The menopause may have affected how you exercise. It is not linear process and may be a ‘normal’ rite of passage for a woman but that doesn’t mean it’s not been massively disruptive. If you are struggling to start exercising again after the menopause you may have been feeling exercise guilt as you know how important it is for your health to exercise but the affects post menopause is still rippling out.

Most women don’t have an information problem when it comes to exercise and the health benefits. We all know exercising is important as you continue to grow older and post menopause you are more susceptible to more medical conditions. I think we all know that.

What most post menopausal women have is an implementation problem. How to exercise when navigating menopausal symptoms that can make exercising impossible if not deeply unpleasant.

I know that I have forced myself to exercise at times in a way that I would never have done 10 years ago. Simply because I felt this exercise guilt and that I should be doing something.

In textbooks, the menopause is described as a normal part of a women cycle and usually describes it as linear. Yes, I think it was probably written by a man!
Door to door, the ripples of the menopause can last up to a decade for some. Peri-menopause starting in mid-forties (and usually not knowing that it is the menopause). Post menopause is 12 consecutive months without a period, the average age is 52 in UK. Then your body has to acclimatise to not having a menstrual cycle which can throw up different set of symptoms.

The Fitness Industry Exercise Guidelines do not change at this time, just a cursory do your best, do what you can. If you cannot exercise as you used to what do you do? Not exercise for a decade because you are unable to exercise with intensity?

So, what is the answer? Knowing that doing something is better than nothing!

To (r)evolutionise how you exercise:
• Challenges come in all shapes and sizes not just the ‘go hard or go home’ types
• What exercise skills do you want to learn that are low intensity – hello weight training!
• What are the habits you want to keep – still go to the gym but go for a swim instead
• What does a bare bones exercise routine look like for you?
• What is just for fun? If you were to exercise free from expectations how would that look for you?

Instead of ‘go hard or go home’ what about ‘go slow and go steady’

Keep your destination goal in mind to choose how you want to enjoy this season of exercising which is like no other! Exercising for fun and without any expectations other than feeling good

Samantha Valand is a Pilates teacher, Yoga Instructor and Personal Trainer. Who helps women fall in love with exercising again after the menopause. You can find some inspiration over on the blog  Samatha has a free newsletter  and a fun way to sign up is through my 'Exercising and Elements | Post menopause Quiz' which help you figure out what type of fitness goal to set next using Exercising and Elements framework