The health mania that helps with menopausal signs


You may have heard of CrossFit – the workout that is taking the world by storm.

It is a course based on a mix of aerobic exercise, bodyweight exercise, and weight lifting.

And it may be known for its high intensity, but followers say anyone can do it because you customize the workout to suit your own ability.

When you talk to someone who is speaking in class they will soon tell you that this is the best way to transform your body.

Three enthusiasts at the CrossFit Shire gym in Inverurie discovered that they not only got fit, but made their lives better too.

Nancy Thomson credits her for helping with her menopausal symptoms, and Rachael and Ian Adam say it strengthened their father-daughter relationship.

The exercises help against fatigue

Nancy first began experiencing symptoms of perimenopause shortly after she was 43 and suffered from extreme fatigue caused by hormonal changes in her body.

“It is associated with many symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, and it can also affect your mental health,” said the barber.

“Zero patience was important to me – and extreme fatigue; I was just so tired the whole time.

“It started a few years ago but gradually got worse.”

The 48-year-old realized she was low on energy and found herself taking an afternoon nap – until she discovered CrossFit.

“The past year has been really tough with menopause so I started HRT which helped a lot, but going to class most days of the week really lifted my mood and energy.

And after joining her local group, she was surprised to find that she was challenging herself to lift heavy weights.

“I’ve always been interested in fitness, but I thought I couldn’t because I thought it was too much,” she said.

“I used to only work with dumbbells, but now I’m actually holding an Olympic bar with a lot of weight on it.”

The trio lift weights during a CrossFit session.

Combining exercise with HRT medication has helped her tremendously. Now the mother of two enjoys the class so much that she gets out of bed at six in the morning and tries to go to class four to six times a week.

Every day is different at CrossFit, which is based on a mix of exercises that focus on both cardio and strength.

Classes usually include an extensive warm-up with exercises like jumping jacks, lunges, jumping rope, and squats to properly prepare your body for the session.

“It gave me more energy and I’m much fitter now”

A typical class for Nancy from Inverurie involves the use of cardiovascular equipment, jumping, kettlebell swings, and weight lifting.

She said, “The past year has been really tough with menopause, so I started HRT, which helped a lot, but going to class most days of the week really lifted my mood and energy.

“Before I was on HRT, I felt like I was walking on quicksand all the time. I was so tired that I was struggling to function and had to come home at noon to take a nap.

“It just takes the spark from you, you lose yourself a bit and you feel like the only person going through it when you are not.

“I don’t feel like there is enough education out there. Once you start HRT and get the right balance of your hormones, you’ll feel better, but I couldn’t get through my week without CrossFit.

“That gave me more energy and I am also much fitter now.”

“You go much happier”

CrossFitter colleagues Rachael and Ian Adam train together at the Burghmuir Circle gym in Inverurie.

Rachael, who used to be part of the Garioch amateur swimming club, said: “We have always done something sporty together.

“I used to swim professionally and my father came to every single competition.

“I go about four times a week, I would like to go more, but you can’t fit everything.

“You go home much better and happier – even if you are totally exhausted at the end, you feel good.”

“The big advantage for me is the scaling”

The practice class challenges her to beat her personal best, but Rachael said it can get pretty competitive.

The oil and gas accountant added, “We’re pretty competitive – if he’s still going I can’t stop. Dad is pretty fit and I don’t want him to hit me! “

Dad Ian is also athletic and enjoys his CrossFit sessions and golf.

The 64-year-old said, “For me, CrossFit training is the type of exercise I need because it involves strength and aerobic training, a mix of everything.

“The big advantage for me is the scaling, Rachael may have to do 15 burpees or squats and I’ll be doing 10 at a time. We push each other to another level and both benefit at the same time.

“We’re having a little fun. It is very good for both of us, it strengthens the bond between us.

“For me at my age, I want to maintain my strength and health and fitness.” And he joked: “The goal is to stay out of a nursing home for the next 10 years!”