Women’s hormone health is a hot topic in the wellness world—and for good reason. Our hormones impact every area of our life, as I’ve learned in the last few years after being diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance.
My doctor was surprised I was even functioning when I was first diagnosed with hormone imbalance! I attribute this resilience of my body to the Pilates routine and our Lindywell approach to wellness, both of which had been a part of my life for many years before my diagnosis.
Over the course of this journey (that I’m still on), I’ve learned so much about women’s hormone health and how to find even more balance in my body. Along the way, Pilates has continued to be a key tool, and I want to share why and how.
My hope is that this article—and a membership with Lindywell, if you choose to join us!—will help you find greater balance, ease, and strength in your body.
Why Hormone Balance is So Important for Women
Experiences that impact our stress levels, sleep habits, eating or exercise patterns, and autoimmune function can lead to hormone dysfunction. For some women, this is caused by major life transitions like puberty, childbirth, peri-menopause, and menopause. For me, this was a result of the demands on my life, including having four kids in five years (including twins!), a miscarriage, and exposure to toxic mold. All of that added stress to my system because of how taxing it was to my endocrine system.
This hormonal imbalance is temporary and can be treated with conventional medicine or basic lifestyle shifts for many women. If you don’t come back into balance, however, you may start to experience uncomfortable symptoms and chronic health problems.
Because hormones regulate several important systems and functions in the body, from mood and appetite to sleep and stress, it’s so important to for women to find that balance once again. While there are different ways to do this through diet, lifestyle, and supplementation, one of our favorite tools for supporting women’s hormone balance is Pilates.
Pilates and Women’s Hormone Health
While we may seem biased—we love Pilates here at Lindywell!—it’s true that this form of movement can be extremely supportive of your hormone health and help you come back into balance. Here’s why:
1. Pilates Strengthens the Mind-Body Connection
Pilates teaches you how to be mindful of the present, as you bring awareness to each and every movement. This Pilates method combines precise, controlled movements with a focus on intentional, conscious breathing to strengthen the mind-body connection.
Mind-body exercise has been shown to support the production of Serotonin (the “happy hormone”) and the reduction of Cortisol (known as the “stress hormone). This means that doing Pilates can support your ability to deal with life’s everyday obstacles. And our thousands of members around the globe can attest to this!
2. Pilates Supports Weight Management
If the hormones that control energy metabolism and blood sugar levels are out of balance, you can experience insulin resistance. Over time, this causes inflammation, weight fluctuations, and chronic health issues like diabetes.
Researchers at the University of Mohaghegh Ardabil in Iran monitored the effect of Pilates on women with excess weight. They saw that this particular Pilates routine, which included mat and ball workouts, reduced three hormones (chemerin, visfatin, and resistin) that can impact your body’s ability to manage weight, insulin, and metabolism when elevated.
In other words, Pilates helped balance these three important hormones. One of the results of that re-balancing was weight loss. If you want to experience a similar workout as the study participants, try this free workout, which includes ball and mat exercises!
3. Pilates Keeps Oxygen Flowing Through Your Systems
Endocrine glands create and release hormones into your bloodstream. These glands need oxygen to perform their critical function. If they don’t get this, you risk disrupting the endocrine system as a whole. This can escalate into diabetes, infertility, endometriosis, or even some forms of cancer.
Because Pilates combines rhythmic breath and full-body movement, you naturally stimulate oxygenation and circulation, which can lead to greater hormone balance, head to toe. I want to exhale just thinking about how good that feels!
4. Pilates Boosts Brain Health
The low-impact movement and a continuous pattern of breathing that supports oxygen flow through your body are also linked to a well-functioning brain. Both of these things help regulate three of the brain’s primary hormone groups (metabolic, stress, and sex). This means getting on your Pilates mat regularly helps boost brain health and even reduce cognitive decline.
At Lindywell, we make it easy to commit to this daily brain-boosting movement with a wide variety of short, 15-20 minute workouts that help you build strength too! Lindywell member, Catherine, experienced this and so much more:
“I’m stronger, have better balance, have lost several inches all over, and just look better. On an emotional and mental level, I have more confidence, am less stressed – or better able to handle it, and just feel more joy.”
Try a 14-day trial to experience the benefits for yourself!
Pilates Is Key to Women’s Hormone Health
If you’ve experienced hormonal imbalance—or you’re in a life transition that might cause those hormones to fluctuate—bring Pilates into your routine. This mindful movement is a powerful tool for women’s hormone balance and one that’s been critical on my journey as well.
Not only can it help you restore balance in your body (yes, please!), but it will also help regulate your mind. You may be surprised by how great you feel if you commit even just 10 minutes a day to a Pilates workout.