As you know I mainly work in my pilates sessions with women who are entering their 3rd stage of life, that is the time in or beyond their menopause. So many of these women find their shoulders stiffen up or are painful on movement, they visit their GP’s and are diagnosed with Frozen Shoulder. I wonder why? As many of these women have been ‘moving’ with me for many years, their shoulders are mobile, they are flexible and strong… so why?
I was surprised by some of the results of my recent survey aimed towards 40+ women and their pelvic situations. A staggering 64% of them admitted to accidentally leak urine when exercising, playing sport, laughing, coughing or sneezing? And of these women, none of them had seeked any treatment to help them recover from this embarrassing situation.
Many women, when questioned, said things like ‘it’s my age”, “I‘ve always had this problem”, ‘It’s to be expected now I’m old’.
Let’s make one thing clear now.
Leaking urine in any circumstances, can be COMMON for women over 40, but it is totally and utterly AVOIDABLE.
I think it’s really sad that the adverts on the telly for pads have made it acceptable and ‘normal’. I hated wearing Tena ladies, they felt awful, were NOT sexy and NOT comfy. I am glad I took action with my body and now never have to wear them again.
I know this sounds silly but my passion is the 40+ woman’s pelvic health!! I know I can help you to help yourself to understand the issues, the risks the anatomy and a whole lot more stuff which will help you never to wear those bloody awful pads.
I have a 4 week course in Derby, starting in February, why not come along, take action and control of your pelvic health. Yes I get it, it can be embarrassing talking about your lady parts, but you don’t have to, I will just talk and you can just listen! (I love to talk, so that’s easy for me!). We will be doing Pilates style exercises along side our course to help you to strengthen and understand your core.
Find out more HERE
- Health Food Guide Magazine 6 month subscription £14.97 – I love this monthly magazine. It is full of healthy nutritious recipes which are beautifully designed with the 40+ woman in mind. There are always interesting articles about health, fitness and mindfulness. Every month there is a new 7 day eating plan which is based on 1500 kcals per day. Very motivating. CLICK HERE
2. The 4 Pillar Plan – £11.74 This book has condensed some of the most up-to-date and relevant research in the area of lifestyle and healthy living. It is packed full of ideas and tips and is easy to understand, fun and inspiring. The author is a GP and has a wealth of knowledge on all wellness topics.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to live a healthy life, anyone with illnesses such as diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks. Anyone wanting to lose weight and feel better. And if you already have this book, he also has one called The Stress Solution (£10) and a new one coming out on 27th Dec called Feel Better in 5 (£8.47).
3. Mirafit 15mm Extra Thick Exercise Floor Mat – Many women in my pilates classes ask me where they can purchase a good pilates mat from. Amazon has this one from MIRA for a great price of just £9.97. It’s 15mm thick, and feels great on your spine. They come in a lovely range of colours. A great choice for a low cost Christmas gift.
4. The Calm App Annual Subscription – Calm is an app which provides a new daily guided 10 minute meditation each day. The annual sub is £59 for the year, however you can try it first for free for 30 days. Find out more about meditation and its benefits here.
5. The Hog (£20) and the Bender Ball (£7) – These are a couple of the pilates props we use in our classes every week. I now have them for you to purchase as I know these two pieces of equipment will ease your aches and pains as well as improve your flexibility and strength in your body. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to order one for delivery in the New Year.
Most women are unprepared for changes in their vagina as they go through their perimenopause + menopause years, which are essentially the 40s and 50s. I know I was!
A healthy vagina has a pH of 3.6-4.5. This is an acidic environment where oestrogen creates glycogen and glycogen allows the predominance of lacotbacilli species to dominate.
This diverse gut microbiome is good in your tummy. But a diverse vaginal microbiome is not. A healthy vagina has LOW microbial diversity.
A healthy vagina also has a thick epithelium which provides protection from irritation, and chafing, whether that be from tight clothes or intercourse.
The menopausal vagina is very, very different than the pre menopausal vagina. Oestrogen drives the changes in the menopausal vagina.
When there is low/no oestrogen (as in menopause) + when there is waning oestrogen (as in perimenopause), vaginal health suffers.
I’m talking about this today because it needs to be brought out of the closet. Women suffer a lot from this and it is widely under reported due to embarrassment or thinking that it’s just ‘normal vaginal atrophy’.
Unlike hot flushes, which may settle with time, vaginal problems almost never do.
What can you do?
Smoking is an independent risk factor for contracting BV (bacterial vaginosis, common in menopause)—so if you smoke, stop!
Using certain probiotics vaginally can help. Interestingly, oral probiotics, while helpful, may not have a huge impact on the vaginal microbiome. The 2 systems are not as connected as you might think. Herbal support, teas, modifying sex positions, MLT laser, maintain healthy body weight….all of these things can help.
Using topical Oestrogen lowers pH, increases lactobacilli + more. This is the most successful method of helping, or almost finding some calm in that area.
If you can’t/don’t want to use oestrogen, using a water based lube is helpful.
A healthy vagina=a happier woman=a happier midlife experience!
There are more blogs on this site regarding your pelvic region, and I regularly run 4 week courses for Pilates for Pelvic Floor.
You’ve done Pilates classes with all the small equipment, the bands, balls, magic circle and the small hand weights, now it’s time to up the anti and get bigger with your props.
Introducing to special Workshop sessions:
Last weekend I was doing some people watching, which has now evolved into posture watching for me now! There is no right or wrong posture. When you really study the human form you will see just how different we all are!
Have you ever taken a moment to think about how your negative beliefs could be messing up your efforts to adopt a healthier lifestyle?
Whilst there are many things that can get in the way of our journey towards better health and fitness, one of the main things holding us back are the subconscious beliefs we hold about ourselves.
What are limiting beliefs?
Many 40+ women experience unexplained weight gain — especially around the waist and hips — despite their best attempts to diet, exercise like crazy and eating next to nothing.
And suddenly, the usual weight loss tool box is empty.
“Meno-middle” is one of the most common complaints of perimenopausal women. Yet most women have been told that an extra 10–20 pounds is simply a rite of passage at this time of life and they should just accept their “middle-age spread.”
It’s been one of those days. You have the best intentions, but you just didn’t manage to live up to them today. Or yesterday. Maybe you’ve been struggling to meet your health and fitness goals at all this week, or maybe you’re looking back on the month just gone and wondering where it all went ‘wrong’.
The toll that stress takes, and how to recognise and manage it.
Has it got to the point where it just feels like being stressed is just your default mode? You might achieve a state of zen now and again, on holidays or on a Saturday afternoon, but you generally spend most of your days experiencing greater or lesser degrees of stress, and it’s started to just feel normal. You’ve accepted it as a reality of life.
The truth is that it has been proven that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol running through your blood stream can lead to alzheimers disease, which needs no introduction.
I’m here to tell you that stress in your life doesn’t have to be the case. And, that it really shouldn’t be the case, as those stress levels aren’t just affecting you in the here and now, but are also taking a toll on your future health, and on those around you.
If you think that stress is a problem for you, then this article is an excellent starting point for getting your life back. It’s not going to happen overnight, but with a little guidance and a little persistence, you should soon be feeling the difference.
We’re going to have a look at the negative effects that stress has on your body. Then, we’ll move on to how to recognise stress, which isn’t always that easy and, lastly, we’ll take a look at how to effectively minimise or manage it in your daily life, so that it doesn’t take over.