Dalilah Muhammad breaks 400m hurdles world record to win World Championship gold!

Whether we choose to ignore or heed education and information about menopause would then be our decision, our choice. Not having that information, feels like we’ve been cheated.

I watched this amazing achievement last night, marvelling at the human body and all it is capable of.

Almost 30 years old, healthy, strong and determined, Delilah Muhammad represents the female body at its peak.

What was your body like at 30 and how different is it now?  Would you have done things differently?  Would you have exercised more? Eaten more healthily? More proactive about improving and or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, if you had been more aware of the changes and challenges that can accompany menopause?  I don’t know if I would have, but I might have? 

I have, fortunately, always been motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle, having been interested throughout my life, in how exercise, nutrition and positive thought impact my body and mind.  I have my mother to thank for much of this, now 83 and still exercising three times a week – Zumba, keep fit and line dancing, as well as cooking from scratch, healthy balanced meals for herself every day.  I have never known my mother not to exercise or eating well. I do look back on a more sedentary part of my career as a headteacher and wonder if I could have found more time for the gym after all, but I have done my best to stay fit and healthy.  There are some things though, that I would have liked to have been told more about earlier on in my life; and consequently better prepared for now, and most definitely menopause is one of them.  Perhaps then, I wouldn’t have gone into shock when menopause struck! I would have been better prepared for this next stage of life.

 

Whether we choose to ignore or heed education and information about menopause would then be our decision, our choice. Not having that information, feels like we’ve been cheated.

Whilst menopause will now be taught in secondary schools, as part of the Relationships and Sex Education curriculum, we have yet to see how this will actually look.

Young people, both female and male, should learn about menopause as part of reproductive health, in my opinion, and in the opinion of Rachel McLean MP who successfully advised the then Minister for Education, Damian Hinds, earlier this year. Talking openly about menopause from as early as possible will stop many of us saying, “I wish I’d been given more information about this.”  Whilst many of us are aware of the importance of being and keeping healthy, young women will soon, I sincerely hope – through structured RSE policies – be better informed and able to make better choices to support them through all stages and changes of life.  There should at least be no surprises.

Whether aspiring athletes or not, through learning about menopause from consistent and reliable sources, boys and girls, young women and men, will be able to discuss, ask questions, and thereby take control of their bodies. future health and wellbeing and relationships.  In our globally focussed education, encouraging critical thinking, creation, and collaboration, being taught about all stages of reproductive and post-reproductive life, as part of that education, MUST now be the way forward.

Jane Midwinter

Educationist and Menopause Advocate

midwinterconsultants

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