I often mention working with women during all ”life phases”, but what does that mean and do we need to be aware of these phases?
You can categorise a women’s life cycle in phases:
1) Birth to Puberty
2) Teenage and Adolescence (physical changes from child to woman, the start of menstruation)
3) Womanhood – Reproductive years from late adolescence to peri-menopause
4) Post Menopause to our Elderly years (the rest of your life after Periods and childbearing)
I’m sure that we have passed phase one and two and we are within our reproductive years or beyond.
Each life phase is unique and has its own specific needs.
From birth to adolescence, the development physically, mentally and emotionally is huge. Some hormones (chemical messengers that tell our body what to do) peak, change and adapt ready for the next phase. Girls become Women and have begun their periods and may be able and ready to have children.
Our hormones fluctuate throughout life to accommodate pregnancy, growth, repair, healing and ageing. Between the ages of 20 to 40 this is a key time for our careers, starting a family, getting on with life.
From our 40’s through to our 50’s we may find ourselves in the “sandwich” years, having young / older children or young adults at home and to support. Maybe also elderly parents to care for too, plus, our careers and just life!
This is the time our hormones begin to fluctuate, getting ready for peri-menopause, when our fertility begins to decline, through to menopause. The levels of these messengers begin to lower becoming less balanced as we approach menopause, then at post menopause they tend to settle at lower levels than before.
We enter this next phase Post Menopause, when there has been 12 months of no periods. This time in our lives may still be like the previous phase, we have now entered the third age. We may have less responsibility, have time to change and rethink what we want to do, career wise, hobby wise etc. Often this is a time for reflection and having time for yourself.
Through each life phase one thing that is clear, our own health and fitness is key – to guide us optimally through each phase.
To nourish our body through hectic, stressful times, through times when our bodies may grow another human, and recover from that time, to dealing with health conditions and illness.
Changing our nutrition and movement to suit each life phase is key, if we have a good base to start with then transitioning between each phase will ease the journey.
Being aware of the changes that happen through our life is significant, as is knowing what conditions may affect us as we age e.g. bone health, cardiovascular health, cognitive function etc
So, as we enter each life phase, let’s make sure we are giving ourselves the best self-care, nutrition, movement and time to enjoy it and get ready for the next exciting stage.