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How Pilates can help women through perimenopause and menopause

Whilst a few women are fortunate enough to sail through menopause with few problems, for the majority, it can be an incredibly challenging time, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Menopause can occur as early as 45, and in some cases even earlier, but the average age at menopause is around 50. It occurs 12 months after the last menstrual cycle. However, the period before that, which is referred to as perimenopause, can be just as trying for many women. The symptoms of menopause can last between 4 to 15 years.

Often seen as a taboo subject, it is only recently that high-profile women like The Countess of Wessex and Davina McCall have begun to speak out about what living with menopause is like and how it can be managed. This is great as the more it is talked about in the media the more there will be help and information for women.

Why exercise can help?

Exercise, and particularly Pilates, can be a great way to manage the symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause. The main symptoms are:

  • Hot flushes
  • Brain fog
  • Changes in mood
  • Dryness
  • Disruption to sleep
  • Memory problems
  • Thinning hair
  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of libido

But for some women, there are also longer-term implications for health, including.

  • Increased risk of Cardiovascular disease
  • Increased risk of Osteoporosis
  • Genitourinary syndrome of menopause
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Reduced strength
  • Increased prevalence of osteoarthritis
  • Slow bowel and bladder

The hormonal changes that the body goes through can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, a drop in oestrogen which can increase cholesterol levels and a decrease in bone density of up to 20% making women more prone to fractures of the hip or vertebra.

Exercising before menopause starts can put a body in a better physical position, which will make keeping fit and exercising regularly much easier during menopause and can help to deal with many of the symptoms.

Of all the exercises that you could consider, Pilates is one of the best for both perimenopause and menopause. It supports bone density, cardiovascular health, weight management and even helps to improve mood. It is great for building up muscle and core strength to help prevent injury.

What other benefits does Pilates have for menopause?

·      Mat exercises can help to develop good posture, which can support joints

·      Load bearing and resistance exercises can assist with bone strength

·      You can improve balance and mobility to protect against falls in the future

·      Helps to strengthen core muscles

·      Learning to breathe properly can reduce stress

Whether you are in perimenopause or menopause, if you have never considered Pilates then now is certainly the time to give it a try. Why not get in touch to start a course with me, and reap the benefits Pilates can bring to this time of life?