Movement, Menopause and Me

Meet Jo.

Welcome to Why We Move Part 8.*

Jo Moseley, 55, is a single Mum of two who rediscovered the joy of movement 7 years ago when she was perimenopausal and desperate for a good night’s sleep. She now teaches aqua fitness alongside her day job to share that joy with others and last summer, was the first woman to stand up paddleboard 162 miles coast to coast fundraising + picking up litter! WOW!  I can’t wait to hear what she has to say about why she moves.

Here’s our chat:

  1. How do you define joyful movement?

Exercise that makes me feel strong, happy and confident both in the moment and as a memory bank to draw upon later. Something that lifts my soul, fills my heart, clears my mind and gives my body that wonderful feeling of being fully alive.  

 

2. What is your earliest memory of moving for fun and pure joy? .     

 I remember being a little girl riding my back in the sunshine in Yorkshire. I was riding up to the little corner shop a couple of miles from home (2 huge hills to climb and then whizz down!) and buying a present for my Mum. Unfortunately, the pot I bought smashed on the way homebut I recall feeling so confident and so independent. I was doing something that made me feel brave and kind. I was probably about 8-9 years old.  

 

3.  Do you listen to your body or follow a schedule? 

I think I do a little of both to be honest. I plan my diary the week ahead thinking about when I can go out on my paddle board or book a spin or swim, kettlebells or box fit class. By booking and putting them in my diary I know I am making choice to put myself on the priority list when there are so many other demands on my time. It’s like booking an appointment with me and my own wellbeing.  

 I always know that if I really don’t feel up to it, I can decide not to go. However, that kindness to myself and lack of pressure means I rarely cancel unless I really am unwell.  

I know that at 55 exercise is about being kind and joyful today and giving myself the best possible chance to have the fullest life in the future. Exercise has been the biggest factor in helping me manage my menopause symptoms. Sometimes if I’m not feeling it at the weekend, I remind myself that a simple walk or stretching session is going to make me feel better, sleep deeper and clear my mind.  

  

4.  If exercise had zero impact on looks, would your exercise choices be different? 

No. I would do the same things as I do now.  

I began exercising again aged 48 because I was overwhelmed, anxious, desperate for a good night’s sleep. I started indoor rowing as a friend lent me her old rowing machine that I believe was destined for the tip otherwise! Within two weeks I was sleeping and life felt brighter and better! This was the first step in starting to look after myself and I could not be more grateful to my friend for her suggestion.  

Exercise has been hugely important in helping me accept, be kind and learn to love my body as it is right now. This is a far cry from my younger days when I thought exercise was ONLY about competing or losing weight. I exercise now to sleep, feel more confident, clear my head, lift my heart, stretch out my menopausal aches and tightness, give myself a good foundation for the future and fulfil my dreams…. 

I have taken that joy and confidence and in 2018 trained to become an aqua fit instructor…. I want other women and men to feel that sense of joy moving their bodies and feeling good.  

 

5. Why do you move? 

 

I move to feel joyful and alive, in the moment, confident and purposeful. I move to fulfil my dreams... I move to make a difference – I rowed a million metres and marathon to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of my Mum in 2014. I move to soothe my menopausal anxiety and calm my head that whirs with ideas and worries if I’m not careful…. I move today so that I can move tomorrow – there are adventures to be had and I want to be strong enough to have them!  

 I move to feel like me, to tap into the courage and joy I lost for many years. I teach aqua fit, write, speak and make tiny films about paddle boarding to help other women feel that same sense of joy. To know they are enough already just as they are and they are worth investing in their health and wellbeing.  

 

Twitter and Instagram @healthyhappy50 

  *This is a series of interviews with fitness professionals who advocate joyful and intuitive movement.