OK being the old lady here….I have been through it and all of my clients have to!
I suggest patience and alot of it!
Gentle reminders about the importance of exercise pertaining to mood, weight, overall health etc.
Provide support and don’t take their mood swings personally!
Boxing is one of my favorites when I feel a woman is really having “one of those days”!
I don’t think any certification can help one with this, I think it’s about being compassionate and kind.
After reading the answers posted to this question, I realized that this subjuct is under addressed with my clientele that it affects. I began a support network, constructed of clients that have dealt or are dealing with menopause. I was surprised at how many jumped at the opportunity to help others create a positive outlook through their own experiences. I am learning much myself.
Thank you Maria, for aknowledging this topic. this would not have happened otherwise.
Although I am not yet menopausal, I do have clients who are post-menopausal. Too, I don’t feel my role as their trainer is to assist them in their transition through menopause. Generally, that is not why they use my services.
My approach is to use current exercise science and exercise programming methodologies according the client’s current health status.
Individualized program design is exactly what it is–individualized program design. Once subjective and objective assessments are completed, the fitness professional is in a position to design a program based upon the needs of that particular client.
It would behoove the fitness professional to avail him/herself to current research as it relates to menopause, so that the exercise outcomes are reached.
The American College of Sports Medicine has a plethora of research on exercise and menopause that you might all be interested it. The ACSM has proved to be a valuable resource to me as far as understanding the science of exercise and its application. I encourage you all to go visit the site at www.acsm.org.
I do believe that there are some concerns that we, as trainers, should be mindful of when training menopausal and post-menopausal clients. If your client has not been doing any kind of strength training before menopause, it is a very good idea to ask if they have had a bone scan done. Women with osteoporosis and extreme osteopenia may be contraindicated from doing flexion exercises (especially if the bone loss is in the neck or lower back).
I have found that many of my clients who have returned to strength training after a few years have a harder time accumulating muscle mass than they did pre-menopause. They should be counseled to be patient and to work their bodies appropriately.
That being said, clients around my age (56) are, on average, more dedicated and more disciplined in their training than many of their younger counterparts.
Wishing you Strength~Joy~Wisdom