Having gone through life-changing menopause several years ago, Karen Robinson struggled with the changes to her body. With the multiple symptoms triggering both weight gain and severe anxiety, she knew she needed to make a change for her mental wellbeing.
Establishing a new exercise seemed a natural place to start and after initially joining another local gym, remembered a social media advert for Anytime Fitness Christchurch. While joining the gym itself was the easy part, it was the pre-conceptions Karen held about certain parts of the gym which initially held her back.
“When I first joined, I would only do classes and the occasional cardio session in the gym,” Karen explained. I did feel intimidated at first because I did not know what I was doing or why I was doing it. I used to refer to the weights section as the testosterone zone and didn’t think I’d ever make it anywhere near there!”
Despite her fears about the weights area, she quickly established a routine of going five days a week but wasn’t seeing the results that she imagined.
“As I was going five times a week I thought I was training really well but in reality, I didn’t know what I was doing,” Karen said. “I signed up with a personal trainer and they opened my eyes to what I was doing wrong and helped me to get started with weight training. With the support of my personal trainer, I gained the confidence to start training in the weights area and see the benefits it can bring me.”
With the support of the team at Anytime Fitness Christchurch and her personal trainer, Karen’s attitude towards exercise has completely changed. As well as having the confidence to train in any area of the gym, she’s changed the way she eats and feels like she’s in a completely different place mentally following menopause.
“I have learned to love exercise rather than see it as a way of eating and drinking more!” said Karen. “I look forward to my gym sessions and use them to combat the stress of my job. I have also learned to love myself and how I look now and that is a big step mentally for me as I use to hate looking in the mirror. I know that exercise keeps my mental health in a good place.
“My advice for anyone who’s thinking about joining the gym is to go and do a free trial, take a friend for support, try a class and talk to the team. I definitely recommend considering a personal trainer to show you the ropes, but the most important thing I have finally worked out is that no one cares what you look like, or what you are doing (unless you might hurt yourself) and that the benefits you will feel from doing exercise outweighs any insecurities that you might have about going in the first place!”