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Maria Luque, PhD, MS, CHES

Maria 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.

Fitness Connect profile

Article Archive

Flowers as female reproductive organs to represent mindset and menopause

Mindset and Menopause

March 7, 2023

There’s no arguing about the benefit and importance of physical activity for our health, especially during menopause. And that’s only the starting point: Women transitioning through menopause benefit from a comprehensive approach—one that addresses both body and mindset—so they can have the most positive experience possible. Studies have shown that attitude plays a big part…

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Creating Inclusivity in Fitness

Create Inclusivity for Special Populations

August 3, 2021

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?

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Skeletal Health Graphic

Boning Up on Skeletal Health

June 21, 2018

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.

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Diet, Exercise and Bone Health

May 18, 2018

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).

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Bone Loss and Aging

May 18, 2018

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.

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Exercises for Clients with Osteoporosis

May 18, 2018

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).

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Bone Health in Women

May 18, 2018

Fitness professionals have to be aware of just how great the osteoporotic fracture risk is for women. Worldwide, osteoporosis affects 200 million women, and the lifetime risk of a hip fracture is 1 in 6, compared with 1 in 9 for breast cancer (IOF 2017).

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Bone Modeling and Remodeling

May 18, 2018

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).

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Graphic of human body and skeleton to show bone loss

Bone Loss: A Primer

May 9, 2018

Bone loss is a normal part of aging, and understanding it can help fitness professionals to develop preventive strategies for their clients.

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Group of seniors together for social support

Social Support and Seniors

December 8, 2017

Fitness pros working with seniors deal with the physical and cognitive losses of aging every day. But what about the social support losses?

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The Impact of Exercise on Perimenopause

March 27, 2013

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?

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Training Through the Transition

October 19, 2012

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…

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