We are so excited to share our new six-week Pilates program, “MOVE Well in Midlife” with you. MOVE Co-Founder, Elaine Economou, has created this program to help women in midlife (ages 45-65) safely and efficiently build strength and mobility, learn mindfulness tools to relieve stress, and to be a part of a community of women with a shared experience of this time of life. 

Our MOVE Well in Midlife Program allows you to join a small cohort of women and incorporates a daily, customized movement approach with additional coaching support. The goal of this program is to help you understand how to care for your unique body with an eye toward aging well and getting as strong as you want to live the life you love. Read on to learn about the program details.

pilates

I. Challenges Faced by Women in Midlife

Midlife is a time of change for women and is often accompanied by certain challenges. Some common issues women in midlife experience include:

  • Surprising aches and pains
  • Worries about bone health and aging posture
  • Concerns about maintaining and practicing balance
  • Struggles with incontinence
  • Confusion about what exercises are safe and appropriate 

We often think that aging is accompanied by a decline in health with certain unavoidable changes in our bodies, but this is not the case. It is true that midlife is a time of change in your body but by incorporating consistent and focused movement practices, you can make sure you’re building and maintaining strength and stability in your body. In addition to having a strong body, research suggests healthy lifestyle changes during midlife may also prevent illness from occurring later in life (site). Our team at MOVE feels passionately that midlife does not need to be a time of fear and anxiety, but rather a call to action to take ownership of your body and provide it with the tools it needs to support you.

II. The Program: A Solution to Midlife Challenges

The truth is that it is possible to keep doing all the things that you love as you age. The MOVE Well in Midlife Program is designed to directly address challenges of midlife. With slow and steady attention to your physical health, mobility and strength, the principles of Pilates and the GYROTONIC Expansion System will help you move well and feel your best. 

Here’s how:

  • By moving consistently and building strength, you’ll notice fewer aches and pains
  • Your daily movement practice will also bring mobility and ease to your joints and spine
  • You’ll have personalized exercises that are designed for your unique body that you can incorporate at home to keep your momentum going on days you don’t have a full class
  • Your workouts are also designed to maintain healthy bone density 
  • You’ll also spend time on breathwork geared towards mitigating stress, supporting healthy digestion, and strengthening the muscles of your pelvic floor 

And remember, you’ll be surrounded by a supportive community of women. As a group, you’ll build connection and community while you learn to care for your unique body.

Pilates Instructor Training schedule

III. What’s Included in the Program?

The MOVE Well in Midlife Program is organized into the following: 

  • (2) one on one coaching sessions 
  • (2) in-studio classes per week
  • (1) at-home virtual workout per week
  • (1) personalized homework exercise routine (to be done on non-class days)

Overall, the MOVE Well in Midlife Program is a custom-designed program for women in their late 40s, 50s and 60s. You’ll have two weekly in-studio classes and one weekly virtual class. These workouts will be Pilates or GYROTONIC-based movements. You’ll focus on low impact training and also incorporate certain props to help you get the most out of each workout. Each workout has been created from scratch by Elaine specifically for women in midlife, so you’ll know each exercise is targeted just for you. 

Finally, as movement experts we know that consistent participation and practice at home and in the studio is going to allow you to see clear progress and strength gains over the six weeks of the program. In addition, you’ll exit the program with new (or renewed!) exercises habits that will carry forward into your daily routine.

IV. Get Lifestyle Support in Your Coaching Sessions

In addition to classes, you’ll also have two coaching sessions as well as weekly accountability check-ins. You’ll have one coaching session before the program begins and one mid-program session. These two sessions will allow you to establish where you are at the start of the program as well as how you’re feeling and progressing mid-program. The coaching sessions will also provide you with information to look back and reflect on. 

In your initial coaching session, we will check in on the pillars of well-being including stress management, sleep, and nutrition and provide you with resources to support you in these areas if you are interested. Your mid-program call will give us a chance to work together to be sure you are getting the support you need and the most out of the program.

You’ll also have weekly accountability check-ins after your at-home workouts. We know it’s not always easy to workout at home without the accountability of having to show up to a studio at a set time. That’s why we’ve incorporated these mini check-ins. You’ll be expected to confirm you’ve completed your at home class and this will help make sure you’re completing all portions of the program. Research shows that setting goals and following up with a plan for where and when to exercise helps assure that you’ll actually end up following through on your workout (site). The MOVE Well in Midlife Program does all of the planning for you, all you need to do is show up.

V. Benefits of Enrolling in the MOVE Well in Midlife Program

We’ve already touched on many benefits of the program but to recap, you can expect:

  • Improved pelvic floor health and decreased risk of incontinence
  • Improved balance and coordination, meaning your risk of having a fall is also reduced 
  • Strengthened core muscles, which can improve posture 
  • Increased flexibility, reducing joint stiffness and improving range of motion
  • Enhanced cardiovascular fitness, improving overall heart health

To review, the MOVE Well in Midlife Program includes three weekly classes, two in-person and one virtual, plus customized, daily movement homework for you to do on non-class days. You’ll also have two coaching sessions and weekly, accountability check-ins so you’re able to stay on track as well as monitor and measure your progress throughout the program.

The program will directly address common challenges in midlife and you’ll leave feeling confident about your movement practice with a clear plan post-program on how to maintain your achievements during the program. As we’ve noted above, midlife is an important time where it’s critical to prioritize self-care and health to create a strong and healthy body that will support you as you age. Our program is meant to encourage women in midlife to take control of their wellbeing with the support and guidance of our team of movement experts.

Interested in joining? The program is limited to six participants so don’t wait to enroll!

Learn more and sign up here.

Please join us for an

Open Studio Event

to preview the 2024 MOVE Pilates Instructor Training Program

November 5, 2023
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Join our expert team of instructor trainers for a preview of the 2024 MOVE Pilates Instructor Training Program. Our interactive information session will give you the opportunity to decide if our program is right for you. 

  • Hear from our instructor trainers and former students who have successfully launched Pilates careers.
  • Discover the innovative fitness that began with Joseph Pilates himself.
  • Walk-through what to expect in our progressive and comprehensive Pilates education.
  • Learn about how we’ve updated our program with adaptable in-person and online components.
  • Tour our light-filled studio and explore our Balanced Body Reformers.
  • Bring your questions and join the conversation — our goal is to support you every step of the way. 
  • Join a 20-30 minute Pilates mat class (all levels welcome).

Take the first step toward a marketable movement career as a Pilates instructor. Whether you’re looking for a full-time career or a part-time complement to your current professional or educational goals, this is a great time to pursue a new passion!

Interested but can’t attend these dates?

Let’s chat another time! You can schedule a free 1:1 consultation with our program director. Just fill out this simple form and we’ll reach out to schedule a date.


Quick links:

pilates

Say hello to our new friend Revel

I am incredibly honored to be a part of Revel, a fast-growing, online community of women over forty. We’ve been offered an awesome opportunity to partner with Revel during the months of February and March... We’d love to see your friendly faces in our Revel classes. It’s free and easy to join.

—Elaine Economou

Revel + MOVE

We’re so excited to share that Revel is launching a special series of MOVE classes featuring Elaine Economou and Laura Tyson throughout February and March.

  • Movement Essentials-Pilates Level 1: Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.
  • Barre Class: Wednesdays at Noon
  • Mindful Movement & Pilates: Sundays at 5:00 p.m.
  • Movement Essentials Pilates Level 2: Mondays at 1:00 p.m.

Beyond February and March, Elaine will continue hosting her monthly Workout Wednesday series on Revel. Join us on the last Wednesday of the month for a brief themed discussion and a Pilates-based class. You’ll learn how to challenge your unique and miraculous body safely and enjoy moving!

Revel will connect you with wonderful women with interests around a variety of topics beyond movement. Enjoy Revel’s recent blogpost “MOVE with Elaine Economou” with registration links for all classes at the end of the Q&A. Everything is free and it’s easy to join!

Mark your calendars and plan to join us October 1–3 as GYROKINESIS® master trainer, Alicia Head visits MOVE to present a continuing education course for instructors as well as classes open to the community.

GYROKINESIS® Essentials for Instructors

For instructors, we are pleased to offer Alicia’s continuing education course GYROKINESIS® Essentials Part 1: A Journey of Spinal Motions Toward Level 1

  • WHEN: October 1–3, 2021 at MOVE Wellness Studios
  • PREREQUISITE: Certified Level 1 GYROKINESIS® Instructor
  • COST: $175 Studio fee due upon registration, plus $350 course fee to be paid directly to Alicia.
  • SCHEDULE:
    • Friday, October 1, 12:00–2:00 p.m. and 4:00–7:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, October 2, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 2:00–5:00 p.m.
    • Sunday , October 3, 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. and 12:00–3:00 p.m.

This 3-day course is a dynamic and systematic approach to preparing the spine and nervous system for the full formats featured in GYROKINESIS® Level 1. Each format was developed for a 60-to-90 minute class and they can be presented either as a progression or independently. This course satisfies continuing education and update requirements for certified GYROKINESIS® instructors as well as GYROTONIC® instructors who are also certified in GYROKINESIS®.

These GYROKINESIS® formats explore three different aspects of spinal motions — lumbar, thoracic, and cervical. The classes still follow the basic sequencing — Awakening of the Senses, Spinal Motions, and either standing or floor work — but the stimulation to the nervous system is more gentle and gradual. GYROKINESIS® Essentials of Spinal Motions Part 1 is perfect for beginner level students and also for experienced people who enjoy deepening the work. This approach allows us to discover more about the internal process of elongating the spine and how to best prepare our bodies for energetic awakenings. The formats also work beautifully as a warm-up for private sessions or group classes — either GYROTONIC® or GYROKINESIS® — and they shed some more light on the concepts of Narrowing the Pelvis and Supple-ing.

GYROKINESIS® Essentials for the Community

MOVE clients and the greater community are invited to join us as Alicia teaches her Essentials classes throughout her weekend training. Each class will explore a different aspects of spinal motions — lumbar, thoracic, and cervical. The classes still follow the basic sequencing — Awakening of the Senses, Spinal Motions, and either standing or floor work — but the stimulation to the nervous system is more gentle and gradual. GYROKINESIS® Essentials of Spinal Motions Part 1 is perfect for beginner level students and also for experienced people who enjoy deepening the work. Choose to attend one class or join us for all three.

  • WHEN: October 1–3, 2021 at MOVE Wellness Studios
  • WHO: MOVE clients and the greater community
  • COST: $45 per class.
  • SCHEDULE:
    • Lumbar spine: Friday, October 1, 12:00–2:00 p.m.
    • Thoracic spine: Saturday, October 2, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
    • Cervical spine: Sunday, October 3, 9:00–11:00 a.m.


 

About Alicia Head

Alicia Head Portrait

Alicia Head became a GYROKINESIS® master trainer in 2004. She studied exclusively with Juliu Horvath throughout the entire process and has also taken many continuing education courses with him including Happy Moves, Lotus Blossom #1 and #2, the GYROKINESIS® Breathing Course Intensive, GYROKINESIS® Level 2, the Archway, and the Jumping Stretching Board.  Ms. Head’s mind-body movement journey began as a Pilates student at St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s Dance Medicine division, where her main teachers were Elizabeth Larkam and Nora St. John. Alicia later studied closely with Marie-José Blom at her Long Beach Dance Conditioning studio in Long Beach, CA where the approach to movement was depth-oriented. Great attention was given to the concept of core stabilization involving a dynamic process free of bracing or rigidity. Alicia has taught GYROKINESIS® Level 1 Foundation Teacher Training courses for 14 years and has observed the need for material that explores the principles of the GYROTONIC® method that is accessible to all people. She was delighted to connect with Gina Muensterkoetter and become part of her project to offer new GYROKINESIS® formats to the international community. GYROKINESIS® Essentials — A Journey of Spinal Motions Part 1 was finalized in March 2017 and Alicia is honored to be on the teaching team.

Register Today!

Please contact us with any questions. Online registration is available by clicking the buttons below. You may also register by calling us at 734-224-2560 or in-person at the studio.

Mark your calendars and plan to join us October 1–3 as GYROKINESIS® master trainer, Alicia Head visits MOVE to present a continuing education course for instructors as well as classes open to the community.

GYROKINESIS® Essentials for Instructors

For instructors, we are pleased to offer Alicia’s continuing education course GYROKINESIS® Essentials Part 1: A Journey of Spinal Motions Toward Level 1

  • WHEN: October 1–3, 2021 at MOVE Wellness Studios
  • PREREQUISITE: Certified Level 1 GYROKINESIS® Instructor
  • COST: $175 Studio fee due upon registration, plus $350 course fee to be paid directly to Alicia.
  • SCHEDULE:
    • Friday, October 1, 12:00–2:00 p.m. and 4:00–7:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, October 2, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 2:00–5:00 p.m.
    • Sunday , October 3, 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. and 12:00–3:00 p.m.

This 3-day course is a dynamic and systematic approach to preparing the spine and nervous system for the full formats featured in GYROKINESIS® Level 1. Each format was developed for a 60-to-90 minute class and they can be presented either as a progression or independently. This course satisfies continuing education and update requirements for certified GYROKINESIS® instructors as well as GYROTONIC® instructors who are also certified in GYROKINESIS®.

These GYROKINESIS® formats explore three different aspects of spinal motions — lumbar, thoracic, and cervical. The classes still follow the basic sequencing — Awakening of the Senses, Spinal Motions, and either standing or floor work — but the stimulation to the nervous system is more gentle and gradual. GYROKINESIS® Essentials of Spinal Motions Part 1 is perfect for beginner level students and also for experienced people who enjoy deepening the work. This approach allows us to discover more about the internal process of elongating the spine and how to best prepare our bodies for energetic awakenings. The formats also work beautifully as a warm-up for private sessions or group classes — either GYROTONIC® or GYROKINESIS® — and they shed some more light on the concepts of Narrowing the Pelvis and Supple-ing.

GYROKINESIS® Essentials for the Community

MOVE clients and the greater community are invited to join us as Alicia teaches her Essentials classes throughout her weekend training. Each class will explore a different aspects of spinal motions — lumbar, thoracic, and cervical. The classes still follow the basic sequencing — Awakening of the Senses, Spinal Motions, and either standing or floor work — but the stimulation to the nervous system is more gentle and gradual. GYROKINESIS® Essentials of Spinal Motions Part 1 is perfect for beginner level students and also for experienced people who enjoy deepening the work. Choose to attend one class or join us for all three.

  • WHEN: October 1–3, 2021 at MOVE Wellness Studios
  • WHO: MOVE clients and the greater community
  • COST: $45 per class.
  • SCHEDULE:
    • Lumbar spine: Friday, October 1, 12:00–2:00 p.m.
    • Thoracic spine: Saturday, October 2, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
    • Cervical spine: Sunday, October 3, 9:00–11:00 a.m.


 

About Alicia Head

Alicia Head Portrait

Alicia Head became a GYROKINESIS® master trainer in 2004. She studied exclusively with Juliu Horvath throughout the entire process and has also taken many continuing education courses with him including Happy Moves, Lotus Blossom #1 and #2, the GYROKINESIS® Breathing Course Intensive, GYROKINESIS® Level 2, the Archway, and the Jumping Stretching Board.  Ms. Head’s mind-body movement journey began as a Pilates student at St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s Dance Medicine division, where her main teachers were Elizabeth Larkam and Nora St. John. Alicia later studied closely with Marie-José Blom at her Long Beach Dance Conditioning studio in Long Beach, CA where the approach to movement was depth-oriented. Great attention was given to the concept of core stabilization involving a dynamic process free of bracing or rigidity. Alicia has taught GYROKINESIS® Level 1 Foundation Teacher Training courses for 14 years and has observed the need for material that explores the principles of the GYROTONIC® method that is accessible to all people. She was delighted to connect with Gina Muensterkoetter and become part of her project to offer new GYROKINESIS® formats to the international community. GYROKINESIS® Essentials — A Journey of Spinal Motions Part 1 was finalized in March 2017 and Alicia is honored to be on the teaching team.

Register Today!

Please contact us with any questions. Online registration is available by clicking the buttons below. You may also register by calling us at 734-224-2560 or in-person at the studio.

Resources for Social Justice

As we work to become an active force for change in our community and industry, we have compiled this list as a resource for ourselves and for you. We know that an important part of any social justice work is to work on ourselves, so that we can build inclusivity and diversity from a place of knowledge. We hope this list can provide a starting point for education and conversation within our MOVE community and beyond.

National Organizations

  • Black Lives Matter
    • Working to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
  • National Bail Fund Network
    • Made up of over sixty community bail and bond funds across the country. We regularly update this listing of community bail funds that are freeing people by paying bail/bond and are also fighting to abolish the money bail system and pretrial detention.
    • List of Bail Funds by state
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
    • Legal organization fighting for racial justice through litigation, advocacy and education
  • Black Mental Health Alliance
    • Developing, promoting and sponsoring trusted culturally-relevant educational forums, trainings and referral services that support the health and well-being of Black people and other vulnerable communities.
  • Embrace Race
    • Raising kids who are informed, brave and thoughtful about race
  • GirlTrek
    • In the footsteps of a civil rights legacy, GirlTrek is a national health movement that activates thousands of Black women to be change makers in their lives and communities — through walking.
  • Therapy for Black Girls
    • So often the stigma surrounding mental health issues and therapy prevents Black women from taking the step of seeing a therapist. This space was developed to present mental health topics in a way that feels more accessible and relevant.
  • Black Mamas Matter Alliance
    • We envision a world where Black mamas have the rights, respect, and resources to thrive before, during, and after pregnancy.

Local Organizations

Articles

Things to Watch on Netflix

Local/State Actions

  • Keep an eye on Michigan Senate Bill 945, which would require Michigan police officers to complete training in implicit bias, de-escalation, and mental health. It was just introduced in the Michigan Senate and referred to committee. Call your senators and say you support it.

Places to Explore/Visit

  • List of Ann Arbor/Ypsi Black-owned Businesses
  • GoFundMe for Black Stone Bookstore, a black-owned bookstore in Ypsilanti
  • Map of Black Historical Sites in Ann Arbor
    • Walking/Biking Tour including info about each site
  • Living Oral History Digital Collection
    • Presented in partnership between the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor District Library. The Digital Collection, an extension of the Living Oral History Project Exhibit, includes historical materials from AADL’s Community Collections about six major topics important to African American communities in Washtenaw County: Community Centers; Education; Housing; Employment; Entrepreneurship; and Faith.

Instagram Friends to Follow

  • Alyssa Klein @dj_diabeatic
  • Sarah Sophie Flicker @sarahsophief
  • Erika Hart @ihartericka – check out her booklist (under Instagram Highlights) and social justice trainings
  • Chrissy King @iamchrissyking
  • Sonja R. Price Herbert @commandofitnesscollective
  • Ijeoma Oluo @ijeomaoluo
  • Rachel Cargle @rachel.cargle
  • Layla Saad @laylafsaad

Other

This content has been updated December 27, 2019.

Creating opportunities for community and personal wellness is at the heart of what we do at MOVE. In that spirit, we launched our new Osteoporosis Discussion Group for members this summer. At our meeting on October 4 we were joined by Dr. Amy Saunders, a board certified internal medicine physician in Ann Arbor who shared her thoughts and expertise on bone health medicine and research. We are happy to say that Dr. Saunders will return to MOVE on January 10, 2020 to continue to explore this important topic.

An interest in treating osteoporosis

Dr. Saunders received her MD degree and completed her internal medicine residency at Ohio State University, followed by a research fellowship at Duke University. While on the faculty at Duke, she engaged in clinical work with osteoporosis. Working closely with aging patients who had their own questions about bone health and managing osteoporosis, Dr. Saunders developed a personal interest in understanding conventional and integrative approaches to this condition.

After 20 years on staff with Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, Dr. Saunders began her own integrative primary care practice in Ann Arbor. She offers high-quality conventional medical care, diagnostics, and disease prevention bolstered by a broad understanding of integrative nutrition, energy work, manual therapy, and non-pharmacologic alternatives for the management of chronic inflammatory conditions. And when she’s not doing all of that, she’s traveling, listening to music, gardening and spending quality time with her family.

Let’s talk bone health and osteoporosis

MOVE trainer Lauren Miller has been setting the bar for our osteoporosis discussion group with one simple mantra: Move more, not less. Research shows that people with or at risk of osteoporosis should be encouraged to exercise and move more with the guidance of their physicians and movement instructors. Because overall, the benefits of physical activity far outweigh any potential risks. 

Check out this amazing resource from the Royal Osteoporosis Society. Three words: Strong, Steady, Straight.

We are thrilled that Dr. Saunders will be making a return visit to our Osteoporosis Discussion Group so we can continue the conversation we started in October. Please RSVP to join us on Friday, January 10 at 2:30 p.m. as we give a warm welcome to Dr. Saunders. We hope to see you there!

Being part of a continuum of care network in and around our Ann Arbor community is an essential part of the wellness experience we provide at MOVE. And we are so grateful for partners like the healthcare professionals at IHA who are committed to providing people with opportunities to have open discussions about their health.

A special women’s health series event on menopause

On Tuesday, May 14, MOVE and IHA are co-sponsoring a free event at MOVE Wellness in Ann Arbor focused on managing menopause. To help frame our conversation for that evening, two of the event’s speakers offer their initial thoughts on menopause and sexual health, and their connection to overall wellness. Event details can be found below as well.

Common myths and misconceptions about menopause

Having open conversations about powerful phases of our lives is important to us at MOVE. There are so many women’s issues that simply don’t get afforded the time and honest treatment they deserve. Being able to have in-depth discussions about issues like menopause is empowering. It helps women care for themselves and live healthier, happier lives.

A conversation with Elaine and Bridget

ELAINE

Menopause is a remarkably profound phase of life for women. For many, it coincides with children leaving home and the fundamental effect that has on our identity. It’s also characterized by reflection and can lead to more substantive considerations of our quality of life.

Dr. Long, what are four or five of the biggest misconceptions or myths about menopause that you see or hear regularly?

BRIDGET

First and foremost, that life will never be the same and that menopause is something to dread. And that’s underscored by additional misconceptions such as “my sex life is over” and “it’s too late to get healthy or lose weight.” Many women also believe that prescription hormone replacements are dangerous, which isn’t the case, and meanwhile ignore abnormal uterine bleeding during menopause when they should be having it evaluated.

All of these myths can cause harm to women because they can lead to a range of health issues including depression, fatigue, osteoporosis, cardiac disease and even cancer in some cases.

ELAINE

How individual of an experience is menopause for each woman?

BRIDGET

Although many symptoms are commonly shared, menopause is a completely unique experience for each woman.

Increasing strength and health during and after menopause

ELAINE

In my 20 years as a trainer, I’ve seen countless women at age 50 or older get as strong as they’ve ever been in their lives through Pilates and GYROTONIC®.  Every one of them wished they had started ten years earlier because of the powerful impact on their fitness and strength. So, I’ve seen firsthand the misconception that you can’t be fit and healthy after this phase of your life proven wrong.

We have female and male clients we train with who are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s and even some at 80 or 90 who have been working with us for 10 years, many of whom feel as fit as they’ve ever been in their lives. And it’s such a gift for our team to be a part of that experience.

Do you have a specific example of a patient you’ve worked with who successfully moved past one of those misconceptions about menopause and how she did it?  

BRIDGET

I specifically remember a delightful patient in her late 50s who was moderately overweight and had a family history of osteoporosis. Her bone density showed significant osteopenia, which is bone loss. After extensive counseling regarding her life risk of cardiovascular disease and bone fracture, both of which had the potential to limit her independence, she chose to join a gym and work with a trainer who designed a program customized for her needs. She presented to my office a year later and told me she felt like her life had been saved. She realized that what she ate and what she did had major impacts during menopause.

She was happy she’d lost weight, but mostly she was happy about being strong. She was really enjoying life as she headed into her 60s, maybe more than ever before.

Overcoming the stigma and fear of menopause

ELAINE

“Menopause” can be such a loaded word. Do you find that the word itself is a stumbling block for women? Do you ever find yourself working to help women redefine the word? Or do you find yourself steering them toward a different word or phrase entirely like “sexual health”?

BRIDGET

From what I’ve seen, the word sparks dread in women. I try to explain to them that menopause is simply a life phase – much like puberty. It can be miserable, or it can be empowering if you embrace it and take control of it.

Menopause is a time in life, perhaps more than any other,  when you “reap what you sow.” If you prioritize a healthy lifestyle, the benefits are significant. If you don’t, the problems can be exponential.

Managing menopause with family members

ELAINE

As a woman married to a man living in a house with my three sons, I’ve worked hard to help them understand the various cycles and phases in a woman’s life so that they might be in touch with any of their own life transitions.  And it isn’t easy. Because the cultural pressure to qualify what being a woman is or isn’t or should or shouldn’t be is complicated. But I keep it simple and try to share the biochemistry of the process to help normalize conversations and topics.  

Can you talk a little bit about the role of family for women experiencing menopause, particularly when it comes to any men in our lives?

BRIDGET

Relationships, particularly with a partner during menopause, require a lot of communication. It’s challenging, and I find that women often just give up. I feel that having the opportunity for open communication with their physician and realizing there are options to ease this transition can be life-changing. Intimacy is important and can make for a happier life, but I always tell my patients that they can define that intimacy with their partner. And it’s not the same for everyone.

The role of community in aging and menopause

ELAINE

How important do you think having access to a supportive community is for women experiencing menopause?

BRIDGET

It’s incredibly important. There is power in numbers, and opportunities to learn from one another.  It makes us realize that we’re normal.

ELAINE

I completely agree. Connecting with other supportive and accepting women helps in so many ways. And I believe that building a supportive community around fitness can help with accountability and troubleshooting. We love watching women support each other in classes as they move deeper into the Pilates repertoire. We regularly hear them say that they’re doing things they never thought they could do.

The relationship between sexual health and physical activity

Can you talk a bit about the relationship between women’s sexual health as they age and physical activity? What are the benefits of movement for women experiencing various symptoms and challenges related to menopause?

BRIDGET

There’s a direct relationship between physical activity and sexual health. The endorphins make us feel good, and exercise makes us feel good about ourselves. Women are complex, especially when it comes to sex drive. We need to feel “sexy” and good about ourselves.

ELAINE

Agreed. Our mission is to help people move their bodies in ways that they enjoy so that they can lead a life they love. Research shows that we commit to those healthy behaviors that we enjoy and that make us feel good.

This has impacted me personally. Feeling strong and moving my body in ways I enjoy, rather than how I feel I “should” has impacted how I feel about myself overall. It feels a bit like shedding a skin, leaving behind the pressure to conform. It’s wonderful to experience what we’re always working to help other women feel at MOVE. What a gift.

What movement instructors and trainers can do to help during menopause

ELAINE

Do you have any advice for movement instructors working with women experiencing the symptoms of menopause? What can movement professionals do to better support clients in this space?

BRIDGET

I think as our bodies transition through menopause, movement that focuses on core muscle retention and flexibility is most important for maintaining our health and feeling good. Keeping our pelvic floors strong and working to maintain abdomen and back muscles are super important.

ELAINE

Right, and from the training perspective, there are clear dos and don’ts which is why working with instructors and trainers with a deep knowledge of the body and these issues is so important. For example, many people are afraid to exercise after menopause if they’ve received an osteoporosis diagnosis. But with proper, safe training, you can actually mitigate further bone loss.

Demystifying pelvic floor health and the role of Pilates and GYROTONIC® method

ELAINE

What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about pelvic floor health?  

BRIDGET

It requires maintenance like any other set of muscles in your body. You must exercise it to maintain its strength.  

ELAINE

I couldn’t agree more. Pelvic floor health is important, and often misunderstood in everyday practice. Especially because each woman’s body and how she carries it is unique. Many women do a ton of kegel exercises, which could help in particular instances, but could also cause more of a problem in others. As Pilates and GYROTONIC® instructors, we work to help women at all stages of life understand how to care for their pelvic floors in a more organic way. Improper training can lead to low back pain, SI joint instability and other issues.

What are some of the other resources available to women experiencing sexual health challenges that you’d like to see more people take advantage of?

BRIDGET

IHA has started a new genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) program that I feel is incredibly innovative in its approach to managing sexual health during menopause. Our consultants will discuss symptoms, causes and management of sexual problems in menopause with patients.

ELAINE

That’s actually great to hear. Quite often we hear women (who may not have even mentioned incontinence when they started working with us) say after a few weeks or months of training that they no longer “sneeze and pee.” Which is a funny diagnostic, but also a very pragmatic one.  Pilates and GYROTONIC® help with this because they focus on organizing breathing and spinal movement to support core training.

Why is tackling this particular topic important to you personally?

BRIDGET

I am now a menopausal woman. Life is short, and I want to enjoy every day of it!

ELAINE

Yes! As a woman experiencing perimenopause, I feel like the last year has brought a wave of new physical experiences and symptoms, many of them surprises, and all of which have made it necessary for me to stop and reevaluate the “why” behind my own fitness and movement.

If you could provide women with one simple takeaway about menopause and their sexual health, what would it be?  

BRIDGET

That there is help! Managing the symptoms requires work, but the rewards are well worth it.

The healing power of movement

By working toward a healthy relationship with their bodies, women can move through menopause with the strength and knowledge they need to care for themselves and celebrate the power and beauty in their bodies during this unique phase of life.

It’s also important to remember that slow and steady wins the race for healthy behaviors and a joyful life. Moving slowly and intentionally as we take steps to move more, eat well and love our bodies for all that they’ve done for us is foundational … at any stage of life.

We hope you’ll join us for this very special evening of honest conversation, empowerment and perhaps even enlightenment.

Managing Menopause: Improving Your Sexual Health

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

6 p.m. – Wine & hors d’oeuvres, 6:30 – 9 p.m. – Presentation

Location: MOVE Wellness Studios, 3780 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor, Michigan

Speakers:

Elaine Economou, MOVE Wellness co-founder and CEO

Jody Jones, MD, IHA Canton Obstetrics & Gynecology

G. Bridget Long, MD, IHA Associates in Gynecology & Obstetrics – West Arbor

Lisa Morris, MD, IHA Associates in Gynecology & Obstetrics – Arbor Park & Brighton

Topics: Vaginal pain with intercourse, vaginal atrophy, MonaLisa Touch® treatments, pelvic floor dysfunction, mindfulness and breathing exercises

Register for the event today.

Interested in learning more about how MOVE can help you start your own health and wellness journey through movement? Sign up for an introductory package today or contact us at 734-761-2306 or office@movewellness.com.

Teach From The Heart is a weekend intensive experience that fuses movement, meditation, reflection and writing to reignite your passion for your own practice, and help you grow as an instructor.

A unique professional development experience for Pilates, Yoga, GYROTONIC® and other movement instructors

As movement instructors, we engage in continuing education and professional development all the time. But how often do we get a chance to step away from anatomy and physiology and prioritize our own personal and professional selves? How often do we get to step back and ask:

  • What does your professional future hold for you? 
  • How do you sustain your energy and avoid burnout while working tirelessly on behalf of your clients? 
  • Who are you meant to work with and how do you find and connect with those people?

Celebrate Pilates Day this spring by carving out some space to celebrate yourself and all that you hope to become. Join Jenna Zaffino at MOVE Wellness for Teach from the Heart, a special teacher immersion experience focused on the things we never have time for but wish we did.

Workshop Schedule

Saturday, May 4, 9 am – 5 pm

Sunday, May 5, 9am – 4 pm

Location: MOVE Wellness, 2058 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Cost: $525

Two-day workshop participants receive 14 Pilates Method Alliance CECs.

To register for the event or get more info:

Call us at 734-761-2306 or email office@movewellness.com

Pilates UNFILTERED podcast recording at 7 pm on Saturday

Teach from the Heart participants will also have the option to join Jenna for a free LIVE recording of her Pilates UNFILTERED podcast on Saturday evening. This unique experience offers you the opportunity to connect with the community and get in on the discussions that matter to us most.

Movement and career coaching with Jenna Zaffino

The course celebrates the very best of Jenna’s work in movement and career coaching. During the retreat, you’ll take a deep dive into your identity and growth as as teacher, methods for navigating the inevitable bumps in the road, and opportunities for further personal and professional development after you’ve been at it with this beautiful work for so many years. We’ll move, explore, plan and create together to empower you as you head toward the next part of your journey.

This course sets you up to share the teaching voice you’ve been waiting to speak with, work with the clients who are excited and willing to take this journey with you, and build a business that supports your gifts as a movement professional.

We hope you’ll celebrate the coming of spring and yourself with us during this special event!

To learn more about Jenna and see a sample workshop schedule, visit the Teach from the Heart page.

Interested in becoming a Pilates or GYROTONIC® instructor? Explore the 2019 Instructor Training course offerings at MOVE Wellness today.

Elaine Economou, President and CEO of a bustling Ann Arbor fitness studio, sat down with Tara Kachaturoff, the creator and host of Michigan Entrepreneur. For a decade, Michigan Entrepreneur has spotlighted entrepreneurs as part of an effort to bring awareness to exciting and dynamic businesses across Michigan.

In this interview, Elaine talks origins with partner Robin Krienke, the business of joy, and some of the tough questions they’ve had to ask as they approach MOVE’s five-year anniversary.

“When it gets uncomfortable, you’re getting close to something you need to understand about yourself.”
Elaine Economou on Michigan Entrepreneur TV

Watch the video below:

Elaine Economou, MOVE's CEO and President sits down with Michigan Entrepreneur TV to talk about running a successful fitness studio  

Click above to watch