Background: Menopausal symptoms severely affect a woman’s lifestyle and health. Lifestyle, including physical activity, is known to be an effective factor on the menopausal-associated symptoms. We conducted the present study to evaluate the effects of an eight-week Pilates training on menopausal-related symptoms, including somatic, psychological and sexual symptoms, body mass index (BMI), and anxiety as possible effective factors on menopausal symptoms.
Methods: This was an experimental study conducted in the summer of 2020. The participants in this study were 27 postmenopausal women (aged 60-65, BMI: 24-30) who participated in the study voluntarily. They were randomly divided into two groups of control (n=12) and exercise (n=15). The subjects in the training group participated in Pilates training for eight weeks, three sessions per week and each session lasted 75 minutes with progressive intensity. BMI was measured and the participants completed anxiety and depression questionnaires (HADS) and menopausal symptoms rating scale (MRS) before and after the exercises. We utilized paired t-test and analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA) to analyze the data.
Results: BMI (P=0.023), anxiety (p <0.001), physical score (p <0.001), psychological score (P=0.001), and the total (p <0.001) score of menopausal symptoms reduced significantly following Pilates training compared to the control group. No significant changes were observed in the sexual symptoms of menopause following Pilates training compared to the control group (P=0.60). Conclusion: An eight-week Pilates training reduced most of the postmenopausal symptoms (somatic, psychological, and total) as well as potentially aggravating menopausal symptoms, including anxiety and BMI