Shop Bonafide

Best Workouts for Perimenopause

Brittany Dick

Whether you’re a gym fanatic or totally new to exercise, a one-size-fits-all workout plan likely won’t be as effective as one targeted specifically focused on those experiencing perimenopause.

“Different” isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, learning about a diverse set of the best workouts you can employ during perimenopause can keep you healthier, more mobile, and make you less susceptible to disruptive menopause symptoms as you age.1

In this article, we’ll dive a little deeper into some perimenopause exercises to consider and more specifically, what workouts are well suited for this transitional time of life.

Can Exercise Help Perimenopause Symptoms?

The short answer is “yes, possibly”. While exercise alone may not erase every symptom of perimenopause, certain types may help to alleviate them and/or make them more tolerable. Let’s take a look at a few exercise types to consider incorporating into your routine and what perimenopause symptoms they can help target.

Check out this quick video from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, on some exercises to consider during perimenopause:

Strength Training for Muscle Gains and Disease Prevention

Strength and/or resistance training is not only safe for most middle-aged women, but it also can be greatly beneficial in gaining and maintaining muscle mass.2

Why exactly is muscle mass so important? Muscle is a “use it or lose it” commodity. Without putting in the work to keep it, we can lose up to 5% of muscle per decade by the age of 30, with the rate of decline increasing significantly after the age of 65.3 Considering muscle mass is preventative in a number of risks associated with aging—such as bone loss, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and chronic inflammation, to name a few4— strength training is potentially a smart exercise to consider adopting at any age.

During menopause specifically, strength training may help to reduce “meno belly” and the overall weight gain that is often associated with changing hormones experienced during this time. Muscle mass increases your body’s ability to burn fat, helping to maintain a lean composition as you age.5

Strength Training - Where to Start

Not sure where to start? Consider choosing foundational strength training exercises that target several muscle groups, before adding in smaller accessory movements. You can start with free weights, resistance bands, or simply your own bodyweight. Remember, it’s always best to start small and work your way up as your body adjusts to any new exercises.

Examples of some common strength training exercises include6:

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Glute Bridges
  • Overhead Press
  • Push-Ups
  • Bent-Over Row
  • Lunges

Exercise and It’s Benefits for Maintaining Bone Health

With age comes an increased risk of osteoporosis – which is a disease that causes bones to become weaker and more brittle, increasing the risk of fractures. Similar to how you can utilize exercise to maintain muscle mass as you age, you can also look to weight bearing exercises to support your bone health during perimenopause and beyond.

More specifically, beneficial exercises include7:

  • Brisk walking or jogging
  • Racket sports such as tennis, ping pong or pickleball
  • Dancing
  • Climbing stairs

Additionally, resistance training exercises – like those mentioned earlier – coupled with balance training, such as Tai Chi, step-ups or lounges, can work to put stress on bones, making them stronger, and can contribute to achieving better balance and overall stability.8

Walking to Support Your Mental Health and Increase Social Engagement

Menopause can be associated with an increased risk for changes in mental health, such as increased anxiety, depression, and overall low mood.9 Fortunately, studies show adding in daily movement, such as walking, into your routine can help to reduce depressed moods, increase self-esteem, and promote overall well-being.10

An added bonus? Walking is free, accessible, low-risk, and even better enjoyed with a friend. Whether your walking buddy is a human or beloved pet, combining physical exercise with social interaction is well-documented in its benefits.11

Try to start small with a morning or afternoon walk, and then strive to increase your walk time by small increments (think around 10 minutes) each week. You may be surprised by how quickly walking can positively alter mood, even after just one day.

Yoga for Better Sleep and Better Sex

More than half of menopausal women suffer from low libido.12 This can make it more difficult to get “in the mood”, achieve orgasm, and enjoy an overall satisfying sex life. A similar number of women report an increase in sleep disturbances once menopause hits; and it’s certainly difficult to function at optimal levels on a poor night’s sleep.13


Fortunately, yoga may be useful for helping to achieve better sex after menopause as well as to experience better sleep. Yoga may help improve your sex life due to its strengthening effect on the pelvic floor, which is a group of muscles and ligaments that support internal female anatomy. In one study, 3 out of 4 women who committed to a 12-week, one-hour daily yoga regimen reported increases in sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, and orgasm as well as a decrease in pain—with women over age 45 claiming the largest improvements across all focus areas.14

Regarding yoga’s positive impact on sleep – another specific study published in the journal Menopause found that women who attended yoga classes experienced less insomnia than the control group of women, who did not attend.15 The key, according to experts, is to utilize yoga as a tool in helping to maintain a more balanced nervous system in order to improve sleep.

So, how can you use yoga to target both of the abovementioned menopause symptoms? Consider trying out poses that target the pelvic floor without overheating the body, as well as those that can help you relax.

A few yoga poses to incorporate may include16:

  • Child’s Pose
  • Happy Baby
  • Static Squat
  • Bridge Pose
  • Chair Pose
  • Belly Breathing

Aside from these two clear benefits, yoga is also beneficial for supporting flexibility and mobility during perimenopause and beyond. More specifically, yoga can be helpful in supporting joint health, improving posture, increasing core stability as well as coordination.17

Exercise to Combat Menopausal Hot Flashes

Around 75% of menopausal women report sudden, periodic increases in body temperature— otherwise known as hot flashes.18

Thanks to a steady drop of estrogen during the menopausal transition, this same phenomenon can cause symptoms such as dizziness, night sweats, and heart palpitations, along with a myriad of others. Fortunately, research shows exercise that induces sweating or increases heart rate, such as any of those listed earlier, may help to decrease basal core temperature in the body. In one study, women who started exercising regularly experienced a 60% reduction in the frequency of hot flashes.19

Consult Your Healthcare Provider Before Starting a New Exercise Routine

Remember to always to talk with your primary care provider or another healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen, just as a precaution. While there are certain exercises that are more beneficial to explore during menopause or perimenopause, the right exercise for you depends on your current health status, mobility, movement restrictions, and other variables. Your healthcare provider can help determine what exercise may make the most sense for you and offer modification suggestions for activities you can enjoy.


  12. /

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Related Posts

Trending Articles