Looking around at the fitness classes that are available to me approaching 50, there appears to be a big jump from standard classes to silver surfer classes with not much in between.
So, I have created a class that I would like to attend!
Menogise is a class for women who are looking to exercise regularly but are aware their energy levels can fluctuate in your menopausal years. This class is proactively looking at what you need to be healthy in the future. I have written about proactive exercise and healthy ageing extensively in my book The Menopause Diaries.
The Pilates and Hatha yoga class includes core strength exercises to help flatten your tum, strengthen your back muscles and improve posture.
The warm-up section is thorough and I don’t scrimp on this part of the class. I pull in aspects of the yoga here as yoga classes have nailed the transition from a busy life to getting your bum on your mat and forgetting about your to-do list.
I also layer in the following:
There are a number of yoga exercises that help to balance hormones during the menopause. They are often not included in standard classes perhaps because they are quite simple and not Instagram worthy poses!
We spend a few minutes at the start and end with some relaxing breathing. Menopausal women become more sensitive to stress. Excess stress hormones are stored around your abdomen, which is often quite stubborn and hard to shift. Taking the time to relaxing will help reduce stress hormones.
In the UK, one in three women over 50 may be affected by low bone density or osteoporosis. There are many reasons for this. Lowering hormone levels during the menopause can cause this as well as a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet.
Strengthening bones through exercise occurs with weight training. As most Pilates classes take place lying on a mat it doesn’t strengthen hip and leg bones although the upper body can be with weight bearing exercises in 4-point kneeling. Performing exercises in standing such as lunges can help to strengthen hip and leg bones.
Following on from Bone health, osteoporosis is not a problem in everyday life unless you fall over and break something. Therefore, working on balance and avoiding falling is a simple way to help prevent this. From a confidence point of view, it is much easier to work on when you are healthy rather than when you are worried about falling over.
Balance has also been an indicator in Alzheimer’s and improving your balance is improving your brain.
Learning something new is good for the health of your brain. Combine that with exercises that have a coordination element and your Pilates class is helping to improve brain cognitively and well as your strengthening your body.
I think consistency is the most important part of an exercise programme during the menopause, so in the class you do what is best for you on the day. If your energy levels are low, then respect that and listen to your body rather than your head! If you feel good then there are options for you too.
My aim is that you feel energised when you leave, have gained a few inches in height and start to feel like yourself again!
You can find out more about my classes in Edinburgh here