Top 5 exercises for perimenopause

November 1, 2021

To get what your body needs, it’s important to know that during perimenopause, you don’t need to “shred your body” or “feel the burn” each time you workout at the gym. When you’re in perimenopause you can get huge value from simple daily movement. Even if you aren’t a gym person, my top 5 exercises for perimenopause will help you stay healthy as you go through some of the things you’re beginning to experience. Keep moving – get out and walk every day. Go with a friend – make it part of your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth.

weights

Exercise during perimenopause keeps a few things in check. Stress is one of the big ones that can have a large impact on our perimenopause journey and exercise can help to minimize and manage the adverse effects it creates…which is an important step to protecting our overall health as we age.

According to Harvard’s Menopause Makeover, exercise can help reduce your chance of heart disease. Aerobic exercise can elevate your good cholesterol and lower your blood pressure. Exercise during perimenopause can improve your metabolic ability to burn calories, relieve mild depression, and reduce hot flashes.

Top 5 Exercises for perimenopause

**These are general recommendations of exercises for overall health and wellness as you go through perimenopause. Every woman is different as well as her abilities and movement background. 

  1. WHOLE BODY STRETCHES – add Pilates or yoga stretches to your perimenopause workout to keep your body limber and your spine mobile. Perimenopause can affect the suppleness of the spine, so keep moving, because movement mitigates that process.
  2. BALANCE WORK – this isn’t complicated, simply stand on one foot and count slowly to 10 or 20 once every day, on each foot. This will improve your balance – super important for women’s health as we get older.
  3. PELVIC FLOOR STRENGTH – sit on a chair and contract and lift the area around your sits bones. Check out Pelvic Floor First for some how-tos, and why this is so important to start doing early, even before perimenopause if you can.
  4. LEGS, LEGS, LEGS – bridges, mini squats, leg lifts to the side, and long slow lunges are great for maintaining strength in the front, side and back of your legs. Perimenopause can make many women feel a lack of energy, these leg exercises strengthen you, and build back your energy when you do them regularly.
  5. ARM WORK WITH A BAND – You can work all aspects of your arms and upper body just by using a TheraBand for bicep curls, deltoid lifts, chest extension, and overhead pulls. Perimenopause can begin to weaken your muscle mass, these exercises combat that, and strengthen you.

I have included a little video with a few arm/band exercises you can do at home – the best part is it works on balance and legs too! Just scroll down the page Menopause & Beyond and you’ll see the free video! Or try a class on my Pilates Mat Videos on Demand

Don’t overdo exercises that make you sweat – what you want is to work efficiently and effectively. You can set physical goals with the help of a trainer or Pilates instructor like me (if needed). Challenge your body and mind to meet those goals, and work at the level you are at now in your perimenopause journey. Don’t be under pressure to work at a level that your body was at before.

When your body has decided it is no longer time for reproduction, it starts to conserve the energy once spent on menstruation and ovulation, to now support your bones, brain, heart and other organs. That’s the brilliant part of the process! The not so fun part, is that your perimenopause journey can take some twists and turns that can leave you feeling ungrounded, anxious and dizzy. As our sex hormones jump and fall out of sync pesky and uncomfortable symptoms arise. Sometimes you may feel you don’t have enough energy, definitely not the energy you used to have. These top 5 exercises for perimenopause will help you build back your energy.

"Your current body is the only body that can take you to your new body — so be kind to it.¨

Elaine Moran, author

Exercise during perimenopause can help with sleep disruption too. One of the biggest issues for women experiencing perimenopause and menopause is sleep deprivation. Exercise can help us sleep better. When we sleep better, we think better, react better, feel better and look better, and why wouldn’t we want all that?

Find some more helpful tips to support your sleep in insomnia and menopause.

Going through major changes in life, like perimenopause, can be challenging (to say the least), but when you arm yourself with good information and tools you prepare your body for healthy aging. During perimenopause and menopause, some days can be better than others, but the more you focus on simple exercises like these, the more likely you are to have great days ahead. Remember that exercise isn’t the answer to it all, we must support our whole body’s health – eat well, work on reducing stress and nurture your mind and spirit. 

About the author

Cindy Willems has been a Pilates instructor for 15 years with her own practice in the Toronto area. She uses her holistic nutrition and acupuncture training to treat and guide her clients through perimenopause and beyond. If you are in the Toronto area and would like to book an appointment contact her at info@myfitover50.ca.