The menopause and the perimenopausal years leading up to it are a different experience for everyone. Some sail through, some really struggle, and everything in between. Here are some of the many reported symptoms experienced in menopause. You may recognise them in yourself or others?
- Physical Symptoms; Hair loss, weight gain, brittle nails, dizziness, allergies, joint pain, headaches, osteoporosis…
- Psychological symptoms; Mood swings, fatigue, depression, anxiety, memory losses, irritaion…
- Digestive symptoms; Bloating and digestive problems.
- Vasomotor symptoms; Hot flushes, changes in body odour, night sweats.
- Oral symptoms; Burning tongue, gum problems.
- Nervous system symptoms; Electric shock sensations, tingling extremities.
Obviously not all symptoms are going to be related to the menopause, and some may need further investigation or review with your GP or specialist.
Pilates can’t solve everything (unfortunately) but it can help support the musculoskeletal system through weight-bearing exercise, resistance and balance work. With the added bonus of relaxation work to calm the nervous system.
Long Term implications of the menopause can lead to:
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Increased risk of osteoporosis.
- Genito urinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). Incontinence, vaginal dryness/irritation/burning.
- Reduced muscle mass and strength.
- Increased prevalence of osteoarthritis.
Struggling or not. Adopting a healthy lifestyle will support your body through these changes and beyond. Considering; diet, exercise, smoking cessation, reducing alcohol intake, pelvic floor exercises, skin care and health screening are all aspects to evaluate and make changes in if necessary.
Exercise is a critical component of health and well-being at any age; however, it may be especially beneficial during and following the menopause. (Davenport et al 2017.)
Pilates will help support the musculoskeletal system.
There are several studies supporting the use of Pilates to support ladies in their menopausal years.
- One 8-week Pilates program was found to be effective to reduce menopausal symptoms and improve lower back strength and flexibility. (Lee et al, 2016)
- Another showed improvements in balance and knee mechanics. (Campos De Oliveira et al 2015)
- A further 12-week study where people practiced 60 minutes of Pilates twice a week revealed it was effective in improving upper and lower body, and abdominal strength. (Bergamin et el, 2015)
Look at your body as a bank account. Invest in your bone health and muscle strength. If you enter your peri-menopause with an overdraft, it will be harder to top-up your account.
If you are interested in the Pilates for Menopause classes. Please get in touch.