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The Importance of Resistance Training During Menopause

As a menopausal woman, you may be experiencing a range of physical and emotional changes due to hormonal shifts. While these changes are a natural part of the ageing process, they can present challenges to your overall well-being.

At ERA, we understand the importance of addressing these concerns holistically. One key aspect of maintaining your health and vitality during menopause is incorporating resistance training into your exercise routine – not the typical non-stop cardiovascular training that is usually recommended.

Physical Benefits

1. Increased Muscle Mass and Metabolism

Resistance training, also known as strength training, offers a wealth of benefits for menopausal women. Firstly, it can help combat the decline in muscle mass and metabolism that often accompanies menopause. By stimulating muscle-building stem cells, resistance training promotes muscle regeneration and can increase your metabolism, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight [1][3][4].

2. Improved Bone Density

Moreover, resistance training has been shown to significantly improve bone density in menopausal women. As hormone levels change, the risk of osteoporosis and fractures increases. However, by engaging in regular strength training, you can counteract these effects and maintain strong, healthy bones.

3. Cardiovascular and Joint Health

In addition to its physical benefits, resistance training also supports cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of complications such as high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. It can also improve joint health by increasing circulation to muscles and joints, alleviating pain and enhancing stability [1][15].

4. Reduced Hot Flushes and Night Sweats

Interestingly, some studies suggest that resistance training may even help reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flushes and night sweats, common symptoms of menopause. The endorphins released during exercise may aid in thermoregulation, providing some relief from these disruptive symptoms.

Mental and Emotional Benefits

1. Improved Cognitive Function

Beyond the physical realm, resistance training offers notable mental and emotional benefits. Engaging in strength training can improve cognitive function, as the release of muscle-based proteins fosters new brain connections. This can lead to better memory, thinking, and reaction time.

2. Mood Enhancement and Stress Reduction

Furthermore, resistance training has been linked to a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety, which are prevalent during menopause. A meta-analysis of 33 clinical trials found that individuals who participated in resistance training reported a significant decrease in depressive symptoms compared to those who did not. Regular strength training also enhances sleep quality and reduces stress, contributing to overall mental well-being.

3. Improved Body Image

Engaging in a progressive resistance training programme can also lead to improvements in body image. Feeling stronger and more capable can positively impact how you perceive your body during this transformative phase.

Practical Recommendations

If you are new to resistance training, we recommend starting with lighter weights and gradually increasing the intensity as your strength and endurance improve. Proper warm-ups are essential to prevent injuries and prepare your body for the physical demands of the exercise. Incorporating a variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups will help promote overall fitness.

At our clinic, work closely withwe have certified personal trainers and physical therapists who can guide you through the process of beginning a resistance training programme. They will ensure that you maintain proper form and technique, minimising the risk of injury.

Consistency is key to reaping the full benefits of resistance training. Aim to incorporate at least two to three sessions per week into your routine, allowing for adequate rest and recovery between sessions.

Is Resistance Training for You?

In conclusion, resistance training is a vital component of a comprehensive approach to managing menopause. Its wide-ranging benefits address both the physical and mental challenges associated with this significant life transition. By incorporating strength training into your exercise regimen, you can enhance your overall health, well-being, and quality of life during menopause and beyond.

At our clinic, we are committed to supporting you through this transformative journey. Our team of experts is here to provide guidance, support, and personalised recommendations to help you embrace the power of resistance training and thrive during menopause. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in incorporating this valuable form of exercise into your lifestyle.

References:

[1] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcvm.2023.1190187/full

[2] https://theconversation.com/why-weightlifting-is-beneficial-before-and-after-the-menopause-204846

[3] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00198-023-06682-1

[4] https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/physiology/articles/10.3389/fphys.2020.00652/full

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18171491/

[9] https://www.menopausecentre.com.au/information-centre/articles/resistance-training-what-is-it-and-why-should-you-do-it-during-menopause/

[14] https://www.feistymenopause.com/blog/how-to-train-for-your-menopausal-brain

[15] https://www.getwellen.com/well-guide/heart-health-bone-health-and-menopause-how-strength-training-can-benefit-all-three

[17] https://propelphysiotherapy.com/exercise/how-exercise-supports-brain-function-during-menopause/

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