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How much should I exercise during the perimenopause and menopause?

Tips on exercise for a healthy menopause

If you are on a January health kick or are looking to make some meaningful changes to your life, then exercise is a great place to start.

Staying active is so important during the perimenopause, menopause and beyond.

It helps keep your bones strong, is good for your mental health, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease and when combined with a balanced diet, it helps you maintain a healthy weight.

How often should I exercise?

According to government guidelines, adults aged 19-64 should aim for half an hour of moderate intensity exercise five times a week, or vigorous exercise for 75 minutes a week. In addition, adults should do strength exercise at least two days a week.

What counts as moderate exercise?

Moderate exercise covers any activity that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and feel warmer. You should still be able to hold a conversation when doing moderate exercise.

Examples include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Water aerobics

What counts as vigorous exercise?

According to the NHS, vigorous intensity activity makes you breathe hard and fast – you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath while undertaking vigorous activity.

Examples include:

  • Aerobics
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Climbing the stairs
  • Team sports such as football and hockey.

RELATED: James Smith on exercise and nutrition in the perimenopause and menopause – podcast

What about strength exercise?

Strength exercise refers to any activity where your muscles work harder than usual to improve strength and endurance.

Strength exercises include:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Using weights or resistance bands

RELATED: Exercise and the menopause – the Dr Louise Newson Podcast

What sort of exercise should I do?

Unless you have been told by a healthcare professional to avoid a certain exercise, all exercise will be beneficial.

If you haven’t exercised for a while, don’t panic. Start small with some gentle walking, and build from there. You could try out a few different things to find something you enjoy, such as online workouts at home or group exercise activities. Swimming is a great choice if moving can be painful for you as it’s low impact on your joints. Exercising with a friend or joining a group or exercise class is a good start if you tend to struggle for motivation and these can be sociable and fun.  Most importantly, find something you enjoy – you’ll be far more likely to stick to it.

Download the balance app to find lots more articles and tips on exercise.

How much should I exercise during the perimenopause and menopause?

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