Here we’ve put together 22 of the best exercises you can do to stay fit and healthy during menopause. Click on a category to learn about what exercises can help ease your symptoms.


Cardio is the perfect kind of exercise to stop you from gaining weight. It burns fat and helps you to lose weight by engaging your body’s larger muscles. Although cardio is usually associated with high impact training or running, they’re not the only cardio exercises that work!

If you’re a beginner to exercise don’t panic - you can introduce cardio to your daily life by walking for just 30 minutes a day. If you have weak knees, try swimming or rowing. There are cardio options for everyone. So let’s look at them in more detail.


Walking is an incredibly effective form of cardio exercise to engage in during menopause as it is a minimal and low-impact workout that doesn’t require any preparation. It’s also easy on your bones and joints, and something that anyone can do. Walking is great for beginners to exercise, or people suffering from heart or chronic diseases.

Walking burns calories, regulates hormone levels, keeps stress under control and will leave you energised and re-charged for the rest of the day. Fatigue, a common symptom of menopause, can be fought with daily walks.


No, it’s not walking like a Nordic person, it’s going at a higher pace than walking but slower than jogging, using walking poles similar to ski poles. It’s perfect if you’re already an avid walker but don’t enjoy jogging or find it too strenuous.

You can practice Nordic walking with friends, and it burns around 400 calories in an hour while improving balance and coordination without putting stress on your joints. There are various levels of intensity when it comes to Nordic walking, and the use of walking poles provides extra safety against slippery surfaces and extra support.


Cycling for two or so hours a week can have a great impact on your health. Cycling will make your legs stronger as you engage all the major muscle groups, it’s easy to do, and it can be either low or high intensity. And if you start with low intensity you can slowly build it up over time until you’re able to work harder and faster.

Cycling is also lots of fun, you can get out there and explore National Parks or steep hills, enjoying an outdoor adventure while getting fit. If you’re not the adventurous type but are a fan of time efficiency, cycling can also be your new way of commuting to work. It is better for you and the environment - everybody wins!


Rowing is a calming outdoor sport that will connect you with nature, especially if you practice in the early mornings while the water and its surroundings are still and calm. You can either practice rowing alone, with a team, or just with some friends.

In just one hour of rowing, you can burn up to 600 calories, with low impact on your joints while exercising your legs, arms, and back. Rowing will also strengthen your core, and give you overall agility.

Don’t really have access to a river or lake in the morning? That’s OK, chances are that a gym close to you has rowing machines, which simulate the same movement and water resistance as actual rowing.


Swimming will keep your heart rate up while minimising stress to your body, allowing you to safely build muscle strength. Swimming utilises nearly every muscle in your body, so it gives a great overall workout.

On top of those benefits, swimming is also a peaceful and relaxing form of exercise as it can be very mechanical. It can help alleviate stress and improve coordination, flexibility, balance, and is great for people who are back on the fitness track after an injury.


Aerobic exercises are high intensity cardio exercises that involve a lot of dance-like movements. They are fantastic calorie-burners and are very effective in combatting stress, particularly if you attend group classes. Aerobics is easy to perform as it doesn’t require a lot of space, and you can even do aerobics from the comfort of your home!

If you’re a beginner, always try to start with a lower intensity workout and build up as you feel your fitness increase. Aerobic exercises come in lots of different forms, from chair aerobics to water aerobics.


Squats tone a number of muscles in your body - the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals all at the same time. They can be a pain to perform sometimes, but squats are essential to keeping your belly and back strong. So next time you need to bend to pick something from the floor, try to do a squat down instead.

How to perform squats properly? Simply keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. When you’re in a form position, mimic the movement as if you were about to sit down on a chair, keeping your knees over your ankles. Repeat at least 10 times.


Lunges work all of the major muscles in your lower body and improve your balance. To perform them all you have to do is take a step forward - and while keeping your back straight - bend your knee to 90 degrees, and bring the back knee towards the floor, without actually letting it touch the floor.


Bet you never thought you could do aerobics on a chair? Well, turns out you very much can. So pull up a chair and start moving! Chair aerobics are perfect for seniors or people with mobility problems, as using the chair as support can minimise the risk of falling during standard aerobic classes.

  • Chair march - While seated on the chair, mimic a march by lifting one foot off the floor at a time and alternating. If you want more intensity for this workout then do the same with your arms, lifting one at a time.
  • Punch - Sitting on the chair, lift your arms and clench your fists. Place them in front of your face and reach out to punch the air in front of you. Remember to avoid extending the elbow completely to avoid injury. If you want to add some abdominal work to the mix, you can rotate the torso and punch towards the sides.
  • Pump arms overhead - While seated, place your arms up and bend your elbows to 90 degrees with your hands facing forwards. Extend your arms out and bring them back again to their original position. You can even add leg movements to this exercise if you wish to increase the intensity.
  • Kicks - Kick your legs in front of you while seated. This exercise will improve leg flexibility.


We know most people aren’t fans of crunches, but they’re a really good form of aerobic exercise. They strengthen your core and belly, and are especially good for people with back problems like scoliosis.

To properly perform crunches, lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground, being sure to press your lower back down to the ground. Contract your abdominal muscles and raise your head, neck, and shoulders in one move. Return to the original position, and repeat.


  • Pool walking - You can perform pool walking on the shallow side of any swimming pool. Walking underwater is just as beneficial as walking outside water, but is extremely lower in impact. You can hold onto the edge of the pool for support, and if you feel ready for a bigger challenge then you can always add hand weights or weighted boots to the routine.
  • Leg swings - Leg swings are a must in lower-body water aerobics. Stand in chest-deep water and while holding onto the side of the pool for balance, lift your right leg forward and try to hold it there for five seconds. Bring it back to its original position and do the same with the left leg. Recover and repeat.
  • Cross-country skiing - Imitate the movements of cross-country skiing by bending your arms and elbows so that your lower arm sits parallel to the pool’s floor. Move your right arm and left leg forward at the same time and vice versa. Do this in 60 second intervals.
  • Arm circles - To exercise your upper body underwater, get in deep enough for your neck to be under the water. Raise both arms out in front of you, but keep them underwater, and make small circles. Gradually increase the circles in size, alternating between clockwise and anticlockwise movements. Repeat at least five times.


Building cardiovascular fitness isn’t all that matters when exercising during menopause. Strength training is crucial and can provide an essential type of fitness - maintaining and gaining muscle mass as well as bone density. With just two or three 30-minute sessions a week, you can help to combat muscle loss during menopause.


Adding dumbbells to your workout will provide you with flexibility and convenience, and they’re also ideal for home use. Try to get some different sized weights as some exercises will require more weight than others; it will make your exercise more flexible.

Dumbbells can be used in so many ways, simply add them to your normal aerobic workouts for a bit of strength training. Add them to your squats, lunges, chair aerobics, or even water exercises. You can even carry dumbbells as you walk, adding some extra weight to your body. You’ll see yourself slowly become accustomed to the weight of the dumbbells as you start working your muscles. Always start with a lower weight and work your way up gently, you will be able to handle heavier loads the more you practice, so don’t rush into using them in the beginning.


Weight machines are a great starting point for beginners who want to safely work on strengthening their muscles, as they allow a very specific set of movements. If you’ve never done weights before, or are unsure about just lifting weights on your own and would like a bit more guidance, starting off with a weight machine could be a good option.

Weight machines are very easy to use, and most gyms will have them. They usually come with instructional diagrams that illustrate which muscles you should ideally be moving, and it’s fairly easy to use the machines and adjust the weight. Because they tend to focus on a certain area of the body, they are perfect if you are recovering from an injury, and very safe. If your goal is to build whole body strength, however, then you may find it a bit difficult using weight machines.


Exercise bands are strong, resistant rubber bands with handles at each end which you can grab and stretch. You can choose between a variety of resistance strengths according to your fitness level. This type of workout can help you boost stamina levels and flexibility. You can add exercise bands to your aerobics movements or repetition workouts, just like dumbbells. It’s an alternative that adds flexibility and resistance when weights are not your thing.

Some of the benefits of exercise bands include their cost effectiveness, ease of use for beginners, light weight that makes them easy to carry anywhere, versatility that makes them perfect to add on top of any familiar workout, and their ability to provide your body with a whole exercise, challenging every muscle on your body. They are easy to store and are a perfect accessory to add variety to your workout. When your muscles get use to a certain type of movement, they don't work as hard - so break up your routine with the exercise bands.


Stretching is highly beneficial for your mental health. When you stretch, you release dopamine, which is responsible of making you feel happier and more positive in everyday life. After yoga practice, people end up with higher levels of allopregnanolone, which is a natural antidepressant.

Physical benefits from stretching are also important. When you stretch, your muscles and tendons loosen up, relieving muscle fatigue, which makes you able to exercise for longer and become more flexible, as well as help with injury prevention. In addition, if you’re experiencing the menopausal symptom of interrupted sleep, a stretching morning routine is a must for you as it can go a long way with helping you sleep better.


A regular yoga practice can bring with it many benefits, including the ability to help relieve stress, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and hot flushes. On top of this, you’ll also feel more flexible than you’ve even been.

Let’s look at some of the best yoga poses for stress and menopausal symptom relief:

Bridge pose

This pose is perfect for spine and back elongation as well as stress relief. It can also help reduce fatigue and insomnia, while easing anxiety and headaches.

Standing forward bend

This pose focuses on stretching the hamstrings and hips, and it is used to fight osteoporosis. It can also help with reducing stress and keeping a calm mind.

Plow pose

This inverted position, where the heart is below the head, can help relieve fatigue and insomnia while easing backaches, fight anxiety, and give your mind a break from the daily grind.

Child's pose

Child’s pose is believed to promote feelings of calmness, anxiety, fatigue, and stress relief, as it focuses heavily on breathing, while stretching the back and legs.

Downward-facing dog

This pose helps with stress relief and promotes calm and relaxation, while at the same time stretching the upper back and legs. It also reduces menstrual pain and can help with osteoporosis prevention.

Seated forward bend

This basic pose is helpful in alleviating mild symptoms of depression, menstrual pain, fatigue, and insomnia.

Camel pose

Camel pose can aid with backaches related to menopause and menstrual pains, anxiety, and fatigue.


Kegel exercises are those that are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor or kegel muscles. Those are the muscles supporting your bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. Doing kegel exercises will help you combat loss of libido as well as incontinence, which is a common symptom women going through menopause experience. Combined with aerobic exercise, kegels are the perfect, healthy, and natural option to increase sex drive and stimulate the same muscles that contract during an orgasm.

To practise them correctly, the first thing you need to do is tighten your muscles. You can even do this by stopping urine mid-flow, or by inserting a finger into your vagina to identify the muscle that’s contracting. After that, all you need to do is contact your pelvic muscles for five seconds, release, relax, and go again. Remember not to hold your breath while doing them, and to do at least 3 repetitions three times per day. The good thing is, you can do them everywhere - and no one needs to know about it!

Here are some other exercises that can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles:


Lie on your back and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Then on an inhale, lift your hips up to the ceiling. Hold this position for ten seconds, rest, and repeat ten times.

Wall squat

Stand against a wall with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale and while engaging your pelvic muscles, squat with your back against the wall. Hold for ten seconds, rest, and do ten repetitions.

Jumping jacks

Begin standing with your pelvic floor engaged. Bring your arms overhead and open your legs out to be about shoulder-width apart. Release your pelvic floor muscles as you bring your legs and arms back together. Repeat at least five times.


Facial exercises do exist, and in fact, they play an important role in keeping all fifty muscles in your face nice and tight, so you can look younger for longer. These are some basic facial exercises to get you started.

  • Eyebrows and eyes - To keep your eyebrows looking great, raise them as high as you can, open your eyes as wide as possible, and hold the position for five seconds. Rest, and repeat.
  • Tongue exercise - Open your mouth as wide as you can, and stick your tongue out as far as you can. Hold for at least five seconds.
  • Cheeks - Press down on your cheeks using your fingers, and smile as hard as you can.
  • Nose - Try to move your nose from side to side, as far as you can.
  • Mouth - Pucker your lips as much as possible, and put them in the shape of an “O”. Maintain this position for as long as you can.
  • Neck - To exercise the neck muscles, sit in a chair and look up at the ceiling, sticking out your tongue as much as possible.

Going through the journey of menopause? Let the experts at the Australian Menopause Centre guide you and ensure you receive the proper care and advice you deserve.