10 Exercise for Strong Bones During Menopause
It was hard enough to find time to exercise when you were younger, it’s even more difficult now with menopause causing hot flashes, weight gain, aches and pains, and sleeping problems. You don’t feel comfortable in your own skin and you have so much on your plate at this stage of life. You don’t feel like exercising and you’re almost too tired to care. Getting older is tough and not for the faint of heart.
Despite how you feel, your doctor is telling you to exercise regularly. But because you’re in menopause, she’s also telling you to be cautious. Any exercises you do these days need to both protect and strengthen your aging bones, otherwise you’ll do more harm than good.
Below are some exercises that help with bone health and could help prevent osteoporosis. Before trying any of them, be sure to talk to your doctor. All exercises are not safe for everyone.
Walking is easy and strengthens the bones in your legs. You can do it inside, outside, early, late, alone, or with a friend. It’s also fairly easy to work walking into your day by parking farther from the door, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking around the block instead of sitting down for your coffee break. You do need to pick up the pace though – walking too sedately won’t help much.
Similar to walking, dancing can strengthen the bones in your legs. It’s a higher impact exercise, however, so you’ll need to work with your doctor to choose a style and type that’s right for you. It’s also a good idea to alternate types and styles of dancing. Not only will that keep your exercise routine more interesting, it will help strengthen your bones while preventing stress them. Join a dance class, try some videos at homes, or get together with friends.
Weight training can help you maintain muscle strength and lose weight. In turn, it improves your balance and coordination and may reduce your risk for falling – something that can cause fractures if there’s osteoporosis or weak bones. Weight lifting needs to be done carefully, however, or you can do more harm than good. Work with a trainer and get clearance from your doctor before beginning any type of weight training and lifting.
Regular yoga exercises can help strengthen bones throughout your body. It also helps with coordination and balance which can help prevent falls. As a bonus, yoga also helps with stress, anxiety, and mental relaxation. Because yoga positions do include twisting and bending, work with knowledgeable professionals to determine which positions are right for you.
Tai chi is a type of exercise that involves a series of gentle exercises and stretching. It’s done slowly and smoothly, each movement flowing into the next. You can do it alone, in a class, inside, or outside. Tai chi is relatively safe for everyone, but you still need to get clearance from your doctor before beginning.
Low Impact Aerobics
There are both indoor and outdoor low impact aerobics you can work into your workout. Ask your personal trainer if stair stepping, riding a bike, zumba, or other fun activities are right for you.
High Impact Aerobics
If your health allows it, there are some high impact exercises you may enjoy. They include tennis, hiking, running/jogging, and jump roping. Before engaging in high impact aerobics, talk to your doctor and/or personal trainer. You also need to warm up and cool down whenever you do high impact exercises.
It can be easier to exercise in water and it provides some resistance which strengthens your bones. If you don’t have a pool, find a gym, check with your local YMCA, or join a swim class at a local pool. Be careful though. Because you can easily overdo in a pool, you have to set limits with your doctor or trainer and stick with them.
Done correctly, strength training can make your bones stronger and healthier. Try squats, push ups, and lunges at home, or join a class for more interesting exercises with some socialization. Pilates are also a popular option you can do at home or with others. For more interesting activities, consider trying a rowing machine, rope or rock wall climbing, and using exercise balls.
Using Elastic Bands
You can incorporate elastic bands into your regular workout to help strengthen your muscles and bones. There’s a variety of bands depending on how you’ll use them. Work with your trainer to choose the right bands and and exercises and to help you use them safely.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 10 Exercises for Strong Bones During Menopause