Whilst I haven’t experienced Menopause personally, I have worked with many women how have gone through this change. And though I know I’m not an expert by any means, I’ve done my best to become more informed of what occurs within the female body during this period of time.
As a female approaches menopause, the production of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone by the ovaries start to slow down. Hormone levels tend to fluctuate and many women begin to experience changes in their menstrual cycle. During menopause, which commonly occurs in a woman’s 40’s or 50’s, though it can occur earlier or later, a female will likely experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, anxiety and/or depression.
Another change which commonly occurs is the increase in weight/fat gain, and increased difficulty in manipulating body composition. If I woman was to continue the same exercise and nutrition routine she prior to menopause, the equivalent effort in the gym or in regards to dieting, would no longer be sufficient to achieve or maintain the same results she once did.
This is why it’s so important for women to take time out throughout the different cycles of their lives to evaluate and re-evaluate their health and fitness goals. Unlike men who experience only a small selection of physiological changes throughout life, women not only experience weekly variations in physiology, but even more significant physiological changes throughout their lives.
Due to this ever changing physiology of the female body, it’s important for women to understand their physiological needs, wants and requirements as they go throughout life, as what was once appropriate for a 20-something female is unlikely to be appropriate for a women in her 60’s, and what was suitable to a female pre-pregnancy may not be suitable for her during or post pregnancy.
It can be hard to accept the ever changing physiology of the female body, and frustrating to understand what those changes mean when it comes to being fit and healthy. But it’s important to know that there is the knowledge, support and guidance out there, to help you continue striving forward toward your health and fitness goals throughout your life.
As women, we experience so many physiological changes from week to week, month to month, year to year it can be difficult to keep up and know how to manage each change accordingly. But even though each of us women will vary so differently from person to person, this one thing will remain the same, the only person who will ever truly know our body and ourselves as well as we do is ourselves.
So whilst it’s important for us to be as informed as we can be, it’s more important for us to learn to listen to our body’s and treat them accordingly… and not beat ourselves up!
Whether it’s understanding with the 4 different physiologies you will face every month, adapting to the changes that occur during pre, post and during pregnancy, or working with the changes that occur during menopause, there is a lot we can all learn, both men and women, and do to help ourselves continue to thrive as our best selves.
Switching off social media, falling in love with your body and ignoring the 1% of genetic anomalies that ‘bounce back’, have ‘abs all year round’, and have never experiences a dimple of cellulite in their lives or on camera thanks to photoshop is essential if we’re ever going to give ourselves the treatment and respect it deserves.
As women we are likely to have more body fat than our male counterparts, we are likely to continuously be battling hunger and craving and tens of thousands of years of evolution, and we’re likely going to have societies anomalous thrust at us as if they are the norm.
So it’s up to us to be as educated as we can be, and pass that information on to other women who might be tearing themselves up because they didn’t lift the same weights this week (I know the feeling), or put on 2kg (which regularly happens to me during my menstrual cycle), or looked down and saw the cheeky little dimples on their thighs (yes, I have started to develop this too).
I honestly believe we should not be sacrificing our physical, mental or emotional beings in an attempt to be lean, meet expectations or look a certain way. There’s far too much awesomeness in life to be giving it up for whatever the current trend is, thin, lean, muscular, optimally curvy, because the cost of doing what the majority of us women would need to do to achieve the trending ideal female body is simply too high… And I’d much rather be happy, healthy and fit.
This article was originally published to the Konquer Fitness Community on February 15th.
Thank you so much for being part of my 5 part Female Fitness series.
I hope you’ve been able to take something away from these emails that will help you be happier, healthier, fitter and more confident as the amazing woman you are… or if you’re a guy, be more understanding and supportive of the amazing women in your life.
If this series has left you thinking about your own approach to health and fitness, let’s talk through your individual situation and see what might be the best approach for you, your goals and your needs.
With no obligation, we can have a chat and come up with a plan that’s going to not only be the right fit for your body, but get you enthusiastic about training and get you the results your seeking too