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How Can Pilates Help Support You Through Menopause?


Menopause—the cessation of menstruation—is a natural occurrence that often signals great physical, emotional, and mental changes. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly challenging for women who, due to the decline of oestrogen and progesterone production, experience discomforting symptoms such as hot flushes and brain fog.


One way to cope with these changes is to participate in a fitness or wellness program like Pilates, a popular core-building exercise. Read on to learn about the effects of menopause on the body and mind and how Pilates can help.


The Effect of Menopause on Women


Menopause looks and feels different for everyone.


Some common symptoms include:


  • Hot flushes

  • Night sweat

  • Stiffness and body aches

  • Trouble with memory and concentration

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Weight gain

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Discomfort during sex


In the long term, you might experience:


  • Reduced muscle mass

  • Reduces strength

  • Increased risk of osteoporosis

  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease

  • Vaginal and bladder issues


Symptoms typically last between 4 and 15 years after your last period.


It is recommended that women experiencing menopause participate in an active lifestyle to manage these symptoms. In particular, it is best to go for strength training, balance exercises, and cardiovascular workouts.


Manage Weight Gain Around the Belly


Individuals going through menopause often experience weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. As oestrogen production declines, your metabolism may slow, and fat, which used to go to your hips and thighs, ends up stored around your waist instead.


Importantly, weight gain is not simply a matter of aesthetics—it also impacts your health in the long run. For example, you may experience an increased risk of:


  • Heart disease

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Respiratory problems


This is where Pilates comes in: as an exercise focusing on building core strength, it can help strengthen the body, including the area around your midsection. Building and training muscles would also help to increase the number of calories burned and improve your metabolic rate, reducing to overall weight loss.


Manage Menopause Osteoporosis


As your hormone levels change, you may experience a loss of bone density which may lead to osteopenia and potentially even osteoporosis. Hence, you may be more prone to bone fractures and injuries.


As Pilates exercises tend to be resistance-based and certain exercises require weight-bearing, these would help to maintain bone density as well as strengthen muscles to support the bones. . Therefore, it is an effective exercise to manage your bone health.


Support Pelvic Floor Health


One distressing change brought about by menopause is incontinence: as your pelvic muscles weaken due to hormonal changes, you may have less control over your bladder. The pelvic floor is part of your core/inner unit, which Pilates exercises focus on. Regular practice can thus help you regain control and strengthen your pelvic muscles, preventing bladder leaks.


Combat Brain Fog


If you’ve been finding it difficult to concentrate on your daily tasks, you are not alone—brain fog is common among those going through menopause.


As a mind-body exercise, Pilates is beneficial, with each session requiring you to clear your mind of all distractions and focus solely on your body. With regular practice, you can improve your brain health and function.


Stress Relief


Menopause may result in emotional changes, such as increased anxiety and stress.

Pilates is a good choice because it emphasises mindful breathing. The exercise, combining deep breathing with regulated motions, encourages relaxation while releasing tension.


Conclusion


Menopause can be daunting, with your mind and body undergoing significant changes. One effective way to manage these changes is to incorporate exercises like Pilates into your lifestyle which physically, mentally, and emotionally boosts your well-being.


At Chuan Studio, we offer private Pilates in Singapore. We also provide somatic movement therapy and GYROTONIC® classes.

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