“Pilates for Menopause: Why Strength Training Is Vital for Women
Going Through The Menopause”
The onset of menopause can bring many changes for women, both emotionally and physically. As oestrogen levels decline, it is common to experience symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, mood swings. There is also a risk for a loss of lean muscle mass and bone density during the menopause. All these factors can contribute to feeling fatigued, achy, stiff, and generally out of sorts in your body.
The good news is that making strength training a regular part of your routine can help many of the common symptoms of menopause. Building strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance serves an important protective role for women’s health during the menopause. That’s why it’s so important not to skip regular strength sessions as you go through menopause.
Why strength train through the menopause
As we head through the menopause one of the areas that is affected is losing muscle strength and muscle mass, not only is this important to ensure that we support our body not only the physical structure, but lean muscle mass helps with our energy levels and how we use our food for energy. So, keeping our muscles strong is important as we go through the menopause.
Our bone density is affected as well. Our bone density reaches its peak in our early 30’s, but as we head through the menopause the decline quickens with the changes in our hormones. Menopausal women are at greater risk of Osteoporosis because of this. Dr Juliet McGrattan writes a article about how to manage your running if you already have Osteoporsis.
Hormones also influence our metabolism, weight which consistent strength training can help alleviate.
Although we can’t change the effects of aging, we can slow things down and support our body with regular strength training. If we start a regular form of strength training, then we get added benefits of improving our posture and balance which is also affected as we age. Improving these will help reduce your risk of injury, as a runner this is a bonus.
Benefits of Pilates for Menopausal Women
Talk to most women about adding strength training to their running you get a different reaction. Some women are still afraid of becoming too muscular or lack confidence to head into the weights section of the gym.
Pilates is a great way to start a regular strength training habit and its easy to do at home. Pilates is low-impact so kinder on your joints as you age. It uses your body weight to add strength to the exercise. All exercises can be modified to suit you and your fitness level. The focus is core strength, flexibility, joint mobility, balance, and control which as runners has a positive impact on our running posture and form, reducing the risks of running injuries.
The positive changes that Pilates for menopause can create to you and your body is effective to keep you wanting more.
Pilates for Menopause: Pilates exercises to add strength
Below our 3 Pilates exercises beneficial for the menopausal runner. If you are new to Pilates then chec out the Beginners Pilates course which will teach you the baisc of Pilates and the Pilates exercises. Technique is important to gain the most out of Pilates for menopause, so take your time to learn. Check out the course here
The 1 leg stretch
This focuses on core strength, adding load to the core with the moving legs. Choose a level suitable for you and increase the load by lowering your legs as you do the movement as you become stronger maintaining your neutral position. Repeat x 10.
This is an isometric exercise, using lots of muscles keeping your body in the plank position. Build this exercise up with length of time you can hold without losing form. You shouldn’t feel this at all in your lower back when performing the plank.
The Shoulder Bridge
One of my go to exercise, it’s a great mobility exercise for the spine but you have to use your core and glutes to perform this. Add leg lifts and you add more load to the core which in turn strengthens and improves control and pelvic stability. Repeat x 10
Learn Pilates for menopause with my Beginner’s Pilates Online Course for menopausal women looking to start strength training in a gentle, low-impact way. The course will guide you through Pilates exercises that specifically target core strength, flexibility, and balance – helping ease menopausal symptoms and keep you running injury free.
Sign up today to take control over your body during the menopause.