Many women experience a range of negative physical symptoms at this time including brain fog, mood and sleep disorders, irritability and the dreaded weight gain. These changes are all attributed to changing hormone levels and it is widely agreed that the best way to limit the negative effects of menopause and perimenopause is to reduce stress and the effects of cortisol on your body.

As your body changes it is important to modify your fitness regime if you have one already or to start increasing your activity levels to combat weight gain. Research has shown that HIT workouts and high impact cardio are not as effective as many older women expect them to be in reducing body fat.

Studies have show that low impact cardio, resistance training, Zumba, yoga, walking, cycling, light jogging and swimming are more effective for keeping your joints strong and improving your fitness levels.

Strength training and keeping muscles and bones strong helps to burn calories more efficiently, which in turn improves blood sugar levels and has a positive impact on mobility, flexibility and balance as we get older.

A recent study at the University of Granada showed that Zumba can increase happiness levels with the effects lasting for two months. That is quite something if you think about it, for an hours exercise.

Yoga studies have also shown that benefits can be felt as a supplementary treatment against hot flushes, depression, pain, cognitive symptoms, sleep/mood disorders, balance, and bone and muscle strength are all increased.

Just walking in the fresh air or on a treadmill can help with low mood, reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure.  Scientists at Brown University showed that 2-3 x 40-minute walks per week can help to protect your heart, reduce weight, strengthen bones and muscles, and increase your energy levels.