It is important for women going through menopause to have a comprehensive health plan in place to keep health issues such as osteoporosis from developing or worsening.
Weight training helps alleviate a lot of menopausal symptoms; namely it:
- Reduces hot flashes.
- Elevates mood and reduces stress and depression
- Reduces the metabolic risks associated with declining estrogen.
- Can help prevent mid-life weight gain.
One of the major problems that can be caused by menopause is osteoporosis and it can be prevented to a large extent with the help of weight training and strength exercises. Strength training and impact exercises such as lifting weights, walking or running can help offset decline in bone mineral density that occurs during and post menopause.
Weight training exercises can be done by anyone. Women just have to adjust the level of difficulty to match their ability. Weight bearing, high impact exercises – that include dancing, high-impact aerobics, running or sports like badminton, tennis and so on, help increase bone density but are ideally suited for people who are do not have osteoporosis or naturally low bone mass.
Low impact weight/ strength training or resistance training exercises such as lifting light weights, using elastic bands or weight machines, etc. can be performed by menopausal women diagnosed with osteoporosis, who are looking to build bone density to combat the disease.
Postmenopausal women can include endurance exercises such as aerobics, strength exercises, and balance exercises in their routine. Research has shown that both high impact and low impact exercises are effective in supporting healthy bone mineral density in post menopausal women.
Weight or strength training exercises require simple movements and can be customized to suit a person’s body mass and strength. It is advisable to perform these exercises at least 3 days a week, for at least twenty minutes at a time. As bone strength increases, women can lower their risk of fractures.
It is advisable to avoid weight training exercises if you have any of these symptoms:
- Unstable angina; a serious heart condition
- Uncontrollable arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat
- Acute progressive heart failure
- Third-degree blockage of the heart
- Recent adverse changes in your ECG report
It would also be a good idea to empower yourself with a deeper understanding of the various ways you can prevent osteoporosis during or after menopause.