Updated: Sep 26
Menopause or cessation of ovarian follicular activity is a significant period in every woman's life which is associated with great physical, biological and psychological changes. The average age it happens is 49 years old.
Estrogen deficiency, vasomotor symptoms, mental symptoms as well as osteoporosis, muscle-joint pain, headache, hot flashes, and decreased sexual desire make this period of life very challenging for women. Moreover, stress, anxiety, irritability, depressive tendencies, and difficulty in concentration, are some additional symptoms.
The attitudes toward ageing have a determinant role in health and well-being during the second half of life. For example, those with a positive attitude to their ageing maintain a healthier lifestyle and are less vulnerable to morbidity and mortality in comparison to those with a negative attitude towards ageing.
Physical activity, which is described as body movements using energy, is one method used in interventions for women during menopause. Reduction in risk of cardiovascular events, reduction in obesity, diminished risk of hypertension and diabetes mellitus, improvement in blood lipid profile, and reduction in risk of cancer are some of the positive indications of regular physical activities. Moreover, happiness, well-being, satisfaction, life satisfaction, optimism, psychological resilience, hope, and trust, are developed during physical activity practices.
In a study with women that have menopausal symptoms, moderate levels of physical activity were associated with reducing not only physical but also psychosocial menopausal symptoms. Elavsky and McAuley (2009) found a decrease in the average trait anxiety status of women who were engaged in a 4-month physical activity. Additionally, according to Lim, women with positive attitudes are able to manage menopause through regular exercise.
In addition to Pilates, which is a composite of movement styles and philosophy of gymnastics, martial arts, yoga, and dance, have significant improvements in sleep and life-quality. Therefore, Yasemin Çakmak Yıldızhan, 2020 investigated 8 weeks of Pilates-based program effects on the well-being level of 36 women with menopause. The participants were separated into an exercise group, (21 women; average age 50), and a control group, (15 women, average age 51).
According to the results, women in the exercise group, who were engaged in pilates three times a week, had higher scores in wellbeing compared to the women in the control group. Therefore, it is highly recommended for women during menopause to participate in these activities in order to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
Source: The effects of regular physical activities on subjective well-being levels in women of menopause period.
Yasemin Çakmak Yıldızhan, 2020