Exercise can help ease the transition through menopause while promoting better overall physical and emotional health. If you're a midlife woman, there's no better time than now to get fit.
"Find activities you really love," says Tamilee Webb, star of numerous fitness DVDs and author of the book Tamilee Webb's Defy Gravity Workout. "Look for activities that don't impact your joints as much as the things you might have done in your 20s," adds Webb, who's in her early 50s. "For instance, you might try walking instead of jogging, or water aerobics instead of a regular aerobics class."
Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you are a woman over 50, are overweight or have a medical condition such as heart or lung disease. Then go have some fun with these activities.
- Get off the beaten path. Venture a little farther afield for walks and bike rides, and explore the hills and trails within a day's drive of your home.
- Go out and play. If there's too much snow for walking and cycling, try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing instead.
- Winterize your exercise. If staying toasty is more your style, bring your favorite summer sport inside for the winter. Pedal a stationary bike, jog on a treadmill, swim in an indoor pool or walk around the mall.
- Let yard work do double duty. Heavier lawn and garden chores, such as digging, hoeing and raking leaves, can work your muscles and burn calories.
- Make your workout child's play. Kids really know how to make the most of outdoor playtime. Join your children or grandchildren for jumping rope, inline skating, a snowball fight or a game of H-O-R-S-E on the basketball court.