High Impact Exercise Can Help Decrease Bone Density Loss After Menopause
A report in PT In Motion (May 2019) reports that an average woman loses up to 6% of their bone mass in the period 1-2 years after menopause is confirmed. It’s important to build up as much bone mass as possible in the years leading up to and during menopause. High velocity/ high load exercises, and multi-directional high-strain and force exercises, are good for bone maintenance.
Menopause is not a single event. Perimenopause usually begins in a woman’s 40s and lasts approximately 6 years. Menopause is confirmed retrospectively as the time beyond 12 months post-menses.
The average woman spends 1/3 of their lives after menopause. They often have live more of their years after menopause than during their reproductive years!
Making specific lifestyle changes can build and maintain body strength before, during, and after the menopause transition.
High impact exercises are highly stressful on the bones and joints, which causes the body to add more mass to the bones. Think about running or jumping. Low impact exercises are easier on the joints, but do not encourage as much bone density build up. Think walking.
Some examples of high impact exercises to incorporate (always talk to your physician or physical therapist before adding something into your program!!)
Tennis or other racquet sports.
Yard work, like pushing a lawnmower or heavy gardening.
— Korey Pieper, DPT, OCS, CCI
—PT In Motion, May 2019