Why don’t you sit in this nice rocking chair, dear?

November 10th, 2010  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  18 Comments

Oh, you poor middle-class menopausal thing! How weak and feeble you must be! How weary and arthritic your joints; how delicate your spine; how tremulous your grip. Here, have some gentle aquacise and Tai Chi. Don’t touch those heavy weights. Don’t challenge yourself. You’ll just hurt your spleen.

What exercises are best for menopausal women? The mainstream media weighs in. Bitches, please. My osteoporotic 85-year-old grandmother, whose crumbling spine has shrunk her to a 0.8 KU (Krista Unit; 1 KU = 5 feet), is out there dispensing justice to her garden with extreme prejudice and walking in bear country 90 minutes a day. She laughs at your stupid advice. If she had a squat cage she’d be busting out the buttprints on the floor, too, but she’s too busy smashing bears in the face with a shovel.

Sure, you probably shouldn’t be running marathons if your knees are jello, but c’mon. Oddly enough, this article appeared the day before. Run nun run!


  1. Susan Olding says:

    November 10th, 2010at 8:02 am(#)

    The Globe’s health and nutrition advice strikes me as increasingly contradictory and confusing. It seems almost as if they are scare-mongering. Thanks for calling them on this particularly obnoxious instance of stupidity.

  2. Mistress Krista says:

    November 10th, 2010at 8:55 am(#)

    @Susan: I just finished reviewing a profile piece on Patricia, one of our Lean Eating Hall of Famers (two-time finalist as ppjam). She’s 55, has lost 70 lb, owns a sweet squat cage, and just bought herself a Prowler (a badass-looking weighted sled that you push while running — or trying to run, anyway).

  3. Carol says:

    November 10th, 2010at 9:34 am(#)

    Whew! Sure glad I read that article… I was thinking just this morning that I need to give away/relocate my rocking chair because I need more space to play my new Xbox 360 Kinect games (with my grandchildren!!)… and I guess I better call my trainer and cancel my bootcamp sessions… and sorry hiking club friends, no can do… and just to be safe I better take kettlebells off my Christmas wish list… I wonder how much I can get for a used TRX trainer on craigslist… BWAHAHAA… riiiiiight!

    I’ve been reading and absorbing your site for many years! I’ve always meant to tell you… Thank you Mistress Krista! Every time I challenge myself to a dishwasher unloading contest I think of you, and I thank you for your encouragement, common sense, kickass sense of humor, and for being *real*! At 52, I’m in the best shape of my life, in no small part to you and your site. Much love from an old broad!

  4. Eileen says:

    November 10th, 2010at 3:54 pm(#)

    Not that I disagree at all, but I am chiming in to say that Tai Chi gets a bad rap as an “easy low impact” exercise for people with wobbly joints. It’s a martial art — we knock people over, we do crazy kicks, we swing around staffs and knives! Even though I am able to squat heavy weights, Tai Chi still wipes me out — spending a solid hour moving verrrrry slowly and precisely while in a 3/4 squat is tough on the thighs.

  5. Susan Olding says:

    November 10th, 2010at 3:56 pm(#)

    Wow! Can’t wait to read it!

  6. Zxyrthe says:

    November 11th, 2010at 8:07 am(#)

    The tragedy is that if an otherwise physically-capable woman subscribes to this idea that menopause = fragility, she will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. No good can come of that.

  7. Sharon says:

    November 15th, 2010at 7:04 am(#)

    Wow! What a great article. Guess I should get rid of the shiny new kettlebells I just scored on Craigslist, huh? ;)

  8. Linds says:

    November 15th, 2010at 2:45 pm(#)

    Uh oh! Better tell my 62 year old cyclist/rower mom that she shouldn’t even think about doing the MS Ride next year. :p

    I find it amazing that they state women ages 45-60 should not participate in these sorts of activities. Since when is 45 “old”. And for that matter, 60 isn’t even “old”. That is just an insult! Especially since my greatgrandmother who died at 97 was on the floor doing crunches and bicycles until the day she died :p.

  9. Sue says:

    November 17th, 2010at 11:32 am(#)

    Wow Linda, your grandmom sounds awesome. Of course, some pea brain couch potato would say it was the crunches that killed her….ugh.

    Anyway, just wanted to chime in and say that regardless of who publishes what sort of uninformed/misinformed crap, our job is to lead by example. I am 51 and have amassed an awesome arsenal of odd-object training tools that had most of my friends and neighbors scratching their heads, wondering why I would want a big tire, empty keg ( although I do sort of prefer full ones…at times) ropes, sledges, etc. But once they listen to my spiel and see the workouts in action, they actually think it’s cool. I wish they would, at that point, join in the fun, but as the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him train.”

    All we can do is keep pursuing our goals with passion; we may pick up some converts along the way. And we should be forever beholding to the Mistress for giving the world a place to see the truth about women and training.

  10. Abys says:

    November 18th, 2010at 3:10 pm(#)

    Am I the only one with an image of Mistress Krista’s Grandma not just hitting but going all sorts of Kung-Fu beat-down on bears with her garden shovel?

    Because that’s what I’m picturing.

  11. Ingrid says:

    November 19th, 2010at 6:59 pm(#)

    Now now Krista… there is a grain of truth in that first article. Having had a hip replacement earlier this year due to osteoarthritis of my hip, I have had to modify all my activities. Lifting heavy weights is no longer a good idea for me if I want my new hip to last as long as possible! I’m only 51, so it needs to last a while!

    However, having come from a background of superfitness as a competitive ballroom dancer, the non-weightbearing types of exercise are now good for me. Swimming, cycling and some dancing (only once a week now, not four times a week), walking every day and starting a light weight training program are all helping to bring my fitness back.

    All the hype about menopause is just that… hype. I don’t believe you should stop or change your exercise program just because you’ve hit menopause. If something works for you – keep doing it! Unless you hurt yourself or have some other structural problem like I did.

    I still hope I’ll be dancing when I’m 90!

  12. Cori Ann Lentz says:

    November 20th, 2010at 7:14 pm(#)

    Totally AGREE! You are only going to do what you *believe* you can. And it is very, very easy to find any excuse not to exercise. Listen to your body, but never *ever* be afraid to challenge the heck out of it. I recently shot a fitness video and like all videos, there should be one person doing a low impact version. Low impact means low *impact*. Not low intensity. Sometimes, low impact is way harder on the muscles! Low impact simply means easier on the joints, not on any other part of your body. We posted a couple nibbles of the video on youtube and had one person say that the low impact version still looked too hard. Hmmm. It was hard… the idea is to sweat, right? But it was definitely lower impact. I totally agree with you. Don’t hurt yourself, know your body, but also don’t use anyone else’s excuse as your own.

  13. Susan Mahaney says:

    November 21st, 2010at 6:57 pm(#)

    Do you consider 50 double-unders low impact? I jump rope every day and have for the last 33 years–along with lifting hundreds of pound of iron per workout. I’m 59.

  14. Lise says:

    December 8th, 2010at 9:20 pm(#)

    This dude didn’t let MS stop him and I doubt he’ll let old age stop him once he’s old either: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuKBK-SoxwQ

  15. Great links for the weekend! says:

    December 17th, 2010at 2:15 pm(#)

    […] there, I rely on useful (an not so useful advice) linked to by the other blogs I read, such as this amusing response on Stumptuous to an article in The Globe and Mail about what exercises are best for menopausal women.  I have to […]

  16. Megan E says:

    March 18th, 2011at 8:38 am(#)

    I’m going to have to stick up for Tai Chi, too. It’s hard work and a great lower body workout. It takes an incredible amount of energy to move muscles slowly and precisely. Think of it as doing a whole bunch of squats from various different positions for about 45 minutes. And then grappling for another 15. That’s Tai Chi. Low impact, yes. Low energy, no!

  17. Mistress Krista says:

    March 18th, 2011at 10:38 am(#)

    Awesome! I love it! Tai Chi represent!

  18. simma says:

    March 18th, 2011at 11:46 am(#)

    Taiji isn’t even always low impact. There are many schools of taiji out there, and the oldest one is by no means low impact.

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