Menopause Movement's training course aims to fill the gap between fitness and health, arming fitness professionals with the knowledge they need to provide safe, effective, and motivating training for women going through menopause. We're sharing the story of our successful partnership with UK fitness business, Places Leisure for People (PLP), and their community project for menopausal women 'Move Through Menopause'.
Fitness professionals have a really important role to play when it comes to supporting their menopausal clients.
Those women who might not even think about seeing a doctor for help with the changes they are experiencing but who will connect with fitness or health professionals who teach, treat, or train them.
The Menopause Movement training course is all about filling the gap between fitness and health. It gives these fitness pros the knowledge they need to provide safe, effective, and motivating training for women going through menopause. So, you might be wondering how this works?
We teamed up with one of the top fitness businesses in the UK, Places Leisure for People (PLP). They saw the need to help women in their communities who are dealing with menopause and decided to do something about it. PLP enrolled several of their personal trainers onto our Menopause Movement course. These PTs then used what they had learned to create a 12-week program, endorsed by Menopause Movement.
The first course was a huge success! In a recent webinar, the PLP team explained how they put the course together. They shared stories from the participants, their feedback, and data demonstrating real results that show how amazing this program has been for women and for their business. It's all about women supporting women, and we love to see it!
You can find out more in our free to download webinar recording. In the meantime, read our snapshot summary of just some of what we talked about.
MM: What practical steps did you take to engage women key and break down those barriers to exercise in menopause?
PLP: It was important for us to create a shared spirit and ethos which we achieved by creating:
· Safe and judgment-free spaces: Women could chat openly about their worries, concerns, and experiences in a group setting.Sharing these thoughts helped them to realise they weren’t alone in their journey.
· A Buddy System: We encouraged women who weren't used to exercising, or were hesitant to attend classes, to team up. They motivated each other and attended classes they might not have considered before. It was like having a workout buddy who had their back!
· A WhatsApp Group: We kept the motivation goingwith a WhatsApp group. It was a place for posting tips and encouragement, evenafter the course ended. This sense of community was a game-changer.
· Social Connections: Building these connections helped our participants become a strong, supportive community. It was amazing to hear how sharing experiences brought the group together to normalise their menopause experiences, giving the trainers ‘goosebump moments’.
MM: Sport England date shows 45% of women don’t feel fit enough for the gym – how did you tackle that?
PLP: Confidence and self-image can take a real hit for women in menopause, so we offered:
· Encouragement: We gave women the confidence boost they need. We let them know that we’re all at different fitness levels, and that it was okay.
· Safe Spaces: We maintained a judgment-free environment, where everyone felt welcome and valued.
· Variety of Activities: We’re lucky with the facilities we have so we were able to offer a wide range of activities, so everyone could find something they enjoyed.
* Aqua Classes were perfect for addressing body image concerns. We created a safe space, and it was always just our group in the pool.
* Cycling - we provided advice on comfort and adaptations for all fitness levels and demystified saddle discomfort.
* A walking session was a winner with everyone, mixing movement with socialising and sharing experiences.
* Badminton turned out to be quite the hit! Even those who were hesitant found it surprisingly enjoyable and a little competitive fun.
MM: We know urinary leakage can be a major hurdle for women in menopause how did you tackle this subject?
PLP: Having completed the Menopause Movement module on urinary leakage and pelvic organ prolapse symptoms we were very aware of the need to modify exercise in this context. We invited a women's pelvic health physio to talk to the group to raise awareness. We were able to signpost the group to the Squeezy App for practical tips and reminders to do their pelvic floor exercises so that they could strengthen these muscles and exercise more confidently.
MM: What was the impact of your menopause movement programme on participants?
PLP: By using pre-& post-course questionnaires and listening to feedback from the women who took part, we were able to track the impact and reported changes they experienced over a relatively short period. This data showed participants reported improvements in:
· mental well-being
· confidence in discussing their symptoms.
· decreased symptom severity
· reduced physical discomfort.
· improved intimate health.
MM: How did the business benefit?
PLP: The business has benefited by putting menopause at the forefront, giving back to the community, and creating more active and engaged members. It also attracted new members and added value to existing memberships.
MM: Any other take-aways?
PLP: It was really heartening that employers had given staff the time off to attend these sessions. This was unexpected but a beneficial support to help these women improve their health and wellbeing.
As personal trainers who followed the Menopause Movement course we gained a better understanding of what women going through menopause experience. This increased awareness allows us to better support our clients both inside and outside of classes.
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