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The 5 best exercises to lose weight during menopause

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Exercise has been shown to have hugely beneficial effects on menopausal symptoms including weight gain, hot flashes, sleep quality and maintaining bone density. However, when it comes to menopause, not all exercises are created equal! Make sure you’re not wasting your time with inefficient workouts! Stick with what has been shown to work!

1. Strength Training

During menopause, you lose lean muscle mass. This can lead to unwanted physical changes such as weight gain. The goal is to therefore increase our lean muscle mass which can be done by incorporating strength training into your weekly routine!

It is important to note that not just any strength training will do – you need to incorporate heavy weights! Heavy weights will look different for each individual however you should be struggling to do the last 1-2 repetitions out of a set of 10 to meet this guideline.

Strength training should be incorporated 2-3 days per week and you should seek to mix up your program every 3-4 weeks to ensure your body does not adapt to the new weights and program.

To ensure you are following a correct program and performing safe technique on various exercises, we highly recommend you speak with a qualified personal trainer who specialises in women’s health.

2. Power/Plyometric Training

This may seem like a daunting form of training, but everything can be modified appropriately for your ability.

Skeletal health declines rapidly by up to 20% post-menopause and this can lead to the onset of Osteoporosis. It is therefore really important to increase skeletal strength.

Power/plyometric activities include moderate impact exercises such as walking, running, dancing, any form of racquet or ball sport, plyometric/ jumping and power-based exercises at the gym.

3. High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) has also been shown to have great effects particularly in regards to reducing body fat composition and improving overall metabolic health. HIIT based activities involve short burst of intense activity followed by rest. This has a much greater effect then, for example running 30 minutes on a treadmill.

4. Balancing exercises

It is also crucial to include some balancing exercises in your program. Approximately a third of people over the age of 65 fall each year! And this can lead to deteriorating bone health from fractures.

There are a range of balancing exercises that can be incorporated into your routine. Single leg exercises are a great addition and add a great functional element to your program! You can also do activities such as walking in small circles, walking with sudden change in direction and practice stepping over obstacles.

5. Pelvic Floor strengthening

To the hormonal changes during menopause, particularly related to oestrogen, your pelvic floor muscles can become weaker and your bladder less elastic. This may lead to loss of bladder control especially during activities such as sneezing, jumping and running.

These symptoms can often be dramatically improved with a pelvic floor strengthening and releasing program. We highly recommend you have a chat with a women’s health physiotherapist.

If you have not exercised for many years or have an injury you’re working with, it’s always best to begin your exercise journey with the help of a professional. Make sure this professional has a background in women’s health and women going through menopause.

If you would like a personalised exercise plan that is right for you, you can contact us here and one of our highly skilled trainers will be happy to help :)

Want to find out more about natural, evidence based solutions to tackling your menopause symptoms?

We have taken the guess work out of alleviating your menopause symptoms and collated all of the evidence based research into an easy to follow system and process that you can follow to minimise so many of your symptoms so you can feel your best again!

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