As women enter their late thirties, estrogen levels can become erratic. Around this time, women also experience perimenopause, a stage with a number of associated symptoms. Maintaining an active lifestyle during this time is important to physical and mental health. Continue reading to learn about a few exercises that can help maintain well-being during perimenopause.
What Are the Benefits of Exercise during Perimenopause?
As estrogen levels rise and progesterone levels fall, symptoms such as sore breasts, changes in appetite and heavier or longer menstrual cycles may become common. Weight gain, weakness and mood and stress related problems may also manifest. To help combat the negative effects associated with the onset of menopause, try these exercises to help promote well-being and prevent bone loss:
The wall arch is a great way to start the day as it strengthens the abdomen and back while simultaneously stretching the shoulders and calves. Face the wall and stand six inches from it. Your feet should also be approximately six inches apart. Stretch both of your arms up and touch the wall as you take a deep breath in. Concentrate on flattening your stomach. Repeat with the right and left arms separately; this exercise should be completed twice daily with five repetitions per arm.
The wall slide helps improve leg alignment and strengthen the abdomen, thighs and back. With your feet a few inches away from the wall, place shoulders and buttocks against the wall. While keeping your feet and knees facing forward, tuck your chin down so that the back of the head is as close to the wall as possible. Slide up and down against the wall ensuring that knees are bent and the stomach is flat. Repeat three times daily.
The pelvic tilt helps to strengthen and flatten abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles by pulling your pelvis and ribs off of the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Then, slowly lower your back to the floor. Repeat three times daily.
This alternate version of a pelvic tilt helps strengthen chest muscles. With your arms raised and hands behind your head, perform the pelvic tilt as described above. Repeat three times daily.
Leg lifts stretch the thighs and strengthen the lower back. Lie on your stomach with your hands by your sides. Slightly bend your leg and lift your thigh off of the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly lower your thigh back to the floor. Switch to your right leg and repeat the exercise. Complete leg lifts on each leg three times daily.
Standing Back Bend
The standing back bend helps to restore a healthy lower back and decreases an upper rounded back. Make two fists and place them on your lower back below the waist. Arch backwards slowly and take a deep breath. Repeat three times daily each with your fists at waist level and above waist level.
Improving general well-being is the first step towards preventing complications during perimenopause Click here to read more information about treatments for perimenopause.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.