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Fitness During Perimenopause: How to Stay Active When Hormones Play Havoc


As we age, hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause can significantly impact our mood, energy, sleep patterns, and even bring on aches and pains. For many women, these changes make the idea of maintaining a consistent exercise routine seem daunting, if not downright impossible. However, understanding that you will have good and bad days, that movement can in fact help with your symptoms and having a flexible plan to navigate through these fluctuations can be incredibly empowering.


The Hormonal Rollercoaster

Hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone play crucial roles in our body's functioning. As we approach and go through menopause, the levels of these hormones can fluctuate wildly, leading to a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. This can result in:

woman  resting on sofa
  • Mood swings

  • Decreased energy levels

  • Poor sleep quality

  • Increased aches and pains


These changes can make even the thought of exercising feel overwhelming. But here's the good news: exercise can actually help alleviate many of these symptoms. The challenge is finding a way to stay active that accommodates your body's changing needs.


Embrace the Ups and Downs of Fitness During Perimenopause

One of the most important things to remember is that it's perfectly normal to have good and bad days. The key to staying active is to have a plan that allows you to adapt to how you’re feeling on any given day.


On Good Days

When you’re feeling energetic and motivated, take advantage of this by engaging in more intense workouts. These sessions could include:

woman working out at home
  • Strength training

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

  • Cardio workouts

These activities can help build muscle, improve cardiovascular health, and boost your overall fitness levels.


On Bad Days

On days when your energy levels are low or you’re experiencing significant discomfort, it’s important not to push yourself too hard. Instead, focus on shorter sessions and lighter, more gentle forms of exercise such as:

people walking in the park
  • Yoga or Pilates

  • Stretching and mobility exercises

  • Light walking or gentle cycling

These activities can help maintain flexibility, reduce stress, and improve circulation without overtaxing your body.


On the "Not Sure" days

If you aren't feeling 100%......simply commit to starting your planned workout for just 15 minutes. Give yourself permission to stop after those 15 minutes if you’re not feeling it or switch over to a gentler stretching session or similar. More often than not, once you start moving, you'll feel better and decide to continue. If not, you've still done something positive for your body.


The Importance of Rest and Recovery

Rest and recovery are critical components of any fitness routine, especially when dealing with the hormonal fluctuations and symptoms that can affect your fitness during perimenopause. Proper rest allows your body to heal and adapt, which is essential for maintaining long-term health and fitness. As we age how our body recovers changes, and it can be a lot less predictable one day to the next. This is something I personally experience a lot - I have phases when my ability to recovery tanks. Here are the things I do and you must take into account when following an exercise programme to incorporate rest effectively:


  • Listen to Your Body: If you’re feeling particularly fatigued or sore, it's normal, it’s okay to take a rest day. This can prevent injury and help you come back stronger.

  • Prioritise Sleep: Quality sleep is crucial for recovery. Aim for 7-9 hours per night to allow your body to repair and rejuvenate.

  • Active Recovery: On rest days, engage in low-intensity activities like walking, gentle stretching, or yoga to promote blood flow and reduce stiffness. this is often overlooked....gentle movement will help ease those aches and pains.


The Power of Flexibility

Flexibility in your fitness routine is crucial. Having a plan that accommodates both your high-energy days and your low-energy days ensures that you can stay consistent without feeling defeated. Here’s how to implement this:


  1. Create a Flexible Schedule: Design a workout plan that includes options for both high and low energy days. This way, you always have a backup plan that fits your current state.

  2. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how you’re feeling each day. It’s okay to adjust your plan based on your body’s signals.

  3. Mix It Up: Incorporate a variety of exercises to keep things interesting and cater to different energy levels and preferences.

  4. Set Realistic Goals: Understand that nailing every workout isn’t realistic, especially when hormones interfere. Set achievable goals that allow for fluctuations in your performance.


How I Help My Clients

In my role as a personal trainer, I focus on creating personalised fitness plans that cater to the unique needs of women in middle age. My approach includes:

  • Assessing Individual Needs: Understanding each client’s specific hormonal challenges and fitness goals.

  • Designing Flexible Programs: Creating workout schedules that include options for high and low energy days.

  • Providing Ongoing Support: Offering guidance and adjustments to the plan as needed, ensuring that each client feels supported and empowered.


Empower Yourself Through Movement

Nailing every workout is never realistic, and this is even more true when hormonal changes are at play. But with a flexible plan, a focus on gentle, consistent movement, and an emphasis on rest and recovery, you can maintain/improve your fitness and feel better overall.


Take the Next Step

Ready to take charge of your fitness journey despite the hormonal hurdles? Let’s work together to create a plan that adapts to your needs and empowers you to stay active, no matter what. Reach out today to get started.


🌟Need more help? If you’re looking for a supportive and flexible approach to fitness during midlife, I’m here to help. Contact me to create a personalised plan that fits your unique needs.  I offer support and advice on social media to help with fitness and fat loss, specifically aimed at women over 30. Click these links to follow me on Instagram  @fitforapurposeuk  or on Facebook fitforapurposeadmin


For those looking for one to one support I offer bespoke coaching services via my Get Fit For a Purpose plan, we work together to mould the plan around your lifestyle, preferences and specific concerns - Click here for details of my services




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