Exercise and Menopause
Embarrassment. That’s what I felt when I recently tried out a keep fit class where everyone, apart from me, knew the complicated routines. Hiding at the back of the room, I was caught out when they turned round and I hadn’t even got the instructor to copy! It reinforced just how important it is for group exercise instructors to make sure everyone feels at ease. Even though I’m a regular exerciser, I decided not to go back to that class again.
Negative associations with exercise can also prevent us from joining a class or trying something new. Unhappy memories of PE at school can stay with us, especially from our teenage years when you dread any attention being focused on you in a situation that is not in your control. From the surge of hormones during our teens to the turbulence of our hormones during menopause, the feeling stays the same; everyone else is better/slimmer/fitter than you. So we go from teenage blushing to menopausal flushing.
Motivation & Confidence
This Girl Can launched their Fit Got Real campaign to reach out to women who feel left behind by traditional exercise. They found that women are put off physical activity due to a fear of judgement:
“…this might be about the way they look when they exercise, that they’re not good enough to join in or they should be spending more time on their families or other priorities.”
The barriers to exercise multiply through menopause. Many lose their motivation or confidence, or just feel too tired to exercise. Then there are heavy periods and pelvic floor problems, hot flushes, achy joints and brain fog. It’s little wonder so few of us are working out when we just want to lie in.
Given that one third of women drop off from physical activity during menopause, we have to find a way to make exercise so enjoyable that we can’t wait to do it. This is why we developed MenoClass, which is far more than just an exercise class. It helps women to come together to socialise and exercise in a safe, non-judgemental environment. You can workout at an intensity and pace to suit you and it includes all the elements you need in one class to save you time.
Each session includes 15 minutes discussion on topics such as weight gain, HRT, libido, brain fog and anxiety with the aim of busting those menopause myths. Talking, sharing and supporting each other helps everyone to realise they are not going through menopause alone.
This is followed by 45 minutes of fabulous fitness routines to great music and exercises can be done at one of three levels.
- No complex choreography
- Fun workout for heart health
- Impact for boosting bones
- Mat work for core strength & muscle tone
- Balance work & stretches
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Mindful cool down
Tania, self-confessed exercise-phobic, is now a convert and has trained to become a MenoLeader to inspire other women like her:
“I have always hated exercise. Then I had breast cancer and have really suffered through menopause as I can’t take HRT. I wanted to stay healthy for my grandchildren so I lost four stone and it gave me a new lease of life. Now I’m dancing around the kitchen and planning my routines whenever I can; it’s just good fun and I’ve even rediscovered my waist!”
If you want to come along to MenoClass or train to be a MenoLeader, get in touch: