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How Pilates can help see you through the menopause

Struggling with the symptoms of the menopause? Surrey Pilates instructor and health coach Lisa Hawkins says Pilates is the answer. And here's why.

mature woman doing a pilates or yoga stretch

Menopause. It can feel like an assault on the body and the mind, with an an unappetising assortment of effects including mood swings, sleep deprivation, hot flushes, reduced strength, loss of muscle tone and weight gain. Nice, huh!?

But don’t despair – or sweat it – there’s help! Research shows that Pilates is amazing at helping tackle at least some of these symptoms… and it can do so in as little as eight weeks. Importantly, Pilates will also help prevent vascular diseases, the conditions that impacts your arteries and veins like stroke, deep vein thrombosis, aneurysms and hypertension.

Cobham-based Pilates instructor and health coach Lisa Hawkins specialises in Pilates for the menopause. She knows first-hand the effects of menopause – and the benefits of Pilates.

After having her own peri-menopause symptoms misdiagnosed – which resulted in both medicinal and surgical intervention – Lisa took matters into her own hands, looking into both natural and doctor-prescribed solutions. During her investigations Lisa started to focus more seriously on Pilates – so much so she trained as an instructor, and gained qualifications as a health coach and natural chef. And since then she hasn’t looked back – she’s now physically able to do more than she ever has, and it’s also brought her a new-found inner calm.

Why Pilates? And what are the benefits?

1. In Pilates, the focus is on slowing and breaking down movements and focusing on breathing, which allows us to target those deep inner muscles.

2. Pilates is low-impact, but it helps to increase flexibility and balance. This will help alleviate aches and pains, and will also help prevent falls and accidents.

3. Pilates will improve muscle strength and tone. Strength training supports bone health and may help to prevent osteoporosis, which is a huge benefit as women go through menopause.

4. Exercise like Pilates releases endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals that help tackle depression, stress, mood-swings and anxiety.

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