Shopping Cart

Team Inspiriko - August 2022

7 Expert Exercise Tips For the Middle Age

The fountain of youth, unfortunately, doesn’t exist. But if it did, you would find more benefits by briskly walking toward it than by drinking from it. Such is the importance of doing exercise in your senior years, particularly during perimenopause and menopause.

According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, adults aged 18-64 (including women going through menopause) should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (1). Some examples of activities include cycling or brisk walking, as well as strength exercises on two or more days a week.

This means you don’t need to become an Olympic athlete to turn back the clock and start taking action regarding your menopause symptoms. Simple activities like going for a daily walk can do wonders when improving your quality of life.

In this article, we want to share with you seven expert exercise tips for middle-aged women so you can preserve your youth and health most simply. Let’s go!

Move It or Lose It: The Importance of Staying Active During Menopause

Perimenopause and menopause are complex processes every woman goes through around their forties and fifties. During this time, the body's production of estrogen and progesterone decreases, causing many symptoms that can disrupt your life. These include weight gain, hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, and osteoporosis (2).

And these annoying (and sometimes severe) symptoms will accompany you for months or even years. Is there anything you can do to relieve the discomfort during this challenging time? Yes! And regular exercise is at the forefront of the measures you can take to get back your health and well-being.

Here are some examples of the unique benefits exercise can bring about concerning your menopause symptoms:

Prevent weight gain and recover lost muscle mass. As you age and as a result of hormonal imbalance, you tend to lose muscle mass and gain fat (3). Regular exercise, particularly strength training, can help recover muscle mass, which in turn can boost metabolism and prevent weight gain.

Strengthen your bones. During menopause, the production of calcium also decreases, making your bones brittle and prone to fractures (4). Weight-bearing exercises can help increase bone density and reduce the risk of suffering from osteoporosis.

Reduce the risk of getting other diseases. Menopause can increase cravings, which can lead to insulin sensitivity or even type 2 diabetes (5). In turn, regular exercise can help you counteract this risk by making it easier for the body to use glucose for energy. Also, physical activity can help lower blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels (6), decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke (also common after menopause).

7 Expert Exercise Tips: Level Up Your Fitness Game

Doing exercise can be daunting and even more if you’ve never done it before menopause. But certain strategies can ease the way and even turn a painful activity into something fun.

The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity plus two or more days of strength exercise (1), but this doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself up in a gym and train until exhaustion. Instead, you can do a wide variety of activities to improve your health and have fun, such as yoga, tai chi, and even dancing.

Find 7 expert exercise tips below to level up your fitness game and recover your old you.

1. Walking

Walking is a simple type of exercise, but it can be the most effective. You don’t need to pay for a personal trainer or have a gym membership to get started. Just grab a bottle of water and go for a walk! If you haven’t done exercise for a long time, you can start slowly - some is better than none.

A good starting point would be at least 30 minutes of walking daily, 4-5 times a week. As you get used to walking regularly, you should gradually increase the time to 45 minutes to 1 hour daily.

Going for a walk can potentially help you:

● Burn more calories and promote weight loss (particularly if you walk briskly and for at least an hour a day).
● Improve your mood, as exercise helps your body produce endorphins (feel-good hormones). These endorphins, in turn, can reduce stress and promote better sleep (7).
● Connect with friends or with yourself.

2. Weight exercises

Weight bearing exercises can also be beneficial during menopause, as they can help build and maintain muscle mass, which in turn can improve your strength and balance. As we mentioned before, osteoporosis and weight gain are common problems for menopausal women.

As you experience a decrease in your female hormone levels, your bones become more fragile and susceptible to fractures (4). This is when weight-bearing exercises come to the rescue, helping strengthen your muscles and bones and slow down the rate of bone loss.

If you prefer to go to the gym, you’ll have the opportunity to try different weight machines, many times with the help of a trainer. Otherwise, you can buy hand-held weights and resistance tubing and exercise at home.

How to incorporate weight exercises into your routine?

1. Start with light weights: When starting, it's important to use weights that are light enough for you to lift comfortably to avoid injury (such as rotator cuff and knee injuries, which are common during this period (8). Half a kilo is excellent to start.
2. Incorporate compound exercises: Squats, deadlifts, and rows work for multiple muscle groups at once so incorporate them into your routine.
3. Warm up and cool down properly: To prevent injury, it's essential to warm up your muscles before beginning your workout and cool down and stretch afterward.

3. Aerobic activity

Aerobic activity is famous for helping you lose weight, but it has a lot more benefits than that! Running on the treadmill isn’t the only option for aerobic activity. If you find it rather dull, you can consider a dance class.

In addition to helping you build muscle and keep you flexible, dancing is a lot of fun! Whether you choose jazz, salsa, or even ballroom, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of aerobic activity while enjoying yourself! (9).

Some tips to get started:

● Start slow. Ten minutes a day may not seem like a lot, but you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workout.
● Look for a group. If you join a class aimed at middle-aged women, you won’t have to worry about over-exercising yourself as they are often led by prepared professionals who know how to pace the lessons.
● Do your household chores. Gardening, yard or even housework can become aerobic activities if you carry them out with impetus.

4. Yoga

Yoga is an activity that suits any body type and stage in your life. As it works with both your body and mind, it can be the perfect activity to do during menopause to relieve both mental and physical symptoms. For instance, certain yoga poses and breathing techniques can help regulate your body's temperature, which can be beneficial for reducing hot flashes (10). Also, yoga has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety, helping you sleep better.

Here are some practical tips to maximise the benefits of yoga during menopause so you can improve your flexibility, balance, and core strength:

● Start with basic poses: As a beginner, it's essential to start with yoga poses that are easy to perform and don't require a lot of flexibility or strength. This will help you get used to the practice and build the foundation for more advanced poses while enjoying all the benefits of yoga.
● Listen to your body. Do not push yourself too hard! Those yoga poses you see in pictures are many times spectacular, but they take a lot of time and effort. If a pose is uncomfortable or causes pain, stop and try another one.
● Find a class or a teacher: Starting with an experienced yoga teacher is essential for learning the poses and their alignment, as well as getting feedback on your technique.

5. Pickup a Fun Sport

Being older does not mean you can’t do sports anymore. Swimming, golf, or table tennis are accessible sports you can even do with friends and have a great time while exercising your body. Just watch out for high-impact or more difficult sports, like tennis or football, as they can lead to exhaustion or even injuries.

6. Pelvic Floor Exercises:

Your arms and legs are not the only body parts you should train during menopause: your pelvic floor could also need a little help! During this period, your vagina thins, and your pelvic floor muscles weaken (11). This, in turn, increases the risk of suffering from urinary dysfunction and or even organ prolapse.

One way to prevent this from happening while supporting your bladder and vagina is by doing Kegel exercises. These are the steps to carry them out:

● Locate the correct muscles: The easiest way is to stop the flow of urine while you are in the bathroom. Once you have identified the muscles you’ll use, you can do the Kegels with an empty bladder.
● Tighten & release: Tighten the pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to stop the urine flow. Hold the contraction for 3-5 seconds, then slowly release it.
● Repeat this several times in a row, gradually building up to more repetitions as your muscles get stronger.

7. Meditation & breathing

Meditation and breathing may not work your body per se, but they do wonders when reducing stress, relieving insomnia, and even getting through hot flashes more comfortably (10). For instance, a popular breathing technique called diaphragmatic breathing involves taking slow, deep breaths and focusing on the movement of the diaphragm. This can help you calm both body and mind and promote relaxation.

Final Takeaway

It’s never too late to work out, particularly if menopause symptoms are making your life difficult. But, no matter what type of activity you choose to do, setting realistic, achievable goals is one of the most important parts of the process. Teaming up with someone is also a great idea to keep up with your exercise objectives. And remember, if the gym bores you to death, you can always go for other fun activities like dancing or playing table tennis. Whatever you choose, take time to warm up and cool down safely and soon you’ll start seeing the difference in your health and well-being!


1. NHS website, (no date-b). Physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 [online]. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from:
2. Menopause - Symptoms and causes [online], (2022). Mayo Clinic. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from:
3. KO, J. and PARK, Y.-M., (2021). Menopause and the Loss of Skeletal Muscle Mass in Women. Iranian Journal of Public Health [online]. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from: doi: 10.18502/ijph.v50i2.5362
4. Ji, M.-X. and Yu, Q., (2015). Primary osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Chronic Diseases and Translational Medicine [online]. 1(1), 9–13. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from: doi: 10.1016/j.cdtm.2015.02.006
5. BridgetChapple, (2022). Menopause and diabetes [online]. Diabetes UK. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from:'t%20cause%20diabetes.,also%20include%20age%20and%20ethnicity.
6. Mann, S., Beedie, C. and Jimenez, A., (2013). Differential effects of aerobic exercise, resistance training and combined exercise modalities on cholesterol and the lipid profile: review, synthesis and recommendations. Sports Medicine [online]. 44(2), 211–221. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from: doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0110-5
7. Exercising for better sleep [online], (no date). Johns Hopkins Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from:
8. …Abate, M., Schiavone, C., Di Carlo, L. and Salini, V., (2014). Prevalence of and risk factors for asymptomatic rotator cuff tears in postmenopausal women. Menopause [online]. 21(3), 275–280. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from: doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31829638e3
9. Dance - health benefits [online], (no date-b). Better Health Channel - Better Health Channel. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from:
10. Avis, N. E., Legault, C., Russell, G., Weaver, K. and Danhauer, S. C., (2014). Pilot study of integral yoga for menopausal hot flashes. Menopause [online]. 21(8), 846–854. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from: doi: 10.1097/gme.0000000000000191
11. Neels, H., Tjalma, W. A. A., Wyndaele, J.-J., De Wachter, S., Wyndaele, M. and Vermandel, A., (2016). Knowledge of the pelvic floor in menopausal women and in peripartum women. Journal of Physical Therapy Science [online]. 28(11), 3020–3029. [Viewed 13 January 2023]. Available from: doi: 10.1589/jpts.28.3020