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Beat Perimenopause with These 7 Exercises

Perimenopause is the time before menopause when hormonal and biological changes and physical symptoms begin to occur. Here are 7 exercises to help you through it.

Women's Health By Ariba Khaliq / Mar 18, 2015

What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the 12 consecutive months without a period, and happens prior to menopause. This stage is marked by a decrease in your hormonal levels- that of oestrogen and so, you will start experiencing symptoms like mood swings, hot flushes, sleeping trouble, forgetfulness, and irregular periods. When your oestrogen levels drop, you accumulate belly fat, stand a high risk of heart attack, lose bone mass, and experience an accelerated muscle withering. Exercise plays a vital role during this time. Here are seven exercises that will help you tighten and tone common trouble spots of perimenopause. They will help you tone your body and strengthen bones, muscles, joints, and even your heart. You can add these to your regular workout routine for about two to three times a week.

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Best Lower Body Exercise: Squats

Squats help improve glutes and strengthen the entire lower body. Place your feet, just wider than shoulder width, with your toes pointed out slightly. Keeping your back straight, lower your body down and back as if you are sitting down into a chair, until your thighs are parallel to the ground (or as close to parallel as possible).  Make sure your knees do not pass over your toes, and keeps your abs tightly activated to ensure a straight spine.  Rise back up slowly. Repeat!

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Best Thigh Exercise: Crab Walk

Just like squats, crab walk tightens glutes, along with outer thigh muscles and helps strengthen the hip joint. Sit with your legs spread out in front of you, a shoulder’s width apart and feet flat on the ground. Bring your arms behind you with your palms flat and gently raise yourself off the ground tightening your gluteus muscles. Practice holding this position until it feels comfortable. Try a few crab walks by getting in the position of hands and feet which are mentioned above. Begin slowly crawling forward starting with your right hand and left foot followed by the left hand and right foot.

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Best Upper Body Exercise: Push-ups

Few women have a  hard time to do push-ups, but all they need is consistency, effort and determination. Push-ups work your chest, shoulders and triceps and help strengthen your wrists too. With your arms straight, butt clenched, and abs braced, steadily lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle or smaller. Depending on your level of experience, age, and flexibility, 90 degrees might be the lowest you’re able to go. Once your chest touches the floor (or your arms go down to a 90 degree angle), pause slightly and then explode back up until you’re back in the same position.

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Best Triceps Exercise: Dips

This move helps tighten and tone the biceps. Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep.

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Best core Exercise: Planks

Planks engage the core muscles, which helps support your back as well as flatten your abs. Lie face down in a pushup position. Keep your palms on the floor next to your shoulders and your feet flexed with the bottoms of your toes on the floor. Take a deep breath and press up into a pushup. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the top of your head. Draw your navel toward your spine and tighten your buttocks. Look at the floor to keep your head in neutral position and breathe normally. Hold for at least 10 seconds and lower yourself back to the floor.

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Best Abdominal Exercise: Reverse Crunch

Reverse crunch pulls in and helps tighten and tone lower abdominal muscles. Lay down on the exercising floor straight. Extend and stretch your arms completely with your hands placed palms down on the floor. Keeping your feet together, pull up your knees towards your chest, until you have your thighs making a 90 degrees angle with the floor and your calves being parallel to the floor. While you inhale your breath, curl up your hips off the floor by bringing your knees even closer towards your chest. Hold for a count of one. While you exhale, steadily return your legs to the start position.

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Run and Walk: Intervals

Compared to moderate walking or jogging, alternating high-intensity cardio with less intense rest periods burns more belly fat and overall body fat. Interval training for three hours a week for two weeks was shown to improve fat burning, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. During the study, women cycled for four minutes at high intensity followed by two minutes of rest intervals for over an over.

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