Pilates to prevent Dementia... Really?

Listening to the Menopause Doctor Dr Louise Newson this week I was not surprised to hear that the loss of oestrogen following the menopause increases our risk of Osteoporosis but more surprisingly that declining hormone levels also contribute to an increased risk of dementia.

I am definitely noticing more memory glitches over the past few years with my own approaching, and now arrived, menopause.  An inability to locate keys, my struggles to remember the name of thingummybob who I see all the time and constantly asking my kids where the thingamajig went.

It Turns out that women are more at risk of dementia than men; 65% of people who currently have dementia are women.  Most weeks whilst teaching I can be heard to say that we are practicing Dementia Prevention as we enjoy our Pilates Classes.  Mostly when we have a giggle as we struggle to coordinate moving arms and legs and still keep breathing! Now it turns out I am right, it’s official Pilates prevents dementia…

Ok so in fact what studies show is that regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia by about 30 percent and for Alzheimer's disease specifically, the risk was reduced by 45 per cent. Ok so now we know that it’s easy to do, right...

Wrong! Unfortunately the trend is that that postmenopausal women are more likely to be sedentary (inactive) and lose fitness as a result (Sowers et al., 2007). This loss of fitness is associated with a deterioration in health and leads to a lower quality of life overall (Martin et al., 2009).  

So Why Pilates?  Well apart from the fact that I love Pilates for my own body, a number of studies have shown that Pilates is good for menopausal women because it helps improve physical fitness including balance and flexibility but also mental fitness (haelim et al).  

Pilates for the brain? Yes, as your heart rate increases during exercise, blood flow to the brain increases. As blood flow increases, your brain receives more oxygen and nutrients. Exercise also causes the release of beneficial proteins in the brain. These nourishing proteins keep brain cells (also known as neurons) healthy, and promote the growth of new neurons. Neurons are the working building blocks of the brain and so individual neuron health is important to overall brain health.

Now we have another good reason to embrace an active lifestyle, but how do we make the changes we know we should?  

  • Start small, set achievable goals and take it one step at a time.
  • The more exercise becomes a part of your daily routine, the easier it will be to get it done.
  • If you have time, exercise in the morning before you can come up with excuses not to. Put out your exercise clothes the night before and jump into your gym gear before you have any time to think about whether or not to exercise.
  • There is no doubt that joining a class will help you to keep motivated and accountable.

It's always a real buzz for me to welcome new people and introduce them to the power of Pilates and to hear how much people are enjoying their classes and that they are feeling fitter, stronger and healthier as a result.  

Precizion is a growing community and now offers a number of options to help you on your fitness journey including a drop in session, 4 week courses and a Monthly Membership option.  We hope to welcome some new faces to Precizion this week and remember your First class is Free.  No time like the present, book now... before you forget!  

Book now!  

Phillipa is available to answer any specific questions you might have and always happy to hear from you.  

Thanks to big (literally) son Ben for his fantastic Photography.