Menopause and Exercise-Osteoporosis Prevention

osteoporosis

Weak brittle bones, who wants them?? Broken bones, especially in older adults can mean the beginning of declining health. I am just getting to the point where my time is my own again. I don’t want something like osteoporosis slowing me down, do you?

Why are menopausal women at greater risk for Osteoporosis?

  • During and after menopause the amount of estrogen in a woman’s body decreases which slows down the production of bone. Women in this stage of life can lose up to 38% of the bone growth they accumulated during peak bone growth years (up to age 17).
  • Some older women become more sedentary as they age. Being sedentary is described as standing for less than four hours per day. When your bones are not subject to weight bearing, they naturally atrophy.

Other lifestyle risks that contribute to bone loss

  • If you smoke or drink an excessive amount of alcohol
  • If your diet does not include adequate amounts of calcium
  • If you do not get adequate amounts of sunshine (Vitamin D)

How to prevent bone loss during and after menopause

The good news is any type of weight bearing exercise has been proven to prevent bone loss and keep your bones strong. Weight bearing exercise is anything that works against gravity. That means if you don’t own weights or have access to a gym, you can still do weight bearing exercise by doing body weight exercises (think squats, planks, push-ups etc.) Walking, jogging, dancing and jumping are also considered weight bearing exercise. To get maximum bone building benefits, you should take part in 30 to 60 minutes of weight bearing exercises for and least 3 days per week.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t let bone loss slow you down. ¬†Fight back with weight bearing exercise!

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Author: Sue Kauffman

Health and PE teacher in Central PA. Exercise, fitness and nutrition junkie. Married, two teen girls (pulling out hair daily). Love to ballroom dance. Beachbody customer and coach. e-mail me at suek11@embarqmail.com

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