Shazia, a south asian woman aged 50-55 doing a step workout in her living room

Shazia’s Menopause Story

Name: Shazia, 45

Shazia trained in fitness and counselling and then set up a not-for-profit fitness company to benefit the women in her area. Predominantly populated by South Asian women and their families in Middlesbrough, Nur Fitness helps to deal with key issues such as menopause, mental health and cancer that are still taboo subjects for BME communities and through exercise help them live healthier, happier and more empowered lives.


Shazia, a 45-55 year old south asian woman sitting in her garden

"Sport isn't even seen as an important part of our culture's lives."


“Sport isn’t even seen as important part of our culture’s lives. We have purposely chosen women at different stages and places in life to be our instructors. My sister is one of them; she is 55 so I get her to talk about menopause and explain what women this age are going through, they might say “oh that happened to me” and that breaks down barriers. If it is someone near your age, from your background and culture and language, all of a sudden it becomes more acceptable to them. That’s why I am taking part in this: they need to see people similar to themselves because it might help them to know it happens to all of us.

“If we had something like Nur fitness then for my mum, it might have helped her. A lot of women come to me depressed with no one to speak to, people laugh at them and think they are being dramatic. That is what she was like and we suffered the knock-on effects. I don’t want that to go in vein. I want to use my experience to help other people.”


“I think a lack of understanding about the menopause is a generational problem. I don’t think a lot of women understand that in our community."


“If someone is struggling with their hormones during Ramadan we advise gentle exercise like a walk. The funny thing is that if you are on your period you don’t have to fast. But when you are older and your periods have stopped post menopause you don’t get that break, you have to go the whole time. If you don’t have a period, you have to fast. So it absolutely kills older women who are used to having that break. They are exhausted. Plus they do more than the men, they are doing everything so that can really have an impact.

“Sport definitely helps them, it makes a big difference. Exercise makes you happier. If you are fitter and healthier everything is going to be a little bit easier for you to manage.”

Shazia’s Menopause Story is part of our curation of images and short films created in partnership with Getty Images. These challenge the way women going through the menopause are portrayed in society, illustrating the joy of exercise and how it has changed their lives – building community, friendship, adventure, fun and camaraderie.

Read more about the #menopossibilities campaign here