The Importance of Exercise for Midlife Women

The Importance of Exercise for Midlife Women

Is exercise really that important for midlife women? Who has time for that??

YES! The answer is a resounding YES!

Exercise is important for people of all ages, but it becomes even more critical for women in midlife. Women in their 40s and 50s may begin to experience a variety of physical and hormonal changes that can negatively impact their health and well-being. Fun, right? It’s not all doom and gloom, though because exercise can help mitigate the results and symptoms that come along with some of these changes and improve overall health. The key is to be doing exercise that works with your body, and not against it.


Let’s dive in!


One of the most significant changes women in midlife experience is a decrease in estrogen levels. This decrease can lead to a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. And guess what? Exercise can help manage these symptoms!

Midlife women are also at a higher risk for other health conditions, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes. Exercise can help reduce the risk of developing these conditions by improving cardiovascular health, increasing bone density, and regulating blood sugar levels.

Regular exercise can also help midlife women maintain a healthy weight. As women age, their metabolism slows down, making it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.


Good nutrition can help here too, but that’s a topic for another day 😀



Beyond the physical benefits, regular exercise can also improve mental health and cognitive function. Studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, improve memory and concentration, and increase overall cognitive function.

You may be wondering if there are specific exercises that are better for midlife women and the answer is YES!

Here are my suggestions for what to include in your exercise “routine”


Strength/Resistance Training


Strength training is first on my list as it’s the most important and one that we midlife women neglect. We lose muscle mass as we age and we need strength/resistance training to prevent this from happening. Using weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises, can help improve bone density, maintain muscle mass, and boost metabolism. Aim for two full-body strength/resistance sessions per week, targeting major muscle groups like the legs, arms, chest, back, and core.

TIP: Start by doing squats without weights and gradually work up to adding weight or resistance bands. Try push-ups at the wall and as you get stronger, lower the incline to a counter, then to a bench, and finally to the floor.



Cardiovascular Exercise


Cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing, can help improve heart health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for 2 or 3 30-45 minutes sessions of low/moderate-intensity cardio exercise per week. Don’t overdo it here, ladies. Get outside if you can.

TIP: Take short 5-10 minute walk breaks during your day. It all adds up 🙂






Flexibility exercises like stretching, yoga, pilates, or tai chi can help improve range of motion, reduce the risk of injury, and improve posture. Aim for at least two flexibility sessions per week or better yet, add a daily yoga routine to your repertoire. Short sessions more often can be better than fewer long sessions per week. 10 minutes a day is all you need but be warned, you may want to do more 😉

TIP: If you sit at a desk all day, take regular stretching breaks. Your body will thank you for it.





Mobility exercises are essential for midlife women to maintain flexibility, joint health, and overall physical function. As we age, our joints can become stiffer, and our range of motion can decrease. Mobility exercises can help maintain and improve joint health, reduce the risk of injury, and improve posture. Some examples of mobility exercises for midlife women are:

  • Shoulder rolls
  • Arm circles
  • Ankle circles
  • Hip circles
  • Twists

TIP: Incorporate these moves into a warm-up or cool-down. Many mobility moves will already be included in a yoga class.






Balance exercises, such as standing on one foot, walking heel to toe, or doing balance poses in yoga, can help reduce the risk of falls and improve overall balance. A bonus of balance work is that it also works the core!

TIP: Try standing on one foot while standing in line at the grocery store. Or do a tree pose and see what kind of looks you get 😜



High-Intensity Interval Training



High-Intensity Interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise that involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of rest. It can help improve cardiovascular health, increase metabolism, and burn calories in a short amount of time. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with certain health conditions or injuries. Try to keep HIIT to 45 minutes total per week, broken up into a minimum of 2 sessions.

TIP: Don’t complicate it. Make the exercise simple but intense enough to get the heart rate up.

Overall, exercise is essential for midlife women to maintain their health and well-being. Incorporating regular physical activity into their daily routine can help manage symptoms of menopause, reduce the risk of chronic conditions, maintain a healthy weight, and improve mental health and cognitive function. Bonus – Exercise also helps improve sleep when done early in the day…zzzzz!




Need some help getting started?









If you would like some guidance on what to do and how to incorporate more movement into your day, I invite you to check out my upcoming 7-day yoga/movement challenge for midlife women – CLICK HERE

Exercise and Nutrition for Menopause Symtpoms

Exercise and Nutrition for Menopause Symtpoms


I’m often asked how important exercise and nutrition are with respect to their effects on our “menopausal” symptoms and overall health. The short answer is VERY IMPORTANTallow me to elaborate. 


Here are a few ways exercise can help:


  • Reduce hot flashes: Exercise has been shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women. Yay! 
  • Improves bone density: Regular weight-bearing exercise can help maintain and improve bone density, which can decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improves mood and reduces stress and anxiety: Exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety in menopausal women.
  • Improves cardiovascular health: Exercise can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve overall cardiovascular health.


It’s important to stay active and engage in regular physical activity, which can help support bone health and maintain muscle mass. Be sure to incorporate strength/resistance training in your exercise plan. Make sure you are doing the right type of exercise as well as the right amount for your midlife body. While we know exercise is good for our health, there is the potential of too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to cardio. 



The importance of Nutrition:


  • Helps manage weight: Proper nutrition can help women maintain a healthy weight during perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
  • Improves bone health: A diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other bone-healthy nutrients can help maintain and improve bone density. 
  • Reduces the risk of chronic diseases: A healthy diet can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Reduces hot flashes: Certain foods, such as soy products and flaxseed, may help reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women. Yes, please!


Overall, a healthy and balanced diet for perimenopausal women should focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods and limit processed and high-sugar foods. 


Here are some guidelines for a healthy and balanced diet for perimenopausal women:


  • Eat your veggies…and lots of them! They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which can help support overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Especially leafy greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower. 
  • Whole grains: These are a good source of fiber and can help regulate blood sugar levels, which can be important during perimenopause when insulin resistance may be increased. 
  • Prioritize protein: Protein is important for maintaining muscle mass and supporting bone health, both of which can be affected during perimenopause. Choose lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes. Try to get a serving of protein at each meal.
  • Incorporate healthy fats: Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain health, can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Good sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
  • Incorporate phytoestrogen-rich foods: Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. They can help alleviate hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Foods rich in phytoestrogens include soybeans, tofu, tempeh, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and whole grains.
  • Avoid processed foods: These often contain high amounts of added sugars, salt, and unhealthy fats, which can increase the risk of chronic diseases and exacerbate symptoms of perimenopause.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine intake: Sorry, ladies…both can disrupt sleep and exacerbate symptoms such as hot flashes and mood changes.



Want more tips and encouragement for managing your menopause symptoms? Download your 6-Step Guide right here!


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