Paulina Porizkova: Staying in shape after menopause is a lot of work

I, for one, am enjoying Paulina Porizkova rewriting the handbook on how to be a woman over 50. She’s not only posting her selfies and nearly nudes, she’s talking about cracks, crevices, aches, pains and menopause. I love that more women are allowing aging and sexiness to co-exist. Paulina’s latest IG post is one that’s close to my heart because it’s about maintaining body strength after menopause. The video, above, is of Paulina working out and her caption talks about how she’s had to change her workout since the Big M came ’round. Because it aggravated former injuries, she was unable to do her old routines. Between that and the other issues that come with age, as Pauline said,
“staying in shape after menopause takes a lot of frickin’ work.”

Paulina Porizkova is not letting her age get in the way of her fitness journey.
On Tuesday, the actress and model, 57, posted a video on Instagram showing off her workout routine, detailing what exercise looks like for her since going through menopause. In the clip, which was paired with Sia’s “Unstoppable,” she hits the gym with her trainer and works on arm and back exercises.

“Staying in shape after menopause takes a lot of frickin’ work. Especially when you have wonky hips,” Porizkova wrote in the caption. “I’ve had to cut down on my Pilates since I came back for the jungle shooting #beyondtheedge because my hips won’t cooperate. What I’m doing instead, for now, is some serious PT. I found an amazing personal trainer at my local Crunch, Shelly, who alternates hip PT with strength training.”

The former supermodel admitted that because of her constant traveling, her results are inconsistent — but she’s going to continue doing the work.

“So, yes, there are drawbacks to aging,” Porizkova said. “One has to work a lot harder on things that were taken for granted. On the outside. On the inside, however, all the hard work already done is finally paying off.”

She adds, “I may not be as strong or as supple or as smooth as in my youth, but I am comfortable with my vulnerabilities, conscious of my weaknesses, proud of my strengths – and best of all, have the wisdom to put it all together and delight in the results. #betweenjloandbettywhite #workingout #unstoppable #strength #agingaintforsissies.”

[From People]

I realize some of this is unrelatable. I, for example, have not just returned from the jungle shooting a campaign. Nor was I ever beautiful enough to get printwork, let alone in my 50s. But the concepts of body changes and old injuries coming back to haunt us are a consistent theme in aging. It is hard to stay strong. Especially when old workout routines or habits either don’t work or prove too difficult to perform. It’s easy to say, ‘get a trainer to find a routine that work for you.’ But it’s certainly not easy to afford a trainer.

The takeaway from Paulina’s comments is to be understanding with yourself. If the old ways aren’t working, listen to your body and look for some new exercises. Maybe it’s time for yoga over Pilates or Zumba over spin. Maybe you can’t push the same weights you did before so start incorporating more exercises that use your own body’s resistance. And, because nature is so very cruel, your goal might take longer. Be patient. The whole point of getting stronger is to allow you the time to enjoy it.

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48 Responses to “Paulina Porizkova: Staying in shape after menopause is a lot of work”

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  1. D says:

    I am so glad that people are finally talking about this! It took all the aging Gen Xers to bring this topic out in the open.

    I’ll be 50 in 3 months and I’ve always worked out but I have seen my body completely change in the last year. The same routines don’t work and god forbid you take a break, getting back into it doesn’t make a visual difference at all. The idea of a trainer is great except most of them are in their 20s and have no idea how to coach peri menopausal and menopausal women.

    It feels good to be able to talk about it without stigma so I thank all the public figures who are sharing their experiences.

    • Lady Esther says:

      ” It took all the aging Gen Xers to bring this topic out in the open”

      I agree; Gen Xers are seldom given their due, always criticised as slackers without any worth. Yet it’s Gen X that is leading the charge on conversations about menopause – Boomer ladies are starkly absent….

      But my hope rests with the Gen Z/millenials to finally make menopause not a subject of shame, but of respect. Those generations are very vocal about socially progressive topics no matter the gender, and I hope they are willing to do the same for menopause, which affects 50% of the population economically, socially and politically….Fingers crossed that they stand up and shout when their time comes!

      • Sass says:

        Elder Millennial here and after 35 it became much harder to keep weight off. I’m 38 now and starting already to feel HOT when not six months ago I was still as cold natured as I had been as a skinny teenager. Openly discussing impending menopause with my peers. Saw the gyn the other day and she says I’ve got a long way to go but it is common to experience changes in internal temperature as a precursor even years prior.

        I am NOT looking forward to it because I’m actually a huge whiny baby. But also I had previously looked forward to it because I hate my period. It’s always been excruciating. We are talking I missed school every month on the first day of my cycle because I couldn’t get out of bed. I had to go on birth control to get it under control. Anyway just wanted you to know that we are out here already having the talks!

  2. Snuffles says:

    Does she have any tips because my body has gone to hell, and I’ve injured myself multiple times trying to get back into an exercise routine. And I have an old injury I’m extremely wary of triggering.

    • My opinion says:

      @snuffels, I had a mess of a body at 50, 5 years of peri menopause where I sunk into depression and drank and ate my normal 145 pound body up to 197! Sciatica, lower back severe pain just a mess. I am now 150 pounds, 55 and feeling so good. First get a good gyeno who understands HRT, the new studies show low risks and high benefits. I started by walking, then hiking. But the real loss came when a Trainer told me my posture was causing the pain. I had anterior tilted pelvis because my core and glutes were so weak. I started doing serious work to open my hips through correct stretching and concentrated on gentle core work while training my glutes. But the hip stretching, wow, I cried like a baby when I finally released the tension, we store trauma in our hips and back. I hope this info helps. Google opening your hips to release stored stress and trauma.

    • Existentialady says:

      Follow an expert who provides modifications of exercises for people who can’t do the full version. I like Hybrid Calisthenics, who is on FB and IG. He got me doing squats again! (Much to my knees’ chagrin…)

      • Concern Fae says:

        I was just going to post about Hybrid Calisthenics! He is the best. His mother died of a stroke. She got so much advice to exercise, but none of the resources started at a level she couldn’t reach. So he developed a routine using body weight (free!) with modifications from way easy to super difficult. And he’s just the cutest and sweetest!


    • ashipper says:

      I’m turning 60 in November and finished menopause 6 years ago. I gained weight at first but it has come down pretty naturally. I have stopped going on “official” diets and try to listen to my body. I worked with a PT for an injury and she got me started on a good exercise program. The key for me was to take it really slow. Even the small amount of exercise I did at the beginning made me feel better. I just worked up from there and I don’t put any unreasonable expectations on myself.

      • Dara says:

        Taking it slow was a hard lesson to learn for me, but once I did it made all the difference – both in results and less injury/pain. It sucked at first, I’m an immediate gratification kinda gal. What used to take weeks is now taking months, but I’m finally making progress, where I wasn’t before.

  3. K says:

    When I see a post like this here I get so excited. I am going through the same issues except at 5’3 I look like a Weeble Wobble person from Fisher Price. I work out a minimum of 4x a week and…well. However I do feel a thousand times better mentally after a workout. Anyone else dealing with a ton of aches and pains?

    • Prairiegirl says:

      My knees sure ain’t what they used to be, so I ditched the 4 inch heels and am sticking with 2 inch. My shoes aren’t super fashionable anymore but my back is very happy about it!

  4. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Can confirm.
    I am 65, and I know I am considered “obese” according to my BMI. (I am 5’4″) Yep I DO have those extra pounds and no matter what I do or try or eat well, they ain’t coming off.
    I had a long hard talk with myself and decided that instead of worrying about the weight, I will just work out and concentrate on that. I walk and do cardio and strength training. What surprises me the most is how GOOD I feel after a sweaty workout! Endorphins for the win! It also helps my mental state as well.

    Also: if anyone is interested I follow Improved Health on the YouTube. She caters her workouts to beginners and every one in between. I especially like her workouts because she caters to seniors as well

  5. LM says:

    We started a Facebook group for ladies who were doing peloton classes but it wasn’t quite working. We talk about changing up workouts but also share complaints/advice for every other change under the sun. It’s been a great source of information and comfort. Peri to Post Menopause (peloton/next level) Workout Group

  6. Merricat says:

    If you are injury-prone, try water aerobics and other water-based exercise. I can’t recommend it enough.

    • Northstar says:

      This! Before I moved away from NYC I was taking classes at Aqua Studio – basically a pool-based spin class (yes, the bikes are underwater). It was the best. I wish I could find a similar class in my new city!

    • Ponchorella says:

      I know not everyone has access to a pool. However, if you do, water aerobics and swimming are great. I have a pool and didn’t use it for years, but started rage swimming (tons of laps) when Brett Kavanaugh got onto SCOTUS. I then realized how much I love the water. It’s very safe, so I can get stoned and not worry about getting hurt, and is really enjoyable. It helps my mental health as well.

      The only equipment I ever use is some water dumbells and a watergym belt for stoner water gymnastics.

    • steph says:

      I am also in menopause and had a traumatic accident earlier this year. I started deep water aquafit 2 months ago so as not to put pressure on my injured neck. I found that I love it…it is amazing core work, very little impact on joints etc…plus the water provides resistance. Of course the instructor makes all of the difference and I prefer deep water over regular aquafit.

  7. CarrieVirginia says:

    I wish I could afford to have a personal trainer to train with daily. What a luxury. Sigh…

  8. LeeLee says:

    Changing the way I eat and what I eat has been the most effective thing.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      I radically cut down on my carbs and sugar and man, what a difference!

      • LeeLee says:

        Yep, that is exactly what I am talking about. Went from not being able to budge even 5 lbs to losing weight, keeping it off without having to starve myself.

  9. Jo says:

    Reading this makes me both happy and sad. Happy because we are finally talking about our bodies and what happens after our twenties basically. It is so important to discuss and inform, especially because we are all different. Paulina has hip problems, others will have a stuck elbow or shoulder pain.
    It makes me sad because the lingo is still about difficulty. Hear me out. With all this truth talking, we are giving the patriarchy more fuel to the fire of excluding women from positions of power. Because rather than talking about the appropriate exercises for our age, and our muscular journey in life, we talk about how HARD it is, and how DAUNTING to not be able to do the same things. Sure.
    Also isn’t it a bit childish to complain about not having the body we had, rather than exploring the advantages of exercise for peri-menopause and post-menopause and how empowering this time of life is because we KNOW what to do with ourselves (which she does but what she calls on the “inside”).
    This is about the stories we tell ourselves. We are telling a story of self-hatred still when we complain about getting old. If we learn how to embrace each stage in our lives, then we won’t try to be who we are not anymore, and we’ll be who we are in the moment.
    Highly recommend Maisie Hill’s Peromenopause Power. Let’s see what we can do, what we enjoy doing and not lament how we are not twenty anymore. It is going to bite us in the a$$ if we do.
    I say let’s open a conversation about the workplace in general based upon women’s bodies. yes, let’s be open about ourselves but in a way that we all become feminists and discuss being kind to ourselves and open to our emotions and difficulties. Or pleasure – the pleasure of having a hobby, being a parent or needing time to re-assess.
    Also, girl could check her privilege a little bit. Just a tiny bit.

    • K says:

      This is a lovely and thoughtful response. I appreciate your perspective and I do agree. I have always been fit and enjoyed it. I am trying to work on the deeper issues you have raised but I also am naturally exasperated with some of the aging process. It’s ingrained in most of us to prize our youth and looks in our society and that’s a battle of will just as much as maintaining fitness.

      • Jo says:

        I agree that we cannot lie to ourselves or others either. Some aspects of getting old are painful and annoying. It’s like shedding a skin. It’s a balance. I am just sick of the lamenting – it is well established that period cramps hurt like a heart attack and that Perimenopause is a crazy ride. However all the men in my house are having testicular problems (nothing serious) that are painful. And I found out it is quite normal. But no one talks about it… which is not good either. My point really is to open up our feminism to this discussion and assessment of our bodies and minds to all rather than accepting the patriarchy and all the ageism that comes with it. And perhaps take a tiny bit of the confidence men are raised to have.

  10. Lady Esther says:

    After not working out hardly at all in my early 40s, from my late 40s – early 50s I started to exercise regularly and I’m in better shape than I have been in years. I swim 3x/week, weights 2x/week and am currently trying to add a day of yoga for flexibility, then one day off…but it is still a lot of hard work…My best tips after years of experience are:

    –Starting and stopping is the NORM not the exception. Life happens, maybe work gets very busy, maybe you go and visit your children across multiple time zones and jet lag is FAR worse with menopause…so get used to working out faithfully for 2 months, stopping for 3 months, starting up for a couple of months again because it’s spring and it’s more fun than winter, then stopping for a bit in the summer because busy/too hot, starting up again in the fall…rinse and repeat. It doesn’t matter if you stop, it only matters that you start up again 🙂 Keep at it!

    –If you’re in pain, hit that Ibuprofen (or whatever pain reliever your doctor says is safe given other medications or conditions). I do not take medication as a rule, but suffered many nights from muscle pain when I started swimming regularly and then finally said forget it, I’m taking the damn ibuprofen. I want to get a good night’s sleep. I try not to take it every night. Not sorry one bit, it really helps!

    –It’s far easier to get dehydrated during menopause than you realize…and that can contribute to generally not feeling well, feeling tired, etc especially after a workout. Hydration is KEY. You almost can’t drink too much water, tea (I drink decaf, I quit caffeine at 42 and never looked back), coffee, fruit juice…I don’t do sparkling drinks like Coke etc so it’s mostly water and tea, I make a huge carafe of tea every morning and sip it throughout the day

  11. mellie says:

    I switched to hot pilates, hot yoga and yin yoga…along with a little bit of running. It has really helped my arthritis and made quite the difference in my weight loss/lean muscle development. I turned 51 this year and am in the throes of peri-menopause, so I’m dealing with all the things, plus arthritis in my hands (ugh), so the kickboxing/bootcamp training was no longer working. I had hit a plateau anyway. But yoga mixed in with a couple days of pilates – plus that heat(!!!), it is so good on my joints. I highly recommend. Then at the end of the week I attend a yin class. Ahhh….it’s lovely.

  12. Seraphina says:

    It is a constant struggle. I gained weight during COVID and I was borderline obese for my height. And I am also approaching menopause. I read on CB news that it’s typical and to get ahead of it. So that put the fear of Jesus in me and I did. This forum is great and I am so thankful for all that I read and learn. Thank you!!!
    Soooo, I joined weight watchers and that helped but I can’t do constant point counting.
    What has worked for me is lots of water, very limited alcohol and sugars, heavy lunch with healthy breakfast (yogurt and granola or oatmeal) and a light dinner EARLY not late. It sucks because I sit with my family and I try to eat but it’s mostly salad. Also, no more preservatives and packaged meals. I found it upsets my stomach.
    And I’m getting into walking and yoga. Even with walking that’s dangerous for me since I am accident prone.
    It’s a battle and not easy. But I found it works for me.

  13. Betsy says:

    This woman is just so freakishly gorgeous. I’m not quite at her aging level yet, but then I’ll never look like her, either.

  14. Elsa says:

    Her body looks great. I’m sure it’s a combination of genetics, privilege and hard work. I would be more excited if someone posted photos of what most of us actually look like. She looks like a much younger woman so where is the risk? I never had that derrière! Yay for her but it’s not particularly inspiring to me.

    • Lady Esther says:

      She definitely has good genes, not all of us are so lucky but I am grateful for her for using her platform to speak out about aging, menopause and womanhood. Not enough women (and men, let’s face it, they should be our allies) use their voice for this! I’m content with my age and frankly am glad to be invisible when I go to the grocery store (LOL) but let’s keep this conversation going and remove the stigma of female aging! Well done Paulina, I’ll always be in your corner 🙂

    • NameHere says:

      I’m inspired by the conversation but not by her per se. A lot – a LOT – of time and money has gone into that gorgeous face and amazing body. Trainers, chefs, estheticians, a plastic surgeon or two. I’m in my early 60s and don’t have any of her resources but am here to say it’s possible. I’m still at my fighting weight (5’4″ and 112) and fit (if with less muscle tone than 20/30/40 something me). I don’t diet but do try to avoid processed food (no inheritance except a good metabolism, which is priceless). I recommend planks, standing on one leg for 30 seconds minimum a day (balance is everything), standing up and walking at least 200 steps around the house or office or in place every hour, a mini rebounder (you can watch TV and bounce or run and not ruin a single joint while improving your lymphatic system), and mat pilates (tons of deceptively simple ones on youtube. Look up Lottie Murphy. Also Lucy Wyndham-Read does great 7-minute challenges with easy/intermediate variations). Good luck everyone.

      • kirk says:

        @NameHere – thanks for your post.
        Yes. A LOT has gone into that face and body that she was already blessed with at birth. Have 10+ years on the girl and would be more inspired by her if she showed more sharing experiences with other older women rather than talk about HER trainer, HER PT, blah blah. PT is hella expensive even with good insurance speaking from 1-yr+ experience with plantar fascitis ~ 10 yrs ago, and rotator cuff injury from improper weight lifting ~ 20 yrs ago. Free or low-cost alternatives always appreciated, and will be looking up your recommendations. My insurance started providing Daily Burn, but already had low-cost subscription grandfathered in so I’ll be keeping my own. Some of us oldsters also like Yoga with Adrienne on youtube. I’ve also checked out lots of yoga and other exercise DVDs from local library. Thanks for your recommendations!❤️

  15. SamC says:

    I didn’t realize til this post Paulina and Brooke Shields are the same age.

    I’m a few years younger but also relate. Pre menopause it was easy to drop 5 pounds, now losing 2 in a month seems like a major victory. However I’ve learned to focus more on how clothes are fitting vs the number on the scale. Also, more strength training vs cardio and definitely have to build in time to stretch before/after everything.

    Personal training is expensive! What I ended up doing was paying for two 30 minute training sessions, then had the trainer write up the workouts so I could do on my own. We meet every 4-6 weeks to tweak. Made it much more affordable.

  16. #24 says:

    There’s a woman on YouTube who does workouts for women of a certain age, I love her. I also started pelvic floor therapy and that is definitely not talked about enough!

  17. Prairiegirl says:

    Is anybody else getting the “Intermittent Fasting for Seniors” ad in the Celebitchy advertising bar while reading this article? LOL.

  18. Luna17 says:

    I love her. I’m not post menopausal but a few months post partum and trying to lose some extra baby weight so I can wear my jeans this fall and winter. It’s slow going and my body doesn’t want to give up and ounce of fat since I’m breastfeeding. Meanwhile my husband cuts out his “night cookies” and loses 10 lbs in a month 🙄🙄. It feels like us women are always dealing with some crap that makes staying in shape hard.

  19. jferber says:

    She is so right and is phenomenally beautiful at any age.

  20. Jess says:

    I never really knew anything about PP (besides her marriage to RO and his brutal treatment of her in his will) but somehow stumbled upon her Insta page and now I love her so much. Not only does she address so many issues I can relate to (I’m almost 50 and perimenopause has been a a real struggle for me), but she writes about them in such a thoughtful and beautiful way. I am a huge fan!

  21. Jaded says:

    I’m about to turn 70 and have had to radically reinvent my exercise and supplements routines over the past 7 or 8 years. Breast cancer in 2016 brought my HRT to a screeching halt and the resulting thermo-nuclear menopause was dreadful. However I soldiered on and have found some great stuff to help with all the symptoms. First, gabapentin is great for insomnia and much safer than prescription sleeping pills or SSRIs (tried them, they made me hallucinate). I take Pueraria Mirifica and MenoSense for hot flashes. For stiff, achy joints I find NutriFlex Supreme helpful. I work out with 5/8/10 lb weights as well as 2-1/2 and 5 lb ankle weights. Low impact HIIT can work up just as good a sweat as high impact, and I also use a recumbent bike ,a rebounder and a rowing machine. I also found some great Yin Yoga videos on YouTube specifically targeting lower back and hip pain that loosen things up really well. I’ve noticed a great increase in exercise videos on YouTube targeting the over 50 folks that I do regularly — look up videos by Pahla B, Jenny McClendon and Senior Fitness with Meredith. No need to hire a personal trainer or join an expensive gym.

    • kirk says:

      Thank you for the tip on Yin Yoga for hips and hip pain. I’ve had hip bursitis a few times and it pays to remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Will check other video recommendations. Hope your cancer is cured or in remission.

    • #24 says:

      I love PahlaB she talks alot but so do I so I don’t mind.

  22. Veronica S. says:

    I’m glad more people in Hollywood are being up front about what it takes to maintain their physiques, but I do think more of them should be honest that it was a privilege to ever be able to maintain a “fit” body with any measure of ease before menopause. Some of us never had the ability to be thin unless we ate below average calories and exercised well beyond average.

  23. Bunny says:

    Just Adding vitamin e (400iu) to my regular daily multivitamin has alleviated hot flashes .

    Check with your doctor first in case there is any medical contraindications but I no longer feel like hot flashes are a problem except for the rare occasion.