Maria LuqueMaria Luque, PhD, is a health educator, fitness expert, presenter, writer and USAF veteran. She created Fitness in Menopause, a company dedicated to helping women navigate the challenges and rewards of menopause. Her course “Menopausal Fitness: Training the Menopausal Client” is NASM-, AFAA- and ACE- accredited. She holds graduate and postgraduate degrees in health sciences and teaches at the College of Health and Human Services at Trident University International.
View FitConnect Profile
During menopause, women experience a hormonal shift that can often be detrimental to their quality of life and body image. Physical changes in appearance, such as graying hair and wrinkles, are a normal part of aging. But during menopause, the challenges go beyond the purely physical aspects. Typical age-related changes are often exacerbated by menopause…Read More
More than ever, creating inclusivity is vital to the fitness industry. And, even more importantly, it’s vital to the people we want to help.
Think it of this way: More than 70% of Americans don’t exercise enough to obtain a health benefit (Laskowski 2012). Why is this percentage so high when it’s well-known that even a small amount of physical activity can improve and even prevent some chronic diseases?Read More
Functional fitness is of particular importance when working with older adults, since aging is accompanied by a progressive decline in multiple physiological functions, including the ability to perform daily activities. The topic of “functional aging” addresses this ability (or lack thereof) and is becoming more and more relevant, given the increase in people 65 and older and the disability rates in this population.
Learn the endocrine system’s pivotal role in aging and how exercise can impact it.Read More
Skeletal health is just as important as heart health.
Bones form the frame that keeps our bodies from collapsing and serve as a bank for minerals essential to multiple bodily functions. In fact, 99% of the body’s calcium is found in the bones and teeth (NIH n.d.). The skeleton anchors everything fitness professionals deal with every day: muscles, joints, tendons, the whole kinetic chain.Read More
As a fitness pro, you can’t fix the genetic and environmental contributors to bone loss, but you can encourage physical activity and proper nutrition, both of which improve bone health. More than 70% of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity (Laskowski 2012), and 50% are considered deficient in vitamin D (Karaguzel & Holick 2010). One systematic review rated calcium, vitamin D, dairy and physical activity/exercise as the most important modifiable lifestyle factors that can influence the development of peak bone mass (NOF 2016).Read More
Bone loss and aging are inseparable: “The skeleton is a systemically regulated mass of mineralized material that is born, grows, reaches a more or less high peak, and then declines faster or slower as to develop a correspondingly high or low fracture risk”(Ferretti et al. 2003). Musculoskeletal aging—declining bone and muscle mass, increasing joint pain and stiffness, and decreasing physical mobility—is a normal part of aging. However, how rapidly or slowly bone mass declines depends on different factors.Read More
When working with any clients diagnosed with osteoporosis, you want to maximize the benefit, but you must also take care to avoid unnecessary risk. If mobility and posture are altered after a vertebral fracture, pay close attention to correct lifting technique and avoid pitfalls such as loading the spine in a flexed posture. For example, since exercise machines often require twisting and forward bending, you may need to avoid using them with clients who have osteoporosis (Giangregorio et al. 2014).Read More
The skeleton is composed of two types of bone: cortical and trabecular. Cortical (compact) bone comprises 80% of the volume in the adult skeleton and forms the outer layer of bone (Lerner 2012). Trabecular (cancellous) bone makes up the inner layer; has a spongy, honeycomb structure; and is mostly found in the skull, pelvis, sacrum and vertebrae. Although peak bone mass is reached in late adolescence, bones never stop changing. An adult skeleton replaces its bone mass every 10 years (OSG 2004).Read More
Menopause is different for each woman. Although the average age of natural menopause is 52, some women start the transition as soon as their early 40s. Chances are you have or will have clients who fit this profile. Are you aware of the unique challenges this population faces?Read More
Menopause is different for each woman. Although the average age of natural menopause is 52, some women start the transition as soon as their early 40s. It is estimated that 39 million women in the United States are between the ages of 45 and 64 years old and about 2 million more will reach menopause…Read More