Updated: Nov 9, 2022
It's World Osteoporosis Day today and World Menopause Month this month.
In honour of both I thought I’d share some of the benefits of movement and Pilates for osteoporosis as well as all stages of menopause, including peri menopause, the full menopause and post menopause, but also early onset menopause and medical menopause.
In the video I’m discussing one of my most favourite exercises, Beast Plank, it’s great for supporting bone / joint health, it’s a body weight exercise which will help improve muscle mass and it requires good diaphragmatic breathing and control which will improve core strength and stability.
Menopause can be a challenging time for many women, it’s a time of great change with a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. I’ve taught many women at various stages and some of the symptoms that have been described to me are:
Sudden onset or a worsening of joint paint and restriction
More musculoskeletal aches and pains generally
Weight gain in particular around the middle due to hormone fluctuations
Less sleep, this can be dow to night sweats or sleep disturbances in general
Low energy levels, poor focus and concentration
Hot sweats which can bring on anxiety and heart palpitations
Many women have described being more anxious, stressed and feel less able to cope in their everyday life
While we can’t take away the symptoms of menopause we can do many things to relieve and improve symptoms, exercise is one of them.
Movement and Pilates is a low impact form of exercise that can help improve cardiovascular health, core strength and stability.
We work on improving posture, balance, coordination and control will help our our movement and our ability to exercise and so supports our physical health.
Many of the exercises use body weight or resistance from the springs on the reformer and Cadillac, which can help lessen muscle loss that can happen during menopause and build strength, flexibility and mobility. This can also support our bone health which can help protect against conditions such as osteoporosis.
Exercise can also help our emotional and mental well-being, it’s known to improve our mood. I think Pilates also gives us tools and ways to cope with these changes during our busy lives through the breath work we do, it helps our focus and concentration through staying present while we perform precise, often complex movements and if you are giving yourself the time to do a class or a 1-2-1 sessions, it gives us a moment to focus on ourselves, during this time, and do something for our mind, body and movement.