Nutrify Performance Nutrition for Women

National Girls & Women in Sports Day: Addressing the Needs of Active Mid-Life Women

It was inspiring to read so many stories of celebration on National Girls & Women in Sports Day yesterday! Much progress has been made since Title IX but it’s clear we still have a lot of work to do to support gender equality and participation in sport and to actively address the gaps in research on women relative to men.

Unfortunately, there is a significant disparity in sports & exercise science research with only 6% of studies focused solely on women (1). And the gap is even more significant when examining studies on perimenopausal or post-menopausal women. New research published this week found that only 16% of the sports & exercise science studies (i.e. a small fraction of the 6% women-only studies mentioned above) focused on women in perimenopause or post-menopause (2).

And yet we know that the menopause transition (accurately referred to by some as “reverse puberty”) can be incredibly disruptive as women may experience body composition changes, changes in motivation/loss of mojo, increased anxiety & depression, brain fog, poor/disrupted sleep, muscle & joint pain, increased injury risk, any many other symptoms resulting from the fluctuations & eventual decline in estrogen (and progesterone). These symptoms can have a significant impact on quality of life, health & performance and result in reduced participation in sport. In fact, the CDC’s National Center for Statistics reported a drop in women meeting physical activity standards for aerobic & muscle strengthening activities from almost 29% of women age 18-34 to less than 18% of women age 50-65 years (3).

So on this day after NGWSD2024, I personally resolve to continue to ask questions, to keep learning, to share what I am learning, and to support those that are helping us close the knowledge gaps for active women across all life-stages. Look for a new resource for active mid-life women based on my recent Menopause Health & Fitness Specialist course (coming soon!). And if I can be a resource for you (or those who coach or work with active women), please don’t hesitate to reach out & schedule a complimentary information call.


(1) Cowley, E.S., Olenick, A.A., McNulty, K.L., & Ross, E.Z. (2021). “Invisible sportswomen”: The sex data gap in sport and exercise science research. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, 29(2), 146–151.

(2) McNulty K, Olenick A, Moore S, et al. Invisibility of female participants in midlife and beyond in sport and exercise science research: a call to action. British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 06 February 2024. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2023-107165

(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Physical Activity Among Adults Aged 18 and Over: United States, 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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