We all know exercise is good for us. However if your response to ‘Exercise is ….’ was not a positive statement then I have a few things for you to think about for it to be a bit more enjoyable.

Start off thinking about your personality and family life and then trying to match up activities with it

Who do you want to spend the time with?

  • Do you want to spend the time with your family and therefore prefer to find activities that you can do as a family rather than you going to the gym on your own?
  • Do you want to spend the time catching up with friends and rather than ‘coffee and cake it‘ find something healthy you can do with your girlfriends?
  • Do you want to meet new people outside your usual social set by joining a running, martial arts, surfing or ski club depending on what part of the world you are in?
  • Do you want to be on your own and carve out a little ‘ME time’ in your life?

How do you want exercise and the time spent exercising to feel?

  • Do you enjoy challenges and beating your pervious times/weights? You could ask a gym instructor to help ensure the goals are realistic and you can still work on your own.
  • Are you competitive and enjoy being around like minded people who are also pushing themselves? Joining a club where you can ‘compete’ regularly will help keep you motivated
  • Is exercise a stress management tool and you want to feel relaxed at the end of session? Hatha Yoga will help to de-stress you
  • Do you get bored easily and like things to be constantly changing? Classes will probably be enjoyable for you or a Personal Trainer or Small Group session where the sessions are always different
  • Is it important that are you are doing the exercises correctly? – A Personal Trainer or Small Group session might be the best for you
  • It’s important to get all the components of fitness into each session. If you don’t have much time then DVD’s at home can be useful to keep you exercising in a shorter period of time than getting to/from your gym.

Do you have a specific reason for exercising?
Measuring is a good motivator for some but can become stressful for others particularly if it feels like slow progress.
High blood pressure and high cholesterol run in my family so they are both good nudges to keep me motivated. And like most women over 45 it is harder work than it used to be to keep my weight and waistline where I would like them to be! The blood pressure & cholesterol goals are ‘silent’ ones I don’t know how I’m doing until I’ve had a trip to the Doctors. For my shape I measure my waistline or use my jeans as a guide.

I don’t know where to start?
Find an expert that can help you! So many women stop exercising because they feel uncomfortable not knowing how to and feeling a wee bit silly being the newbie in the class. If you are completely new to exercise then finding someone to instruct you is priceless. Apart from anything else, your posture needs to be perfect when you exercise to minimize injury so having someone feedback to you lets you work on elements you probably wouldn’t have thought about or thought important

I don’t have any energy to exercise – what do I do!
Energy levels can fluctuate massively when hormone levels start to fall. Take the intensity levels down to and work on improving energy levels and reducing stress. Weight training, walking, swimming, Pilates, Yoga or anything else that feels manageable to you.

Be aware that over exercising is as bad as under exercising. Even if you are doing the same amount as 5 years ago it may feel like over exercising to your body due to the changes approaching the menopause has on the body.

Try to keep the habit of exercising or going to the gym, even if it is to use the sauna. It can be difficult to get back into the habit if you stop. Any exercise is better than none. Sometimes it is changing focus so working on flexibility or core strength and the challenges that brings can help to keep you motivated.

So how does exercise make you feel? Energised is a good feeling to aim for!

As always please check with your Doctor before starting a new exercise programme

Samantha Valand is the founder of Wise Women Wellbeing Academy.

A comprehensive hub of resources on hormone balancing, healthy eating and exercising in your menopausal years and beyond.