As fitness professionals, it is our responsibility to be aware of the unique challenges that menopausal women face, and to provide them with appropriate and effective training programs. This includes not only physical exercise, but also education and support to help them manage the emotional and mental aspects of this life transition.
I think we can all agree: Age doesn’t matter. It’s ability.
But sometimes, ageism can rear its ugly head, even when we don’t intend it. So how can we be more aware?
Being Mindful of Our Language
Ageism is reinforced when you give validation to comments like these:
I’m _____ (age) what exercise should I be doing?
You look great for your age!
I just can’t do that any more at my age.
You need to take it easier after menopause.
Stop It When You Hear it
None of the answers to those questions above are founded in science or legitimized by anything but years of conditioning and habit. Unless you’re educated in the science of muscle, bone, fat, and metabolism for women over 40, your answers wouldn’t be anything more than your conditioning and opinion. Or maybe even the desire to sell something.
We’re not immune to ageism though, especially if you hear these questions or statements like one of these then immediately start forming an answer…Instead of stopping the conversation right there and talking about the impression they have falsely acquired.
The Real Conversation
If you’re training women in menopause, you could unintentionally fall into this trap. And it’s not your fault… until now.
Once you know, once you’re aware, then you have the responsibility to change it.
You are either part of the solution or a part of the problem. Be the change.
If training women in menopause comes with a responsibility to know beyond the basics of exercise prescription (and of course it does), then we have to look deeper. We must think more closely about our own use of messages in conversation with clients, including reaching them on social media.
Let me give you some more examples of potential ageism.
Book titles and hashtags and program names all fall into this gray area that takes some dissection.
As a personal trainer or health coach, there are many ways you can support people toward improved well-being and better health. I offer a hormone balancing exercise specialist course that helps you accommodate the evolving industry and client needs of women in menopause. More on that here: https://www.flippingfifty.com/specialist
Neutral and Positive Age-Related Statements
Let’s look at some other words associated with age.
- Every age
- Any age
- Change the way we age
- Changing the way we think about aging, which is the entire philosophy behind Flipping50.
Change the way we age, by the way, is the tag line for the International Council on Active Aging. So, do give credit where it’s due in using it!
More Positive Examples
- Active aging
- Older wiser
- Age is irrelevant (a podcast title by Helen Fritch, by the way, please also give credit)
- Older fitter stronger – a book by Margaret _______________
- Faster After 50 – a book by Joe Friel
What You Can Do Right Now
Review your last 2 weeks of emails, posts, or videos
Look for hashtags or statements you made
Do you like your message? Anything you want to change?
I’d love to hear from you. This is also a great conversation starter with your clients! A lot of us don’t even realize that we do this unintentionally.
By being aware and supportive of menopausal women, and by promoting an inclusive and age-positive culture in our fitness communities, we can help women to stay healthy and active throughout their lives.
Flipping50® Menopause Fitness Specialist: https://www.flippingfifty.com/specialist
Marketing to Women: https://www.fitnessmarketingmastery.com/copywriting-course/
Health & Fitness Business Scorecard: https://www.fitnessmarketingmastery.com/scorecard
Other Episodes You Might Like:
Training Women in Menopause: https://www.fitnessmarketingmastery.com/training-women-in-menopause/
Grow Your Fitness Business in 2023 | Personal Trainers and Health Coaches: https://www.fitnessmarketingmastery.com/fitness-business-in-2023/
What Is Exercise Endocrinology [For Personal Trainers and Health Coaches]: https://www.fitnessmarketingmastery.com/exercise-endocrinology/