3 Unhelpful Conventional Wisdoms About Exercise

Two arrows- one white with old way pointing backwards and one yellow with new way pointing forward.

We all know how important exercise is for our bodies, yet many of us may not realize it plays a vital role in our menopause experience as well.

How we move our bodies, including our exercise, will be different in perimenopause and menopause.

Our bodies are different.

Our exercise must be different.

After having my own struggle and then, my ultimate success in feeling strong in my body, I dedicated a decade to understanding what happens to women’s bodies at midlife and how to optimize their wellness during this inevitable phase.

Adrien Cotton of Alexandria Wellness doing a banded lunge outside

Think of it this way: We are ALL athletes – in life. While our playing field may look like a desk, a driver’s seat, or other facets of our lives, we need our bodies to be strong, nonetheless.

To achieve that, we must redefine our relationship with exercise and kickstart a journey to love our bodies – now more than ever – for all they give us.

We can redefine our relationship by revealing untrue conventional wisdoms that hold us back from the wellness we deserve!

Here are the top 3 conventional wisdoms that my clients shared with me at the beginning of their wellness journeys.

  1. I can’t exercise because I don’t have the equipment or a gym membership: This is a common misconception that prevents us from achieving quality movement during midlife. While having access to gym equipment can certainly be helpful, it is not necessary! There are plenty of bodyweight exercises that can be done at home with no equipment, such as hip hinges, rows, push-ups, and planks. A jug of laundry detergent or a water bottle are two at-home tools that double as light weights. And don’t discount the myriad of benefits that come from a daily walk. Movement doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming! My go-to movement during a busy day? Walking 20 minutes, preferably in the first sunlight of the day, and setting myself up to crush the rest of my schedule.
  2. What worked for me at 20 should still work for me now: Simply untrue. During midlife, our bodies are different, and the way we move must adjust as well. We need to honor our bodies for all they are, instead of treating them as we did in the past. Our hormones are different, our metabolisms are different, and the way we respond to movement is different. During midlife, many of us also have more responsibilities and stress than we did in our younger years, such as taking care of loved ones, managing finances, and focusing on our careers. We need to adjust our fueling and movement strategies to prevent injury, boost mobility, and increase wellness!
  3. Cardio, heavy sweating, and hard workouts are the only way to lose weight and shrink my waistline: This is possibly one of the biggest lies women have been told. Did you know that during midlife, the cortisol (stress hormone) released during high-intensity workouts will only make us gain or hold onto unwanted weight? Instead of prioritizing those difficult and dreaded workouts, focus on getting 7-7.5 hours of sleep, reducing your stress, participating in low-impact quality movement, fueling your body properly, and managing your calendar. It will behoove you on your weight loss journey! And yes, intense calorie restriction can be a thing of the past, too.

Do any of these sound familiar? I bet they do because they were familiar to me during my menopause transition.

It’s important to address these negative mindsets because conventional wisdoms can then manifest into core beliefs. Ultimately, negative core beliefs can steal the benefits of quality movement from our lives.

A positive movement mindset can have a profound effect on our wellness and even make movement a joyful moment in our days.

If you would like to learn and debunk even more conventional and untrue fitness wisdoms that are hurting your wellness, sign up for my newsletter to get my proprietary blend of tips and strategies to uplevel your wellness! Being a subscriber will help you feel better in your body and guide you toward reclaiming your life.

Feeling better is just an email away.

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