing it vigorously enough to raise the heart rate for at least 10 minutes.

Muscle Strengthening
There is more to exercise than just a healthy heart – you need some muscle power to go with it.  As you age and go through menopause you lose muscle mass, so it is important to add strength building exercises into your routine.
Try using dumbbells for added weight when doing your workout, or use ankle and wrist weights to increase resistance. Calisthenics exercises, where you use your own body weight for resistance will also be beneficial. Alternatively, try Tai Chi or yoga.

Flexibility and Balance
Stretching is one way to keep the body flexible. As you age your tendons and ligaments begin to shorten and tighten, so it is important to keep your muscle joints flexible and mobile. Stretching can stimulate the production of lubricants between the connective fibres, helping to avoid discomforts such as muscle tension and painful joints.
Flexibility exercises will also improve balance and co-ordination, something you definitely need to pay more attention to as you age. Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi are all good forms of exercise for improving your balance and flexibility

You should aim to do a combination of the above exercises for at least 20-30 minutes, five to six days a week.