Julie Robinson is our guest blogger this month. She is the Director of MenoHealth and is a fitness specialist in Menopause Exercise classes. Here Julie gives her top tips on how joining MenoHealth classes and fitness can help during the menopause.
Given that all women are certain to experience the menopause, it’s astonishing to think that it’s still surrounded by myths, taboos and confusion.
I had to have a hysterectomy at 36 and was advised against taking HRT. I had no idea that the long nights of insomnia that plagued me for years was anything to do with menopause. Nor did I associate the heart palpitations that led to me being admitted to hospital, with menopause. It was a throwaway remark by the consultant who assured me I wasn’t having a heart attack, that this disruption to the heart rhythm is often associated with “the change.”
Thanks to the recent surge of TV coverage, radio programmes, magazine articles, hubs and forums, at last, the taboos are being tackled. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution but all the research and reports show that there are three things that can take the misery out of menopause: exercising, healthy eating and talking.
*Women in Sport’s recent report found that “Menopausal symptoms, low exercise self-efficacy and physical activity knowledge, social stigma and lack of social support are significant barriers to participation.”
Just when women need to start exercising more often, almost a third of women drop off from physical activity, yet the desire to be active is high.
Having spent my career encouraging people to be more physically active, along with my personal experience of menopause, this led me to create Menohealth to make it easier for women to get the advice and support they need to help them through the ups and downs of menopause.
Menohealth combines 24/7 help and advice through our online community along with face-to-face support and exercise at our unique MenoClasses.
MenoClass is the first of its kind in the UK to combine talking therapy and exercise to combat menopause-related health problems. Each session includes 15 minutes discussion on topics such as busting menopause myths, waist loss, lost libido, confidence crisis and all things meno. Talking, sharing and supporting each other helps everyone to realise – it’s not just me then!
This is followed by 45 minutes of exercise designed especially for people who don’t like exercise, hate the gym or just feel too embarrassed or lacking in confidence to join other exercise groups. Music gets everyone motivated and each exercise can be done at one of three levels (1, 2, or 3 flames depending how hot you want to get).
There’s no complex choreography, yet the routines ensure you get a full workout for heart health, some impact for boosting bones, mat work for core strength and muscle tone, balance work and stretches to keep aches and pains at bay, followed by a mindful cool down.
Margaret was very nervous about exercising as she suffered with joint pain, but was amazed at the result saying, “The exercise is great, it’s not overwhelming…it’s really helped my wellbeing and now I’m not so frightened to go out and do some more exercise.”
My aim is to help more women enjoy a healthier and happier menopause. If you want to make a difference to the 13 million women going through menopause in the UK then contact us to find out about training to be a MenoLeader or coming along to a MenoClass at www.menohealth.co.uk.