Start the New Year in a New Gear: Top fitness tips for 2019 from PT Katie Morris
Hi Everyone. My name is Katie Morris. I work as a Consultant at Matt Roberts Training in London and come with many years’ experience in the areas of personal training, nutritional therapy and lifestyle coaching. I used to play professional football for Everton Ladies Football Club. I’ve trained athletes, celebrities and the Saudi Royal Family, yet still, my all-time highlight is... coaching women worldwide to support their bodies throughout the menopausal years.
I starting paying close attention to the menopause after I watched my mother go through every twist and turn, tear and tantrum that menopause had to offer. I felt helpless, especially when she came to me one day and asked for help. As the ‘health and fitness guru’ of the family, I had no option but to accept. It was my duty to make her smile again. I started researching online, reading journals, articles, blogs and podcasts. I contacted former University lecturers, medical experts within the field... anyone I could possibly think of to try and make sense of what she was going through. I didn’t just want to understand the signs and symptoms – the hot flushes, the night sweats, the migraines, the itchy skin, the mood swings, libido loss, the list goes on… I wanted to understand the who, what, why, where and when of every aspect of her journey.
The benefits of exercise are endless
As we age, our body breaks down muscle and bone quicker than we can repair or reproduce it, therefore exercise plays a key role in maintaining strong muscles and healthy bones into our later years. The benefits of exercise really are endless. We so often hear about how we need to exercise to lose body fat, but we often forget to acknowledge the other benefits. The feel-good hormones (endorphins) that are released after exercise have such a positive impact on the rest of your day, not only do you feel great, you’re more inclined to eat well, get a good night’s sleep, stress less, smile at a stranger, be calmer with your partner or children – almost sounds too good to be true!
As it’s New Year and you’re probably fed up of the sight of food and drink, I think now is as good a time as any to ask the question…
So, where to start with exercise through menopause?
First off, if you’re engaging in forms of exercise that you don’t enjoy, stop. Stop that right now! There are so many enjoyable and effective forms of exercise and there is definitely something out there for everyone. Choose to move in ways that make you feel a heart-warming combination of strong and sexy. Move in ways that light you up, not in ways that societal conditioning has told you that you ‘should’ move, such as going to the gym. Although it’s often the last thing we feel like doing, especially when we’re lacking in energy for everyday tasks and feeling a little sorry for ourselves. But getting moving is a great way to show ourselves self-care.
You don’t need a pricey gym membership to exercise either. You can dance in your bedroom to your favourite songs, follow along with free fitness videos on YouTube, or you can simply pop some trainers on and head out for a walk or run. Exercising outside has additional benefits too, particularly for reducing stress levels.
2. Make it a priority
Another useful tip is to schedule your movement in your diary and make it a priority – cancel in life or death situations only. If you’re hungover on the sofa feeling sorry for yourself because you indulged in one too many glasses of wine the night before (and we all deserve those nights) – stand up, give yourself a shake and remember why you started this journey in the first place.
3. Find something that suits you
Below are some ideas for ways you can move your body and all of them can really help you through the menopause:
- Gentle/brisk walking
- Light jogging
- Home workouts
- Gym Classes
- Tai Chi
- Salsa dancing
If you’re familiar with exercise routines but you’re short on time, or if the word 'gym' just isn’t in your vocabulary, then a home workout could be a great place for you to start. Try something small you know you can commit to, such as 15-20 minutes, two or three times a week. Build it up from there. You don’t need equipment to get you started, just some comfortable clothes, a bottle of water and, of course, good music! Below I have outlined a home workout for you to try and if you click here, I’ve recorded a demonstration video to help get you started.
1a - Bodyweight squats x 60 seconds
1b - Duck walks x 30 sec
1c - Toe-offs x 12-15 each side
2a - Side plank x 20-30 seconds
2b - Birddogs x 20 each side
3a - Push ups x 60 seconds (elevate on a bench or worktop)
3b - Sit-ups or toe reaches x 10-20 reps
4 - Bear walks into plank
(Do 15 seconds of bear walks and as you finish, stay in that position and hold for a 30 second plank – after you’re done go back and repeat … that’s one round and you should try for 3-4 rounds in total)
(Take as much time you need to finish it and record how long it takes – try to beat it each time!)
Learn to love yourself
Give yourself time to discover what forms of movement feel good for you and you will reap the benefits. Once you start to exercise, you’ll see that it really can help with overcoming fear and anxiety, bouts of depression, sleepless nights, expanding waistlines and much more. My mission is to inform women out there so they can tackle the negative talk and learn to love themselves and the body they’re in. The ‘looking good’ part is simply a by-product of the internal healing process that we go through in my online coaching program.
If you’d like to know more, please get in touch. You can message me at @katiemorrisfitness on Facebook or book a free support call by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about one-to-one coaching, or group programmes with like-minded women on the same journey of self-discovery and managing menopause. In the meantime I hope I have given you some exercise ideas and here’s to 2019 being the year that you get moving – and tackle the menopause head on.
Good Luck. Katie
Thanks Katie, that’s just the inspiration we need to get started! And whilst we're on the subject of exercise, Become now stocks amazing leggings, perfect for a workout. Find out more about them here.
Many thanks to Katie and Lorraine Candy for the pictures.
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