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The Power of Strength Training for Perimenopause: Unlocking Physiological and Hormonal Benefits

Perimenopause is a natural transitional phase in a woman's life that marks the onset of hormonal changes leading up to menopause. While this transition can bring about various challenges, incorporating strength training into your fitness routine during this period can provide a multitude of physiological and hormonal benefits.

perimenopause, active, fitness, workouts
Women being active in midlife

In this post, I share how strength training can be a game-changer (think magic!) for women in perimenopause, empowering us to maintain optimal health and well-being.

  1. Improved Bone Health: One of the most significant concerns for women entering perimenopause is the decline in estrogen levels, which can lead to a decrease in bone density and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Strength training, particularly weight-bearing exercises, plays a crucial role in stimulating bone formation. By subjecting your bones to the stress of resistance training, you can stimulate the production of osteoblasts, cells responsible for bone formation. This helps maintain and even increase bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

  2. Increased Muscle Strength and Mass: Perimenopause is often accompanied by a loss of muscle mass and strength, known as sarcopenia. Strength training offers a powerful solution to combat this natural decline. Regular resistance training stimulates muscle protein synthesis, leading to increased muscle mass and strength. By engaging in strength training exercises such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or resistance band workouts, women can counteract muscle loss, improve their functional strength, and enhance their overall physical performance.

  3. Enhanced Metabolic Function: As women age, their metabolic rate tends to slow down, resulting in weight gain and difficulty in weight management. Strength training can help rev up your metabolism. Muscles are metabolically active tissues, and by increasing muscle mass through strength training, you can raise your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This means that even at rest, your body will burn more calories, facilitating weight maintenance or loss. Additionally, strength training can improve insulin sensitivity, aiding in better blood sugar control and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  4. Hormonal Balance: Hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause can bring about uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. Engaging in regular strength training can have a positive impact on hormonal balance. Exercise, including strength training, triggers the release of endorphins, known as "feel-good" hormones, which can improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Furthermore, strength training has been shown to increase the production of growth hormone and testosterone, both of which decline with age. These hormones play a vital role in maintaining muscle mass, reducing body fat, and improving overall vitality.

  5. Enhanced Cardiovascular Health: Cardiovascular health becomes increasingly important during perimenopause, as estrogen's protective effects on the heart decline. Strength training, when performed with proper intensity and volume, offers cardiovascular benefits. It can lower blood pressure, improve lipid profiles, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, strength training can enhance endothelial function, which is crucial for maintaining healthy blood vessels.

It's crystal clear that strength training during perimenopause offers women numerous physiological and hormonal benefits from supporting bone health, preserving muscle mass and strength, boosting metabolism, aiding in hormonal balance, and promoting cardiovascular well-being.

women working out in perimenopause
women working out and stretching

Incorporating regular strength training exercises into your fitness routine (such as my July Workout Challenge) can empower us perimenopausal women to navigate this transitional phase with greater confidence, vitality, and overall physical well-being.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified fitness trainer to develop a personalized strength training program that suits your needs and abilities.

Embrace the power of strength training to unlock a healthier, more vibrant you during perimenopause and beyond.

Julie xo


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