Perimenopause & Exercise
Exercise has been shown to have numerous benefits for women going through perimenopause. Perimenopause is a transitional phase that women experience before entering menopause but is often overlooked and not often discussed. During perimenopause, the body undergoes various changes as the ovaries start to produce less estrogen. This can lead to a range of symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and reduced energy levels.
Below are just some of the benefits of exercise for peri-menopausal women and some personal experiences of our AT community members.
1. Reduces hot flushes
Hot flushes are one of the most common symptoms of perimenopause. These sudden surges of heat can cause sweating, flushing, and even dizziness. However, studies have shown that regular exercise can help to reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes. This may be due to the fact that exercise helps to regulate body temperature and reduce stress levels.
“I definitely notice a reduction in hot flashes when I’m able to manage a regular walking routine. I highly recommend teaming up with a girlfriend for a regular walk. Even if it is just once a week. Keeps you accountable and nothing beats a good laugh and time with friends” Sarah P.
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2. Improves mood and reduces stress
Perimenopause can be a stressful time for women, as they may experience mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Exercise has been shown to be a powerful tool for reducing stress and improving mood. This is because exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters that can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
“Some days I feel like my mood is like a roller coaster. I find yoga helps me strike a balance between calm and chaos. Whilst nothing beats going to a class when I’m stuck for time I turn to You Tube and do a 15 minute session. Never ceases to amaze me how good I feel after 15 minutes.” Paula A.
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3. Maintains bone density
As we age, women may experience a loss of bone density, which can increase the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. However, regular exercise can help to maintain bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, and weightlifting, can help to strengthen bones and improve overall bone health.
“I was 50 before I went to a gym and lifted weights. And I haven’t looked back. I enlisted the help of an exercise physiologist for the first few months to ensure I was using the correct technique and weights. I now have a written program I stick to and check in with my trainer once a month to alter/update the program.” Kasey B.
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4. Improves sleep
Perimenopause can cause disruptions to sleep patterns, which can lead to fatigue and a decreased sense of well-being. Regular exercise can help to improve sleep quality and duration. This may be due to the fact that exercise can help to regulate the body's natural sleep-wake cycle, which can lead to better sleep.
“I thought my days of sleep issues were gone once my kids gre up! How wrong I was. My quality of sleep has dramatically improved since joining my local gym’s water sports program. I do beginner's lap training and water aerobics. It's a really lovely social outing too and have made new friends.” Ruth C
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Exercise has numerous benefits for women going through perimenopause. It can help to reduce hot flashes, improve mood, maintain bone density, and improve sleep. These benefits can help to improve overall health and reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions. Brisk walking, swimming, or cycling are favourite exercises for our community. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise program, especially if you have any medical conditions or concerns.