3rd Age – The Perimenopause & Menopause

As a 40- something year old woman I’m now approaching (or maybe I’m in the middle of) ‘the change’ – commonly known as the menopause.  As physiological changes occur, and because I’m inquisitive, I want to understand what these might be and how they may affect my body. Should I change how I exercise, and are there any nutritional changes I could make that will ease any symptoms?

Alongside my personal interest, I’m also a women’s fitness/wellness professional. I see women before, during and after pregnancy for remedial massage and exercise in personal training sessions. So I see it as my duty to be clued up and knowledgeable on issues that will affect my clients. To further my knowledge I have been studying with Burrell Education for my 3rd Age Woman Certification, and I thought now would be a good time to introduce you to what is termed, the 3rd Age.

The phrase ‘Menopause’ will be a familiar one. But what about ‘Perimenopause’? This is actually the transition period in a woman’s life that precedes the menopause. It can start in your mid or late 30’s through into your 40’s and is the time when ovaries start to produce less oestrogen. This can trigger an array of symptoms we typically associate with the menopause – but technically menopause doesn’t occur until you’ve gone 12 months without a period – ie menstruation has permanently ceased.

Put simply, the Perimenopause is the time when we see changes (often with negative consequences) and our bodies may not react to exercise or food in the same way as it always has done, and our emotional state may be altering without (what appears to be) a logical explanation. The course I’ve been studying has covered all these issues and much more, in great detail. Some of what has been addressed are:

The endocrine system – there’s lots to say on this, but basically it’s everything to do with Hormones! We looked at adrenalin resilience, the function and dysfunction of hormones, what happens and why, strategies to heal and lifestyle shifts that will promote SelfCare, balance and focus.

Exercise – there were some excellent discussions on how we need to change the type and intensity of movement, whether endurance training or metabolic circuits are still effective and optimal work:rest ratios. We’ve gone in depth with integrating core exercises with the pelvic floor, plus looked at a massive issue that needs to be included: Restorative movement.

I’ve also learned about Nutrition for hormone balance, pelvic health and bone health. I’m not going to make any claims to be an expert on nutrition, but this course has given me a superb foundation to get my clients health and well being on a more even keel.

Linked in to all these aspects is how we manage Stress – it’s common to think we have events in our life that cause us stress, we deal with that situation and then believe the stress to be gone. But, our bodies absorb and build up the effects of stress over time. This, alongside better exercise, hormone balance and nutrition must be addressed to make the 3rd Age period of your life, one in which you will ditch the victim attitude and take control.

To paraphrase one of my lecturers, we want you to THRIVE not Survive.


Contact us if you’d like to grab yourself some #SelfCare2016



PS. While this blog was scheduled we received the wonderful news that Lynne has passed her course –


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