Menopause. For many, it can be stressful as the changes in the body take place. There was even a musical written about it! However, over the years we’ve learned that different therapies can help, such as estrogen-replacement therapy and so forth. Still, after menopause, the body can suffer the lasting effects due to bone loss known as osteoporosis and osteopenia. More so, as we age, we can lose precious muscle tissue and develop a condition known as sarcopenia.
A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research has confirmed that high-intensity resistance and impact training can improve bone mineral density! This is phenomenal news, as there has been a question mark regarding whether postmenopausal women should train. Fitness experts have believed that in postmenopausal women, training not only helps to improve cognitive function but quality of life in general.
The study was called the LIFTMOR Randomized Controlled Trial. Postmenopausal women who had low bone mass were recruited for this study, and surveyed over the course of eight months while they participated in twice-weekly, 30-minute, high-intensity resistance and high-impact training sessions. Participants were also offered a home-based, low-intensity exercise program.
The study consisted of 101 women with median ages of 65. Researchers concluded that the members who participated in the high-intensity workouts had bone strength enhanced. The study also concluded that the training was successful in producing no lasting side effects in women with low to extremely low bone mass.
It is important to point out that before starting any type of exercise program, please consult a health care professional and if possible, use a personal trainer to set up a regimen for you. Sometimes going too hard, too fast, too soon can result in the debilitating and life-threatening condition known as rhabdomyolysis, or “rhabdo” for short. This is a condition were muscle tissue breaks down and enters the bloodstream, causing potentially fatal conditions.
As with any exercise program, start off slowly and gradually. Work yourself into a level that’s comfortable. Eventually, you’ll be able to push yourself beyond your limitations, but remember that slow and steady always wins the race.
Watson S, Weeks B, et al. High-Intensity Resistance and Impact Training Improves Bone Mineral Density and Physical Function in Postmenopausal Women With Osteopenia and Osteoporosis: The LIFTMOR Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2017; DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.3284