From Perimenopause to Post-menopause | Exercise During Menopause

Exercise from perimenopause to post-menopause exercise influences the body differently than it ever has before in your life. You won’t get the same benefit from continuing the same routine that once worked. The urgency of your exercise priorities also changes.

A 2020 study confirmed accelerated muscle loss for women in late stages of perimenopause. Those losses are not inevitable.

You’re Immune If… 

If a woman from perimenopause to post-menopause:

  • changes her exercise effort to include lifting as heavy as she is safely able,
  • apply power when heavy weight is not possible, and …
  • focuses more on muscular fatigue that changes body composition over rapid movements that burn calories in the moment.

The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women course was designed – in 2013 I unknowingly began researching it and in 2014 began writing to address the need of the midlife woman. This post discusses the contents of that course heavily. You may find it a bit “promotional.” I hope you’ll find that this course either speaks to you or it doesn’t. If your routine is not working, within the description of the course modules my hope is that you’ll find the area you may have been skipping.

Who Does This Apply To?

It doesn’t matter if you’re in early or late perimenopause or early to late post menopause. It doesn’t matter if you exercise to reduce stress or to lose weight, or you love to compete in some sport. It doesn’t matter if you’ve always despised exercise or you have always loved it.

5 Simple Truths

  1. Menopause changes the effects of exercise.
  2. Menopause changes the effects of hormones.
  3. Hormones influence exercise.
  4. Exercise influences hormones.
  5. Menopause exercise should change.

Thanks to an entire (large) generation of baby boomer women who’ve made the fitness industry keenly aware that the same exercise a woman used to do won’t work anymore, you now have more answers.

Change Takes Time

But like many changes, those answers won’t be available everywhere. Trainers and health coaches even, are slow to adapt because textbooks and certification manuals are slow to change. There’s so much basic information for a trainer to learn, albeit one who doesn’t have a degree and simply loves fitness, there’s just not room for the nuances of every population.

  • Having taught in a university setting for 15 years, I know we can barely get a student out – an important economic promise today – in 4 years as it is. Trying to pack more content into an already overloaded curriculum would be impossible. Students get the basics even in a 4-year degree.
  • Being certified? As a Subject Matter Expert for American Council on Exercise, I know that a certification exam’s purpose is only to ensure that a candidate with a passing score has the minimum viable knowledge to begin a career. That’s it. A certification in other words weeds the worst candidates out. It does not guarantee a “certified personal trainer” knows everything you need them to know. Look for someone who is a specialist. [Flipping 50 Fitness Specialist]

During my time teaching we were able to discuss osteoporosis, diabetes, COPD, asthma, and pregnancy with our undergraduates. This content was relayed within a single 90-minute or shorter lecture. Never once did we discuss adolescent girls, the real difference in prenatal and post natal fitness, and of course perimenopause? Ten years ago – which is about what it’s been since I’ve been in the classroom – that wasn’t even a thing. But more topics, more populations, doesn’t mean more hours in the classroom for students.

That’s Reality

The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women Course is delivered in 8 modules, to take you where you are from perimenopause to post-menopause with attention to the following. If you are a show-me-the why, and let me experience it, woman, this course is for you.

If you like the content and you want a wholistic approach to fitness, I encourage you to join the notifications list for the Flipping 50 membership. We open twice a year. We’re opening for some special Black Friday offers in 2020 and if you miss them you’ll be sorry, but you have one more chance over the 12 days of Christmas (Dec 25-Jan 6) at the end of the year.

Let me use the organization of the course to explain the importance and meaning of each topic to you… and to your fitness.

From Perimenopause to Post-menopause Women’s Fitness 2.0

Module 1: Assess & Prepare. In this module you’ll start gathering information on you! You’ll prepare for each module to support your After 50 Fitness Formula. You’ll prep your kitchen, pantry and begin to track your current status so you can measure your progress and understand how your hormones are messaging you outwardly every day, whether you’re in peri or postmenopause.

Module 2: Nutrition. This module covers some basic guidelines about nutrition for every day, and for pre and post exercise. What, when, and why to eat and how to understand common problems like food sensitivities, micronutrient insufficiency, gut health, and symptoms like gas, bloating, or constipation as they relate to menopause hormone changes. What is “eating healthy” for you in perimenopause to post-menopause? Why, when, what, and if to snack?

And finally perimenopause to post-menopause movement

Module 3: Exercise. This module will help you understand how to plan optimal exercise for optimal hormone response during perimenopause through post menopause. Planning exercise intensity and type with the importance of time of day, and weekly schedules. What happens when you lift weights in menopause? What happens if you don’t? What qualifies as bone-density building and what misses the mark?

Module 4: Sleep. This module focuses on the changes in sleep during perimenopause and post menopause due to hormones and how to respond to them. I’ll present solutions and steps to take to improve sleep quality and quantity and discuss the importance it has on your ability to exercise, perform, and optimize your results in strength and body composition.

Trainer or Health Coach? Who didn’t have this included in your degree or your certification with any depth? Click here to not just learn more but learn how to be the expert authority for your clients. 

The Rest of the Story

Module 5: Stress. This module dives into the science of stress from all sources and offers reducing stress and the obstacle to your fitness certain habits pose. What effect does stress have on your muscle, fat, and bones perimenopause to post-menopause?

Module 6: Rest & Recovery. In this module you’ll learn the most often neglected component of a fitness program. You’ll also be introduced to choices for both active and passive recovery to enhance your fitness even when you’re not exercising. Tucked in this module is the secret to a woman’s fitness after 40 that most trainers and clients alike miss.

Two More Topics

Module 7: Hormones. In this module you will identify all of the key hormones at play in perimenopause and post menopause and the role they play in your fitness level. What happens during your transition that changes the effect exercise has on you, and how to adapt your training plan, type and timing of exercise. Which hormones are responsible for fat burning, fat storage, performance, and lean muscle.

Module 8: Whole-istic approach. This module shows you how to bring each of the prior modules together to plan your priorities. I’ll give examples of how signs & symptoms you’re experience (or lab information you have, or both together) lead you to your best first steps and focus. Though of course you need to exercise and eat for example, if you need to improve your sleep, there are ways to make every decision about your food and exercise to sleep better.

Bonus/Module 9: This bonus video module gives you resources to see and understand the exercises types discussed in Module 3. These can be used for exercise though this is not a “workout” program with progression from week to week. (If you wish to add them to your purchase, you’ll have the opportunity to bundle strength training and interval workouts at time of purchase for a special rate).

There’s more

Bonus: Adrenal Fatigue. What is it? How do you know you have it? How do you alter your exercise and nutrition strategy if you do? (Exclusive Flipping 50 Members Content)

Bonus: Bone Health Mini Course. This 4-session short course will tell you what type of strength training and cardio exercise is most beneficial, most safe, and is most risky based on whether you are trying to prevent, or to respond to treatment for osteopenia or osteoporosis. Understand Minimum Effective Stress and research interpretation necessary to make decisions that influence your long-term bone health.

What’s Your Highest Priority?

If I said to you today that age-related declines in muscle mass contribute to physical disability in older women, would you be moved enough to move? Potentially not, unless something else had gotten your attention. You’ve been subject to injuries, and had to stop exercise or lost strength and mobility recently. You’ve witnessed a parent go downhill and as you do for them, realize that without change in your own priorities nothing will prevent you from doing the same.

But if I said that the reason you’re gaining weight or belly fat, and you’re not happy with the amount of tone or energy you have is because that muscle loss is already happening at a level you’re now seeing and feeling…. That might hit you where you live.

It doesn’t matter what it takes for us to listen, as long as we’re listening.

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7290663/

The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women (updated Sept 2020)

Bone Health Mini Course

Flipping 50 Membership (Notifications List!)

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