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Tackling Exercise during Perimenopause and Menopause

Perimenopause and menopause bring with them a lot of change. With the production of estrogen and progesterone gradually decreasing, and in particular a big drop in estrogen levels, women can experience psychological responses such as irritability, vulnerability, hopelessness, anxiety and physical responses such as extreme fatigue, joint pain, dizziness and night sweats.

women using outdoor gym equipment for cardio and strength training

25th March 2024

Women are advised to stay active as it is enormously beneficial, but it’s tough to keep our bodies moving when feeling lethargic and unmotivated. 

For this reason, we have created three practical and gentle approaches to managing your daily exercise by combining exercise, fresh air and rest to boost your ongoing health and happiness in manageable chunks. 


1. High Quality Sleep

View sleep as an investment to give you more energy to work out. If your children are older and you now have the chance to get a full night’s sleep, try and get as much sleep as you can. 

Take a hot bath, do a short meditation or read a good book – don’t look at your phone! – and this will prepare your body for sleep. A little bit of self-care factored in just before bedtime will work wonders for the quality of your sleep. 

Beginning bedtime relaxed promotes falling into a deep sleep or ‘slow-wave’ sleep and this is the main time when your body renews and repairs itself. This stage of sleep is the one that plays the greatest role in energy, enhancing your ability to make Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body's energy molecule. The better your sleep quality, the better you will face the following day, when your hormone fluctuations can zap you of energy. 


2. Exercise in the Morning

Energy levels start to peter off mid-afternoon, so the early part of the day is a great time to exercise. Exercising in the morning can help us to feel more awake and alert, enhancing mental clarity and focus for the rest of the day. Heading straight out to exercise before all the distractions of the day kick in also gives your metabolism a great boost. 

Exercise in the morning sets you up for what you feel like you want to eat throughout the day. 

Evidence suggests that physical fitness affects people's everyday responses to food, which could play a key role in weight maintenance. In some past studies, active people of normal weight displayed less interest in high-fat, calorie-dense foods than inactive people who were obese, meaning you make healthier food choices. 


3. Exercise Outdoors

A 2021 literature review found evidence of associations between being out in nature and improved cognitive function, brain activity, blood pressure, mental health, physical activity, and sleep. Especially, with regard to cognitive function, deficits have been described in women during the menopausal transition, such as working memory, attention, reduced processing speed, and reduced verbal memory. Being outdoors really does benefit women experiencing this life change.

At Fresh Air Fitness, we have installed over 4000 outdoor gyms nationwide. They can be found in local parks, green spaces, next to community centres, along trim trails and beside children’s playgrounds. They are completely free to use and include a range of all-weather equipment which targets the whole body. You can expect to find cardio pieces such as the elliptical cross trainer or the bike, resistance pieces such as the leg press and the pull-down challenger and chest press or pieces with support core strength such as the sit up benches


4. Muscle Loss and Strength Training

From as early as your thirties, our bodies begin lose a little bit of muscle mass, bit by bit. It is a completely normal part of aging called ‘sarcopenia’. In perimenopause, women tend to lose a little bit more muscle mass as hormone levels drop, because there are hormone receptors in muscles. 

For this reason, during the phases of Perimenopause and Menopause, building moderate weightlifting and resistance exercises into your daily exercise routines is an excellent way to mitigate muscle loss. Equipment from our strength range found in all our gyms will help achieve this.

The combination of fresh air and fitness is evident and more and more councils are approaching us to discuss exciting new installations. 

For a full list of Fresh Air Fitness outdoor gyms, use our free outdoor gym locator tool


About Us

Since 2007, Fresh Air Fitness has been providing schools, colleges, universities, parks, and community spaces with sustainable and innovative outdoor gym solutions. 

Our attractive, all-weather and easy-to-use equipment is an excellent way to encourage people to enjoy more physical activity with their friends for motivation. Regular exercise leads to happy, healthy communities. 

We have installed over 4000 gyms nationwide and provide an end-to-end service from initial site visit to design, delivery, and installation. We project manage your outdoor gym project from inception to completion and provide full after sales care through our dedicated team of outdoor gym specialists. Read some of our success stories here.


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