Why Strength Train?

Expert’s Name: Alicia Kirschenheiter

In the past few years there has been a barrage of information regarding the importance of strength training for menopausal and perimenopausal woman, yet whenever I have introduced the idea to any of my female clients, all but a few have not panicked. In general, women are still convinced that sticking to thecardio machines is the way to go. In this article, I want to address why as woman of all ages and sizes, we can no longer fear the SCARY weight rack.

As per the Archives of Internal Medicine, “All women are equally susceptible tomenopausal weight gain regardless of premenopausal body types”. This means that even if you were lean and lanky in your thirties, you can put on five to ten pounds during perimenopause. I know, I said it! And unfortunately, most of it will be around your waist and abdomen. The change in your shape, can probably be blamed on downward shifting hormonal levels. Some studies suggest that declining hormones lower metabolism and increase appetite by 67%. Lucky us!

The other possible reasons why menopausal women put on weight are reducedphysical activity, increased caloric intake especially of sweets, and a slowdown in metabolism due to a loss of muscle. Muscle….hmmm I feel a reoccurring theme coming on…

A sedentary woman can expect to lose about half a pound of muscle a year during perimenopause and a pound a year during the ten years after menopause. This means that by the time a woman is 55, she would have lost 15 pounds of muscle. The muscle loss does not only result in a flabby body but also in less physical activity since a weaker body does not have the endurance and stamina for exercise.

Ok that’s the bad news…now the good. While it may take longer for perimenopausal women and menopausal women to gain muscle, it’s not impossible. So pick up those weights ladies and make it count! Some other important benefits at any age…In addition to firming the bod, consistent exercise also promotes good bones, a healthier heart and improves your frame of mind as endorphins are released during exercise. What else…here’s what else…regular exercise reduces your chances of diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Best of all…it is never too early or too late to start!

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