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 osteoporosis.
- 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 exercises.
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 have more testosterone and are stronger when comes to strength training and should take advantage of this to push themselves.
Image credit: Unsplash, Bruce Mars