Forty-plus & Fabulous!
EL Singapore|October 2021
Meet the breast cancer survivor who’s changing the fitness game for over-40s in Singapore.
AMY GREENBURG

As a woman, if you’ve ever set foot in a male-dominated weight room, you probably know the feeling: everyone’s either judging you, your form or the fact that you’re lifting weights at all. You’re not alone – experiences like this keep many women away from the gym. It’s no wonder, really, that women around the world are documented as being less likely than men to get the amount of exercise they need.

It’s not just this gender gap that deters some women from the gym. It’s that sense of self-consciousness that many women feel around other women – that feeling of not fitting in with a crowd that doesn’t “look” like you. Social media and ads don’t make it any better, with “perfect” young bodies telling women they can look like that too.

For a woman going through menopause, this is sure to spark some self-limiting beliefs. It may even be the reason why she walks away from working out altogether; “I’m too old for that”, “I’m too out of shape”, “I can’t keep up”. And yet regular exercise is one of the most powerful things she can do to reduce her risk of chronic diseases, build bone density and benefit her mental health.

Aly’s story

As a woman in her late 40s who has had two kids and battled breast cancer, ALY KHAIRUDDIN knows just how hard it can be to overcome the obstacles that can come with ageing. Luckily, as a certified personal trainer and Pilates instructor, she understood the power of physical activity right from the start. In fact, it’s how she clawed her way out of the hole that cancer treatment had left her in – immense pain to the point where she couldn’t get out of the tub by herself.

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