Are you prepared for menopause?
As I travel and meet with other women who are interested in fitness, I often notice certain themes and topics that recur in my interactions. Lately, one of my favorite topics has come up several times: Menopause. Any woman who is in her early forties or older knows what I’m talking about.
For many of us, our forties is a critical, pivotal decade. It’s when you either start becoming interested in health and begin doing the things that will sustain you in the long run, or (I hate to say it) you really start to go to pieces in a way that’s tough to bounce back from. For women who have neglected their health, menopause comes as the coup de grace that leaves them feeling hopeless about their bodies and about ever looking and feeling better. The natural process of aging seems to be going into a steep nosedive that they just can’t pull out of.
The Dreaded “Change”
If you’re like many women, you’re dreading the change. But take a closer look. You’ve been changing all along. In fact, there’s no period of life that’s not marked by physical change. The fact is that your body reaches a peak in vitality when you are in your twenties; after that a long, gradual decline occurs where your muscle mass and bone density diminish. You will also start to see a decline in strength, endurance, balance, reaction time and mental clarity. While these declines occur very gradually over time, so much of what we experience around menopause is the result of these age related changes.
But, here is the exciting part: I believe that each of us has a “vital potential” for every stage of life – a peak level of vitality that we could be experiencing – if we were doing everything possible to reach it. There is so much potential for improvement, and because of this huge opportunity for improvement, we’re poised to experience huge gains in well being, just by realizing our potential.
So as you approach menopause, it’s best to focus on what will get you, and keep you, as close to your full “vital potential” as possible at whatever age you are.
If you’re like many women, you’re dreading the change. But take a closer look. You’ve been changing all along. In fact, there’s no period of life that’s not marked by physical change.
Where are the areas that you can make improvements? Let’s look at a few:
- Are your muscles strong?
- Are you lean, fit and active?
- Do you eat good nutritious food with a wide variety of nutrients?
- Do you keep your stress levels down?
- Do you nurture the relationships in your life and work to create good communication with the people you’re close to?
- Do you have a healthy, active sex life?
Even if you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you will still go through menopause, but it will be a completely different experience than it otherwise would have been, and it truly can be a change for the better! So focus on ways to maximize your vitality, regardless of your age or current stage of menopause.
For some great ways to stay active and fit as you age, check out my Body Boomers DVD. It includes some of my favorite workouts, including Moving Through Menopause.
Thanks for the article Kathy. Leave it to you to put a positive spin on something that yes, I have been dreading. You are absolutely right, there are so many things we can do to increase our vitality and health, and this is what really matters to me, in the long run. Thanks again. I've been doing your workouts for years and I've always loved your fun, no-attitude approach to fitness that makes everyone feel welcome. I always get a lot out of your workouts. Thanks again.