The Best Low-Impact Workouts to Combat Menopause Symptoms – Boom Home Medical
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Beginner-Friendly Exercises for the 6 Most Common Menopause Symptoms

by Valerie Ulene 16 Apr 2024

Menopause isn't just about saying goodbye to periods. While it does mark the end of a woman’s reproductive years–and, yes, the end of her periods–menopause can come with a lot of additional baggage. For many women, the hormonal changes that occur at this time of life lead to a range of symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and sleep disturbances that disrupt their daily life and undermine their sense of well-being.

If you find yourself struggling with these types of symptoms, there’s hopeful news: there are things you can do to alleviate them–exercise being one of the most important and most effective.

In this article, we’ll cover the best exercises for women as they go through menopause. These exercises will promote fitness and strength, while combating some of the most common menopausal symptoms including:

  • Weight gain
  • Hot flashes, mood swings & sleep disturbances
  • Reduced bone density
  • Low energy & fatigue
  • Stress & anxiety
  • Urinary incontinence

Why Exercise is Important for Managing Menopause Symptoms

We all know that exercise is good for us. Regular physical exercise reduces the risk of a variety of diseases ranging from heart disease to cancer, strengthens bones and muscles, and improves brain health. But there’s also evidence to suggest that it can help improve many of the most disruptive symptoms of menopause.

Best Low-Impact Exercises for Menopause Symptom Management

So, most of us know that we need to move more, but choosing the best exercises to meet our individual goals is often hard to figure out.

To help you formulate a personal workout routine, we’ve broken things down a bit.

1. Weight Gain: Cardio & Resistance Training

Weight gain during menopause is a common concern for many women. There are several things that contribute to it. For starters, as women age, their metabolism naturally slows down. This metabolic shift means that the body burns fewer calories, making it easier to gain weight. Aging is also associated with a loss of muscle mass. Since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, as muscle mass decreases, metabolism may slow down further.

Put simply, muscle burns more than double the calories as fat, even while you're resting.

To combat this, use a combination of low-impact cardio exercise, like walking, swimming, rowing, or cycling, to burn calories. Then, build muscle mass with resistance training, bodyweight exercises, dumbbell workouts, or pilates. (1)

2. Hot Flashes: Cardio

If you’re experiencing a hot flash, a sweaty workout is probably the last thing on your mind. However, several studies (2) have shown that getting your blood pumping with brisk walking, cycling, rowing, or swimming can reduce the frequency of hot flashes.

3. Reduced Bone Density and Osteoporosis: Weight-bearing Exercise

Weight-bearing exercise is perhaps the best thing you can do for your bones during menopause. But what does weight-bearing mean?

In short, weight-bearing exercise is any activity that puts a healthy stress on your bones. This includes anything from high-impact activities like jogging or running to relatively low impact ones like walking or stair climbing.  Other good weight bearing activities are dancing, racket sports, and hiking. (Activities like rowing and swimming on the other hand are not weight-bearing.)

To really work your bones and keep them strong, muscle strengthening exercises using dumbbells, resistance bands, or just your own body weight are also recommended at least twice a week (3).

4. Low Energy Levels and Fatigue: Low-Intensity Workouts

The last thing you probably feel like doing if your energy level is low is exercise. But it might just be one of the best things you can do for yourself. There’s actually a wealth of scientific evidence (4) to support the fact that regular exercise is a great antidote to fatigue!

If you find high-intensity exercise wears you out, don’t worry. Researchers at the University of Georgia (5) found that low-intensity workouts work as well (if not better) than more strenuous ones. In their study, just three 20 minute low intensity workouts per week reduced fatigue by 65 percent.

If you’re up for giving low intensity exercise a try, choose an aerobic activity that you enjoy and see if it passes the “talk test”. If you’re able to have a comfortable conversation while you’re doing it, it gets a passing grade.

5. Stress and Anxiety: Yoga & Pilates

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (6), about 4 out of 10 women experience mood symptoms like stress and anxiety around the time of menopause. There are likely a number of things contributing to this. For one, declining hormone levels can affect levels of brain chemicals that regulate mood, leading to mood swings, irritability, and feelings of anxiety. Menopausal symptoms don’t make things any easier. After all, who wouldn’t feel stressed and anxious when they’re having hot flashes or sleeping poorly.

Mindfulness walking, yoga, pilates, and Tai Chi are all fantastic ways to unwind and stay fit at the same time. 

6. Incontinence: Body Weight Exercises

One of the most common but least talked about symptoms of menopause is urinary incontinence, or involuntary bladder leaks.  Incontinence often develops when the muscles in the pelvis that support the bladder and urinary tract weaken–something that frequently happens as women age.

Kegel exercises (which involve squeezing, holding, and then relaxing the pelvic muscles) are frequently recommended to combat incontinence. But other types of exercise appear to be beneficial as well.

According to a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (7), bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, and bridges can also rehabilitate the pelvic floor. Plus, they provide the added benefit of working other muscles in the body at the same time.

How to Overcome Challenges When Starting a Menopause Exercise Routine

Hopefully, by now, you're excited to embark on a new, targeted fitness journey. You may feel a bit nervous; it’s only natural when you’re starting something new. But, more likely than not, your concerns are not unique. So, let's see what we can do about dispelling some of the most common fears women have about exercising during menopause.

Joint Pain or Stiffness 

Start slow and listen to your body. Begin with gentle activities like walking, swimming, or yoga, and gradually increase the intensity as your confidence and stamina grow. 

Also, remember that it's okay to take breaks and rest when needed. A long bath is also a lovely way to soothe sore muscles.

Hot Flashes

Staying hydrated and dressing in layers that you can peel off one by one if you get overheated will help your body regulate temperature. You can also apply cold compresses on your neck or use a handheld fan to cool off. 

If all else fails, opt for low-intensity workouts or try swimming. 

Fatigue or Lack of Motivation 

Try to make your workouts as enjoyable as possible. Start by choosing activities you enjoy. For instance, if you love being outdoors, try hiking. Or if team sports are your thing, join a local league. Also, consider finding an exercise partner.  Buddying up with a friend not only makes exercise more fun, it keeps you accountable and motivated.


If you're experiencing bladder leaks during exercise, there are solutions. Disposable incontinence pads are a convenient way to absorb light to moderate leaks.

Or, if you'd prefer something more stylish and discreet, Boom Absorbent Underwear can soak up both urine and sweat!

You should now be armed with the information you need to tackle any challenges that might crop up. Remember, you've got this – and we're cheering you on every step of the way!


1. The Mayo Clinic, The Reality of Menopause Weight Gain

2. Sarah Witkowski et al, Physical Activity and Exercise for Hot Flashes: Trigger or Treatment?

3. S L Watson et al, Heavy resistance training is safe and improves bone, function, and stature in postmenopausal women with low to very low bone mass

4. Carly L A Wender et al, The Effect of Chronic Exercise on Energy and Fatigue States: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials

5. Timothy W Puetz et al, A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effect of Aerobic Exercise Training on Feelings of Energy and Fatigue

6. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

7. Bruce Crawford, Pelvic Floor Muscle Motor Unit Recruitment: Kegels vs Specialized Movement

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