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Fitness tips: what you need to know about perimenopause

Caucasian woman lifting weights in warehouse gym

Strength training can preserve bone mass which is essential once oestrogen declines. Photograph: Getty Images

Perimenopause is the phase before menopause, when you have a menstrual cycle but experience the symptoms of hormonal decline. During this time, women are prone to imbalances such as excess or low oestrogen and low progesterone.

Hormonal shifts can contribute to feeling irritable, anxious and depressed, but they also alert us to the aspects of life that need to change. Make decisions about your various roles. What or whom can you do without, and what do you want more of? Now is the time to prioritise.

Getting a good night’s sleep becomes harder as women age, and this is accelerated by perimenopause. Stay off screens two hours before bedtime. Acupuncture can help, too.

Alcohol and caffeine can also disrupt sleep and trigger hot flushes, night sweats and palpitations.

Strength training can preserve bone mass (essential once oestrogen declines), but aerobic exercise can stimulate the production of stress hormones, so experiment with yoga and pilates.

[“source=theguardian”]