Midlife: A Lifestyle Programme for Menopause

Midlife is a research study investigating the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of a six-week lifestyle programme specifically designed for perimenopause, incorporating exercise, diet, and health education components.

Participants in this study will be randomly separated into either:

  • An experimental group; or
  • A control group

Participants in the experimental group will take part in the six-week lifestyle programme that focuses on exercise, diet, and health education. There will be 12 one-hour group sessions over the six weeks (two classes per week either in-person or online) which consist of a 20-minute menopause workshop and 30-minutes of functional training.

The menopause workshops will cover the basics of menopause, the benefits of exercise and nutrition, mental health and well-being, sleep, pelvic floor health, sexual health, hormonal replacement therapy, and life after menopause and will be delivered by experts in these areas.

The functional training section of these sessions will be focused on a combination of bodyweight and resistance-based exercises and will be delivered by a qualified instructor. In addition to this type of exercise, participants will also be encouraged to achieve the general aerobic activity guidelines (participants will choose from different types of physical activity for this and the type can change throughout) for this age group as well as adopt healthy eating practices.

Participants in the control group will continue to follow their own usual exercise and diet patterns but will attend one menopause education workshop. In addition, at the end of the six-weeks they will be offered a guaranteed place on our next instalment of the Midlife lifestyle program.

*Please note: if you take part in this research study you will be randomised into either the experimental or control group, and therefore not everyone who signs up for the Midlife programme will take part in the lifestyle programme in the first instance. Both groups are really important for the study, without the control group we would not know if the programme has been effective!

How to Participate?

We welcome women who are…

  • Between the ages of 45 and 55 years old
  • Experiencing a spontaneous perimenopause (e., the reproductive phase in a woman’s life occurring before menopause)
  • Beginning to experience some menopause-related symptoms within the last month
  • Sedentary OR low active for the last three months (e., do not meet the World Health Organisation’s minimum activity guidelines/ participation in occasional and/or incidental physical activity)
  • Free from any health-related conditions (g., cancer, hypertension, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease, etc.)
  • Free from any injury in the past six months
  • Living in Waterford/South Kilkenny area

Women who are currently using hormonal replacement therapy, other types of medications/hormonal contraception, as well as natural products, herbal remedies, and complimentary therapies are also welcome to take part.

If you would like to register your interest in participating in this research study, please see the questionnaire below:


Who is Leading the Programme?

The Midlife research study has been created by a team of researchers from the SHE Research Group at the Technological University of the Shannon.  This study is also a collaboration between UPMC Ireland, Waterford Sports Partnership, and the South-East Technological University.

Dr Kelly Lee McNulty, the project lead, is a postdoctoral researcher within the SHE research group at the Technological University of the Shannon developing and evaluating a lifestyle program for menopause, including exercise, nutrition, and education components. Kelly graduated from Northumbria University with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Sport and Exercise Science, a MSc (distinction) in Strength & Conditioning, and a PhD which investigated the effects of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive use on performance, training, and recovery in sportswomen. Kelly’s research interests are predominately in female exercise physiology and how we can optimise female health and performance, as well as addressing the gender data gap in sport and exercise science research.

If you would like to learn more about the Midlife research study, please get in touch using the below contact emails:

Dr Kelly Lee McNulty: kelly.mcnulty@tus.ie

Dr Aoife Lane: aoife.lane@tus.ie

Further detail on the programme is available in the participant information booklet.