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Image by Lesley Salem


As someone who is naturally interested in how our general wellbeing can be improved, I am keen on finding out how this can be achieved through my work as a Pilates instructor.

I am also interested in discussing issues affecting women that are generally not talked about. I wanted to highlight the high number of women facing challenges through menopause, in their personal lives and at work, and how it still seems that there is not enough acknowledgment and support available. Through talking and normalising these sorts of issues we can help women to feel less isolated, allowing them to share their experiences and knowledge which could, in turn, help other women.

I teach locally in Whitley Bay as well as online, reaching clients further afield. All of my clients are women, and a number of them are going through menopause. I wanted to find out what their main physical and mental concerns are during menopause, in order to understand more about what they are going through and of course what I will have to go through at some point. I want to see how I can offer more support to these women through my classes so I asked myself "how can I adapt my classes to help alleviate some of the common menopausal issues?" Then I realised I needed to stop asking myself and start asking the women who are actually dealing with this.

So here's what was said.

Q1. Before you were aware you were going through menopause, did you know much about it and the effects it can have on your body?

83% said no or some whereas only 17% said they knew anything about it. I found this troubling considering it will happen to 100% of women. Perhaps in the same way periods are explained prior to puberty - it often just happens and you're expected to know what's going on with your body and how to manage it.

Q2. Have you been given any information from healthcare professionals about menopause or do you feel you have had to find out this information for yourself?

Again, only 17% received any sort of information and a staggering 83% had to research this for themselves. Just get on with it then!

Q3. What are your main concerns about menopause?

It turns out there are a lot. More than I realised and I'm sure there are many more. Your main concerns were brain fog, mood swings, weight gain, hot flushes and osteoporosis. There were also worries about cancer, heart disease, insomnia, lack of sex drive, joint pain, anxiety...the list goes on.

Q4. Do you feel supported in your workplace with regards to any issues or difficulties you are facing as a result of menopause? Please let me know what, if any, support you are receiving?

Sadly 72% don't receive any acknowledgment or support at work or they felt that this could not be discussed. 28% said this hadn't been an issue so far or it was not applicable since the individual was self-employed. It's not something I could imagine bringing up in my days of team meetings - it's a difficult subject to discuss with a high chance of awkwardness (for details on support for this at work see the Miss Menopause link at the bottom of the page).

Q5. What support would you like to see given to women going through menopause?

It was clear that you would like to see generally more awareness and understanding around the subject and more choice and help given from GPs -ideally a more personalised approach here and not so generic. You wanted more acknowledgement from employers as well as information given from a much earlier age. 

Thanks to all the women who took my survey! I enjoy a bit of research and you've given me some valuable insights and things to consider.


There are a number of reasons to practice Pilates - here are a few that will help benefit some of the concerns above.

Under the Sea


Pilates can help release endorphins which is essential for boosting mood. You can use simple movement and breathing techniques to calm your mind and focus on what you're doing in that moment. Try slowly inhaling and raising your arms up then exhaling as you lower them, coordinating the movements and connecting to what your body is doing. The effects can be quite relaxing.

Image by Artur Łuczka


As bone density decreases with age, and moreso during menopause, the likelyhood of fractures and breakages increases. You can help build up your muscle strength and bone density through weight and resistance training. Try the video I made in the newsletter for tips on some movements. You don't even need actual weights - grab shampoo bottles, large oranges or a bottle of wine (as one of my online clients once did!).

Image by Nio Milano


While Pilates isn't a cardiovascular workout, it can certainly help tone up your muscles and create definition. It works really well to compliment other more intense workouts and can make them more efficient thus burning more calories. Try 10 minutes of movements to fire up the core, mixing it up with some warm ups and gentle stretching then going on to more challenging moves like curl ups, oblique curl ups, toe taps and the 100.

Image by Chaewon Lee


Pilates is low impact and therefore kind on the joints. I wouldn't say it is easy, it can be really challenging, but the beauty is that you can go at your own pace and still reap the benefits. Generally I have found that those with discomfort before a class often feel that the pain has lessened or gone completely afterwards. Try my session for beginners to get a sense of some of the fundamental movements.

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