7 Exercises that Menopausal Women Should Try
Dorian Martin | Sept 29, 2015
Older women often become less active as they go through menopause. However, we need to reclaim our vitality instead of seeing menopause as a sign of impending decline. Middle-age women should use this time of life to start and embrace a new health program that includes meaningful and enjoyable exercise.
What should we aim for in a healthy exercise program? Researchers encourage menopausal women to follow an exercise program that includes endurance exercises (aerobic), strength exercises and balance exercises for a total of at least 2-1/2 hours weekly.
Exercise can help menopausal women improve cardiorespiratory function, minimize midlife weight gain, increase bone mass, reduce lower back pain, lower stress and improve mood. Regular exercise also may reduce hot flashes. So here are some types of exercise that you may want to try.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that includes breathing techniques, physical postures and focused intention. This program involves gentle rhythmic movements that reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality and improve the immune system.
Regularly lifting weights using proper form and technique can help reduce body fat, increase muscle mass, strengthen bones and improve balance. If you haven’t lifted weight before, be sure to check with a physical trainer to get tips on your form so you don’t injure yourself.
Walking & hiking
Walking for 30 minutes a day can help protect your health. Even better is committing to a solid pace since researchers have found that slower walkers are 44 percent more likely to die sooner than faster walkers. Hiking also provides a good way to get quality exercise and enjoy nature.
Pilates is a low-impact exercise regimen that involves flexibility, muscle strength and endurance movements. This type of exercise focuses on the abdominals, lower back, hips and thighs. Because of this focus on the core muscles, Pilates can help improve posture, balance and flexibility.
Researchers found that doing relatively high-intensity aerobic exercise – such as cycling – over time can boost a middle-age person’s aerobic power by 25%. Furthermore, this type of exercise can restore aerobic power to middle age adults, thus potentially turning the biological clock back by up to 12 years. Be sure to take proper safety precautions when riding.
Belly dancing focuses on a variety of abdominal muscles, thus offering women improved core strength and flexibility as well as posture. This type of dance also provides a great cardiovascular workout.