Although many women might find relief in saying goodbye to periods, tampons, pads and the joy that is PMS, for most women, the rapid decrease in hormones will mean experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
- night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- hot flashes
- weight gain
Are we having fun yet?
In addition to the above, menopausal women also experience changes such as loss of muscle strength and flexibility, and joint pain. These impacts can contribute to musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoporosis.
Why Pilates Works So Well During Menopause
Pilates can significantly reduce the impact of menopause because it helps to build strength and increase flexibility and mobility, which then decreases joint pain. Pilates is low-impact, there’s no lifting heavy weights in the gym, so it’s considered a safe option. Pilates also works on core control which helps with dynamic postural balance. This is important because as we age, balance and proprioception tend to suffer the most.
Pilates can also help with the increased anxiety women tend to feel during this stage of life. Pilates focuses on how we use the breath to get the most out of the movements we’re making. When you can use the Pilates breath to its full potential during exercises, breath has the ability to calm your nervous system down, which helps reduce anxiety. Simultaneously, with a calmer nervous system, you can reduce your cortisol levels which makes it easier to lose weight and improves the quality of your sleep.
I’ve worked with women between the ages of 45-80 for many years now. And these women often describe Pilates as gentle on their body, but strong in its benefits. Knee problems? Shoulder problems? Back problems? No worries, Pilates can accommodate, and in most circumstances improve the muscle imbalances causing these problems.
Menopause can be incredibly challenging to navigate. Pilates can help you journey through those stormy waters calmer, stronger, and with less pain.