The four best exercises for menopause

By author photo Kimberly Gillan

menopause · 05 Jul 19

From mental health benefits to warding off disease, there’s arguably never been a better time to get – and stay – fit than during menopause.

If you want to bounce into the next phase of life injury-free, in good shape and full of energy, then experts recommend four types of menopause exercises…

 

Huffing and puffing

Weight-bearing exercise during menopause is basically anything that’s done on two feet that forces you to work against gravity (think: brisk walking, jogging, aerobics or ball sports).

Not only does this sort of huffing-and-puffing exercise help burn body fat, but it also stimulates bone building, which is important given osteoporosis risk increases after menopause.

If hot flushes are frustrating you, then best to do your exercise in the morning so you’re avoiding the hottest part of the day, and aren’t heating your body up before bed when hot flushes often strike.

Muscle burning

Whether you hit a pump class, gym weights room or do push-ups and planks at home, strength training is critical during menopause. Not only does it help keep your bones strong, it also helps reduce your chance of falling and injuring yourself in later years, not to mention helping with fat loss and minimising menopause weight gain.

Pelvic floor strengthening

Changes in oestrogen during menopause can lead to weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and a “less elastic” bladder, which can increase the likelihood of urine leakage, that’s often exacerbated by running and jumping.

But with research showing that a good pelvic floor strengthening program can often fix stress incontinence, experts say anyone feeling weak or uncomfortable in the pelvic region ought to see a women’s health physiotherapist for a menopause exercise program that works on strengthening and releasing the muscles.

Balancing (and relaxing)

Adding a yoga or tai chi class to the mix completes the menopause exercise goals list.

Not only are these menopause exercises great for mood stabilising and keeping calm, but challenging your balance with one-legged poses may reduce your risk of a fall in later life.

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