Meno Health. Clinical Evidence.

TWC #023: Your path to a strong body and mind!

Your path to a strong body and mind!
Strength training for women aged 45+

One of the most important factors for muscle loss is the menopause. During this phase of life, women lose muscle mass and health requirements increase.

The risk of cardiovascular problems, unwanted weight gain and bone fragility increases.

Strength training and muscle building help to counter these health challenges and maintain a sense of stability, strength and independence. Building and maintaining muscle mass is particularly important after menopause and brings both physical and mental benefits.

Benefits of building muscle at 45+

Many women associate muscle building with bodybuilders and gym fanatics. That sets alarm bells ringing!

But this is not the case. Women have only 10 % of the testosterone levels of men. That’s why strength training doesn’t make them stronger in the same way as bodybuilders. This is because testosterone is the most important hormone that makes muscles grow. On the contrary: when women do strength training, they look firmer and slimmer.

But strength training is not just a question of looks.

From the age of 30, women lose 5 to 8% of their muscles every 10 years, and this percentage increases further from the age of 60.

The goal for women over 45 is a lean musculature. The aim is to maintain muscle strength and bone strength and stabilise the joints. This prevents injuries.

If we look at the benefits of building muscle, the list is very long.

  1. better sleep
  2. weight control
  3. improvement of the metabolism
  4. improvement of posture
  5. alleviation of arthritis symptoms
  6. improvement of joint mobility
  7. maintaining bone density (osteoporosis)
  8. strengthening balance to prevent falls
  9. increase in self-confidence and more positive body perception
  10. possible improvement of cognitive function and prevention of cognitive decline
  11. prevention or control of diabetes, arthritis, back pain and depression
Well, how can I still build muscle at 45+?

Starting a new exercise programme can be overwhelming. You don’t know exactly which exercises to do and how often. Do I even have to go to a gym and lift weights?

No, you don’t have to. There are many different exercises that start with your own body weight.

If you have never done strength exercises before, you should speak to your doctor. As soon as you get the green light, you can start with these introductory exercises. You can do these in the comfort of your own home.

Plank position

This exercise will help you to strengthen your back and relieve back pain.
1 Lay a mat or blanket on the floor. Lie face down on the floor.

  1. stretch your left arm straight out in front of you. Keep the other arm at your side.
  2. raise your left arm and right leg at the same time while counting to two. Pause for a moment.
  3. count to four as you lower both arms. Repeat the exercise 10 times for one set. 5.
  4. repeat the exercise with your right arm and left leg.
Push-ups on the wall

This exercise strengthens the upper body and you only need a wall.

  1. stand with your face slightly more than an arm’s length away from a wall.
  2. place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and support yourself against the wall.
    3 Bend your elbows and slowly lower your upper body towards the wall in a controlled manner.
  3. push yourself up again, but do not lock your elbows at the end of the movement. Repeat the exercise 10 times for one set.
Plank position

Planks strengthen the centre of the body, improve balance and promote an upright posture.

  1. lie on your stomach, stand on your toes and place your forearms in front of you. Try to keep your elbows directly under your shoulders.
  2. push yourself up and hold the position. Keep your back and neck as straight as possible.
  3. hold the position for as long as possible, then take a 2 minute break and repeat the exercise.

This exercise helps to tone the legs, hips and bum, promoting strength and stability in the lower body.

  1. stand at the bottom of a staircase and hold on to the railing.
  2. place one foot flat on the first step. Raise your body until your leg is straight and both feet are level.
  3. push through your heel and do not let your knee come over your toes. This can put strain on your knee.
  4. push yourself up for 2 seconds and lower yourself for 4 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10 times for one set.
How do I start and stay motivated?

Don’t take on too much. It’s best to start with one exercise and only do half of it. Do this exercise every day for 60 days. Then increase the exercise and do it again for 60 days. This is how you build up your training programme step by step.

If you are struggling with the correct execution of the individual exercises, take a look at YouTube, for example, to see how to do the exercise correctly. Still struggling? Local fitness classes also offer you the opportunity to learn the exercises and socialise. Look out for classes that are tailored to beginners and your age group when you start out.

With training partners, you can make friends and keep yourself accountable. Strength training can be an activity that is actually fun.

If you need personalised advice and support on your journey through the menopause, contact The Women Circle here.

If you would like to get in touch with us, please get in touch.

We are here for you.

Joëlle & Adrian

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