Menopause marks an important
milestone in a woman’s life and the changes brought upon are not overnight but
gradual. They start with perimenopause during the 40s. There are changes not
only to the body but also psychological. Every woman’s experience varies – for
some the changes are manageable and for others it can be disruptive.
Exercise can play a very
important role in combatting menopause. Continuing with a proper fitness regime
can help with weight management, alleviate bone density loss, increase strength,
balance and emotional well-being.
Pilates can help with
menopause symptoms. It helps with
- Breathing – women
during this period tend to experience anxiety and deep breathing in Pilates can
calm the mind and improve focus.
- Strength - with the decline in estrogen, women during
this period need to add resistance training to help maintain bone density, and prevent
- Pelvic floor strengthening
– very important during this stage to combat any urinary incontinence issues.
- Core Stability –
To maintain posture and balance.
- Flexibility –
Important to keep the body supple for injury prevention.
- Relaxation –
Along with breathing, aids with sleeping better and have fun while doing the
Pilates sessions can be
tweaked to service this population better. This can be in terms of:
- Inclusion of more
resistance and weight bearing exercises to improve bone density.
- Inclusion of
jump-board or interval training to increase cardio-vascular workout.
- Customisation of
the sessions to improve posture and balance which tend to deteriorate with age.
Working in this area is of
special interest to me as I have noticed the difference in this age group
between women who work out regularly and those who say they are tired and start
to take things easy. The weight gain, self-doubt, fatigue and lethargy are some
of the symptoms of those who don’t exercise regularly. With loss of estrogen,
women at this stage of have more of the testosterone and are stronger when
comes to strength training and should take advantage of this to push themselves.