Menopause Strength Programme - The Ultimate Menopause Program for Women Over 40

menopause and exercise osteoporosis perimenopause and exercise strength training weight gain Nov 05, 2021
Fitness and exercise during the menopause - words and picture of two women after a workout.

You may have heard about the benefits of exercise during menopause but did you know there was an effective way to do it?


Find out more here!

Menopause is a natural part of life for most women. It starts when our hormones Oestrogen and Progesterone start to decline leading to irregular periods and some of the well known symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety and difficulty concentrating. Perimenopause ends when a woman hasn't had any periods for 12 months - after that she is said to be in Menopause.

During this time some of the earlier symptoms may ease off, bit others may be more noticeable. Some of the more worrying symptoms can be weight gain, lack of muscle, poor balance and weaker bones. Exercise can help manage these symptoms and improve overall well being.


Exercise during peri-menopause is not only good for you - it is a Non Negotiable

Tough words eh! But if you are reading this it is because you want to truly understand WHY it is so important. Here are some surprising facts you may not know about exercise in menopause. 

  • Exercise helps to reverse the natural muscle wasting (sarcopenia) which starts from our mid 30's!
  • Exercise helps to alleviate menopause anxiety and lack of energy. 
  • Exercise can help with night sweats which disrupt our sleep in perimenopause.  


Exercise Helps Weight Loss - if it's the right one!

You may not have noticed but from your mid 30's, your muscles start to lose their bulk and strength by a small amount each year. Over time this can result in weight gain simply because your body isn't using the calories you are eating.

" In simple terms, you once had the body of a racing car which needed lots of fuel - and now you are a bumper car which doesn't need very much at all!" 


This Menopause weight gain can knock your self confidence but in addition to that it can have serious implications for your health. Regular exercise can counter these risks and improve heart health and might offer protection from various types of cancer, including breast, colon and endometrial cancer, and type 2 diabetes. 

If you’re looking to get fitter, stronger and lose weight, then you need to make sure you’re doing the right balance of exercise to help you achieve this goal.

BEWARE - this may be very different from what you did in your 20's, 30's and early 40's!!  


Exercise Can Help Prevent Osteoporosis.

It’s no secret that women over 40 are at a greater risk of osteoporosis. This is a condition which leads to weaker bones and can lead to fractures, especially in the hips, spine, and wrist. However, exercise can help prevent osteoporosis. In fact, research has shown that people who regularly engage in strength training have lower rates of bone loss than those who don’t.


Exercise Reduces Menopause Anxiety

Do you wake up with a churning tummy - anxious about everything and anything? Menopause anxiety is a well known symptom and exercise is a fabulous way to help reduce this. Start by introducing short workouts into your week - the 30 minute strength workouts in my beginner strength programme are a perfect way to start! Research shows that regular strength training reduces cortisol levels (a hormone associated with stress) and improves sleep quality.


Exercise Boosts Energy and Mood Levels.

Because exercise boosts your mood, physically active adults have a lower risk of depression and cognitive decline. One of the most embarrassing symptoms of menopause in the workplace, is lack of concentration and forgetting things. Adding exercise can help prevent this.

Plus it's no secret that exercise boosts energy levels. In fact, research has shown that people who regularly engage in moderate intensity aerobic activity report feeling more energetic than those who don’t. This is because exercise helps us burn calories and build muscle mass, both of which boost our metabolism.


So, what is the best exercise in menopause? 

During menopause, it is essential to exercise more often, and yes, I know that sounds really hard when you are exhausted from lack of sleep, struggling to get used to your midlife body and constantly hot and sweaty!

The truth is, to get the most benefit from the time you invest in exercise - you need to include 3 different types or workout. 

The good news is, nothing needs to be for very long, in fact 20-30 minutes may be better for you than the traditional hour long class.

3 types of exercise to offset menopause symptoms:





Strength exercise

Sometimes called resistance training, strength exercise will help strengthen our bones which are at risk of Osteoporosis,  due to hormone depletion.

It will also help to build and maintain muscle which have the added bonus of helping to counter midlife weight gain by burning calories AND making you feel amazing too! 

For many women this type of exercise is the most daunting and it is for this reason that I developed a Beginner Strength Training plan for you to follow at home. 


Cardio exercise 

This type of exercise is vital because it works our heart muscle. 

The heart is protected by Oestrogen before menopause but once that declines, our risk of heart disease increases. 

We can reduce this AND maintain muscle, boost our mood and reduce menopause symptoms when we add cardio workouts into our week. 

It can be really simple to get regular aerobic exercise by grabbing your trainers and heading off for a brisk walk or if you like it, a run, or by doing a HITT style class designed with YOU in mind. 

If running or spending much time outside isn’t your thing, consider a dance class. Dance can help to build muscle and keep you flexible. Look for a style that suits you: jazz, ballet, ballroom, salsa.

Remember - 20-30 minutes can be enough to get the results you want!


Restorative exercise

Your restorative exercise can come from Yoga, mindful walking, forest bathing, swimming, gentle cycling or something more unusual like Fitball which includes balance and strength too. The balance element improves stability and can help prevent falls. 

Stretching can help improve flexibility. Set aside time to stretch either side of each workout; before each session as a warmup, and after when your muscles are warm and receptive.


How much and how often should you exercise in menopause?

Over the course of a week I suggest that you try to include a combination of the three or four types of movement and try to make it a long term habit. 

The perfect week would contain some restorative sessions, plus more intense higher intensity workouts to raise your heart rate, and resistance or strength training.  to help strengthen our bones which are at risk of Osteoporosis,  due to hormone depletion.


How can you stay motivated?

It happens to all of us, we sign up to a programme with great intentions but after a while we revert to our old habits and exercise goes by the wayside.

These are the tips I've shared over my 25 years of coaching women like you!

  • Set yourself realistic, achievable goals. 
  • Rather than vowing to do a workout 5 days a week, commit to a daily walk before you sit down at your desk or during your lunch break ( yes I know you work through lunch so it's important to try and curb that habit too!)
  • Make a note of what you do each week and be pleased when you've achieved your goals - then you can update them as you achieve greater levels of fitness. 
  • Find a workout buddy, exercising with someone else helps us to stay accountable.
  • Find a coach who understands what you need - maybe you’d enjoy my online classes!  


Don’t over-exercise

Fatigue is one of the wide range of symptoms that can be greatly helped during menopause by doing the more gentle exercise options, such as walking, swimming, cycling and yoga, or do some gentle meno moves - watch my videos for ideas you can try.

But beware, over-exercise can be counter-productive and increase fatigue, see my ‘how to sleep better during menopause’ post on how to combat this. 


Interested in a 4 week Beginner Strength Programme?

Click here for more details!


"The best exercise is the one you love!"

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