The menopause can have a big impact on life for many women, as they navigate changes to their biology, relationships, and work.
Annabella Smith is 58 and has been a Lincs Inspire Leisure member for two years. She works out daily at Grimsby Leisure Centre and is an advocate for the role fitness can play in helping to manage symptoms of the menopause.
Annabella said: “I’ve always been an active person. I love keeping fit and the routine from coming to gym.
“When I started experiencing the menopause in my forties, I noticed there was a connection between exercise and my symptoms. I can deal with the hot flushes a lot better during and after activity – they feel more manageable.
“I also feel better mentally - working out takes my mind off it and allows me to focus on something positive. After working out, I think ‘Thank God I’ve been to the gym!’”
The menopause happens when a woman’s periods stop due to lower hormone levels. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.
Symptoms and severity differ from person to person and can include anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes and irregular periods.
Annabella added: “Having a supportive community around you is important. The atmosphere in the gym is fantastic! It’s always friendly and sociable and there’s also a good balance, so you’re not distracted from working out either.”
The menopause can be a daily battle for many women, with things like confidence, depression, weight gain and balancing work and family life. Our job as a fitness team is to listen, support and tailor the workout to fit the individual. Annabella is an inspiration - she rarely misses a day in the gym and is a great advert for the benefits of fitness in overall health.Jenny Jones Fitness Supervisor, Lincs Inspire
If you’re going through the menopause and looking to introduce exercise as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle, speak to your GP, who may be able to refer you on to the Lincs Inspire Active Forever programme.
Alternatively, discover more about all our membership options online or come and speak to our fitness teams at Grimsby Leisure Centre, Cleethorpes Leisure Centre or Immingham Swimming Pool.
A number of books and resources are available from Lincs Inspire Libraries to offer support and guidance on the menopause - browse titles below.