Preventing Osteoporosis during Female Menopause

Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell

Osteoporosis, a degenerative decease which weakens bone structure, is a majorcause for concern among menopausal women. In fact, this silent malady has a number of risk factors, among them, age and gender. Menopausal women have an increased risk of Osteoporosis at this point in their lives when their bodies are undergoing such a drastic change. While bone loss is not completely reversible, there are things that women can do to prevent further bone loss if it is caught early enough. With a proper regiment of exercise, calcium replacement, and, in severe cases, medication, menopausal women can look forward to their formative years without fear of constant fracture.

Exercise, the Skeleton in the Closet

It’s no secret that many menopausal women today don’t get enough exercise. This is true of all Americans, but what many people don’t realize, is that proper exercise can reduce and even offset the effects of osteoporosis. For women entering menopause this information can be very beneficial. The following exercises are designed to help prevent, and treat, osteoporosis.

  • Weight Bearing Cardio – This type of exercise relies on the pull of gravity and the skeletal structure’s upright posture against this force. Activities such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, and dancing are all excellent example of weight bearing cardio exercises that can help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Strength Training – Also know as weight lifting, or resistance training, this type of exercise has recently been found to strengthen the skeletal structure by utilizing the body’s muscles to pull against its bones. It is important to note that the benefits of strength training are site specific, meaning that one must work all the muscle groups in the body to reap the full benefits. Areas prone to fracture, wrists, hips, and spine, should have special attention paid to them. The most effect method of strength training for bone strength is to use the weight that is right for the individual. One should find that last few reps to be difficult, but form should not be sacrificed for weight. Try squats, bench press, and pushups for strength training.
  • Balance Exercise – While balance exercises aren’t designed to prevent bone loss per say, the benefit of this work out is in its ability to help prevent falls, which lead to fractures. Strengthening the muscles in the legs and feet will help promote overall stability. A few examples of effective balance training exercises are: side leg rise, hip flexion, hip extension, and knee flexion.

Underneath it All, a Lasting Relationship with Your Bones

The increased risk of osteoporosis for menopausal women can seem overwhelming. Add in the fact that there are no major symptoms until a break or facture occurs, and it can seem intimidating. By taking action early, however, women can overcome the potential de-habilitating effect of osteoporosis with a proper regimen of exercise.

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