There's no question that menopause brings about a number of changes, but one of the most important is our bone health. Many women in their late 30s and early to mid 40s become hesitant about exercising for this very reason.
My suggestion to you is to not become hesitant, but to be careful! We should absolutely be aware of the changes in our bodies and ensure we're exercising in a way that benefits us. However, never choose to do nothing because nothing does equal bad bone health.
Menopause and Bone Health
Going through, "the change", can have a great impact on us physically, mentally, and emotionally. The hormonal changes that take place during menopause interrupt our body's natural bone building process. The decline in estrogen also decreases the body's ability to preserve calcium, which can lead to brittle bones. In addition, reduced progesterone, which takes places during perimenopause, affects our bone building cells.
Naturally, we lose about 10 percent of our bone mass as we transition through menopause. This is increased if you follow a poor diet and have an overall, unhealthy lifestyle. Of course, genetics come into play as well.
So, you're probably wondering what you can do to maintain your bone health as you go through "the change". Fortunately, I have some suggestions for you that I follow myself!
Maintaining Bone Health During Menopause
Although our body naturally starts to lose bone mass, we can still do quite a bit to preserve our bone density. In fact, you can start making changes before you even start going through menopause. None of us know when our last period will take place, so it's best to get started now! Consider the suggestions below.
Exercise Is A Priority
Now is not the time for you to decide to "take it easy" for the sake of your declining bone health. It's time to take action, instead! Living a sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for osteoporosis and leads to a host of other chronic conditions. It also makes you weaker!
Grab some weights and start working out to improve your strength and balance. It'll also help you prevent falls. You'll increase your bone density, too. However, jogging and running aren't going to cut it if you're looking to build bone density. You'll want to implement high intensity interval training workouts in order to really stimulate bone formation and retain calcium in the bones.
Make Some Necessary Lifestyle Changes
Exercising is great, but doing that alone won't give you the results you need. You'll also have to consider some the lifestyle choices you make daily. Do you smoke cigarettes and drink a lot of caffeinated beverages? You'll have to cut down or even stop if you want to maintain your bone health. Caffeine and tobacco interferes with our body's ability to absorb calcium and Vitamin D, too.
You might not know this, but a lot of us women suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency. We actually need Vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium. If you don't have time to fix meals that include the recommended daily amount of vitamin D, then purchase some supplements instead. But, whatever you do, don't assume that it's just going to fix itself.
You Use It Or Lose It
Once we reach thirty, our body is no longer able to build bone as easily as it used to. Therefore, we have to take action now in order to prevent osteoporosis from developing later. Make sure you're doing bone strengthening activities and getting the nutrients needed to build bone. Otherwise, if you don't use it, then you'll lose it!
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