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The Three Most Important Questions You Must Ask Yourself For A Successful Menopause Fitness Routine

fitness fitnessinmenopause self reflection Feb 26, 2024
three questions for menopause fitness

Roughly three years ago, I received my ticket to the menopausal rollercoaster. Although it is by far the most unpredictable and challenging phase of my life, I have come to appreciate some of the lessons I’ve learned so far (some I sought out, and others surprise-attacked me). Navigating the ebbs and flows of career, family, and personal growth, I have always found comfort in fitness, but in the early stages of my perimenopausal journey,  that no longer seemed to be the case. Fitness no longer reaped the rewards I used to seek, and I felt quite lost. This is when I knew I needed to reevaluate my relationship with fitness and movement. This reflection has led me to one main question: “How can I redefine my goals, and perhaps most importantly, how can I cultivate a fitness routine that not only sustains me physically but nourishes my soul?”

After a lot of trial and error, I have distilled a million questions into the three most important questions to answer that question above. So if you want to uncover your own path to a sustainable fitness routine that nourishes your body and soul, then answer these three questions:

Question 1: What is your goal? Be specific and make it a non-weight loss goal.

When defining your fitness goal, specificity is key. Rather than a vague goal like "I want to get stronger," dive deeper into what that strength means to you and how it aligns with your life. For example, your goal could be to perform a full unassisted pull-up, run a 10K without stopping, or master a particular yoga pose like the crow or headstand.

Let's get creative with more examples that resonate with various interests and lifestyles. Picture yourself gliding across the dance floor, mastering intricate salsa moves with finesse, or finding solace and connection in the rhythmic flow of Tai Chi. Perhaps you're drawn to the great outdoors, envisioning yourself conquering challenging hiking trails, summiting majestic peaks, or easily navigating winding bike paths. But wait, there's more! Imagine the satisfaction of building something tangible, channeling your inner DIY enthusiast as you construct a backyard garden oasis or tackle a home renovation project. Alternatively, embrace the joy of playful movement, whether it's jumping on a trampoline, engaging in a spirited game of tag with your family, or perfecting your cartwheel technique in the park.

By pinpointing a specific skill or achievement, you give yourself a clear target to aim for, which can enhance motivation and focus. Moreover, non-weight loss goals shift the focus away from external appearance and toward functional abilities, promoting a healthier mindset and relationship with exercise.

Question 2: What is a step that you can take tomorrow to start moving toward that goal?

Once you've identified your goal, the next step is to break it down into actionable steps. Tomorrow, commit to taking a small, tangible action that aligns with your overarching objective. This step should be manageable and realistic, setting the stage for incremental progress.

For instance, if your goal is to perform a full unassisted pull-up, your initial step could involve incorporating assisted pull-up variations into your workout routine. This might include using resistance bands or an assisted pull-up machine to build strength and technique gradually.

Similarly, if you aspire to run a 10K without stopping, your first step could be to schedule a brisk walk or short jog tomorrow, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your runs over time. Consistency is key, so focus on establishing a routine that you can sustain over the long term. Dance lessons on your mind? Well, the first step could be to research dance studios in your area or recruit a friend to join you. Things are always more fun with friends. 

Again, this should be something you can start tomorrow, not next week or next month.

Question 3: Are you ready to take that step?

This final question is the most important one and serves as a reality check, prompting honest reflection on your readiness to commit to your goal and the steps required to achieve it. In my two decades as a fitness professional, I have met hundreds of people who came to me with big goals, but after sitting down and talking to them, I knew they weren’t ready. Being ready for change is absolutely crucial because many people have good intentions but fail to carry them out. Why? Because they weren’t ready. Behavior change is complex, which is why there is a lot of research on this topic. It isn’t as easy as “making up your mind” to change your behavior. There are a lot of factors that play a role. For example, the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change is one of the most commonly used models used in behavior change. It is based on empirical evidence suggesting that people go through five stages of readiness to change and is used to explore where people are in their readiness to change. If you like to nerd out on this a bit and want to know more about behavior change, check out the article I wrote for American Fitness. The most important part of this is that it is important for you to know if you are really ready to take the first step. 

Acknowledge any fears or obstacles that may be holding you back, and consider how you can overcome them. It's natural to experience doubts or hesitations along the way but remind yourself of the reasons why your goal is important to you and the potential rewards that await. Surround yourself with support, whether it's from friends, family, or a community of like-minded individuals who share your fitness journey. You can also email me if you have any questions, want my input, or want to share a win or a challenge. 

Moreover, be gentle with yourself and embrace the concept of progress over perfection. Celebrate each milestone, no matter how small, and recognize that setbacks are an inevitable part of the process. By staying flexible and adaptable, you'll navigate challenges and emerge stronger than before.

Creating a sustainable fitness routine in midlife and beyond starts with asking yourself three essential questions: 

  • Define a specific, non-weight loss goal that resonates with your passions;
  • Identify a practical step you can take tomorrow to move closer to that goal
  • Honestly assess your readiness to commit to the journey ahead. 

By embracing clarity, action, and self-awareness, you'll pave the way for a fulfilling and transformative fitness experience that enhances your overall well-being and quality of life.

And remember, no matter what path you choose, whether it's dancing or mastering the art of DIY furniture building, the journey to fitness can be as enjoyable as reaching the destination. So, lace up those shoes, grab your tool belt, and let's embark on this adventure together—because life's too short not to find joy in movement and laughter along the way!

Are you ready? I want to know. Email me at [email protected]