There are many benefits of strength training, especially for women going through the menopause. If you have never done strength training before, don’t worry it is never too late to start!
One of the most important reasons to start strength training for women going through menopause, is that the risk of osteoporosis increases dramatically following the menopause (Oestrogen is needed to help lay down bone). Strength training exercises will help to build bone and muscle strength, burn body fat and rev up your metabolism.
Muscle hypertrophy, power and muscular endurance will improve metabolism, enhance functional capacity and reduce the risk of falls. This might mean lifting heavier than you would initially consider or moving more explosively. You should also be careful to match this with quality nutrition and a solid sleep routine. Make sure that you are meeting the recommended protein intake (0.75g of protein per kg of body weight) to help your muscles repair and aim for 8 hours of sleep a night.
If you are new to strength training it is best to start slow and gradually increase it, working your way up to bigger lifts. Start by focussing on mobility and stability. When you can perform the exercise with full range of motion without weight, you are ready to start slowly adding weight. You should aim to do a full body strength session 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes to maintain bone mineral density. Working with a coach is a great way to learn the moves and get started.
If you are experienced in strength training, it is important to continue with your sessions, so that you maintain your muscle and bone strength. It is good to focus on the “big lifts”, deadlifts, squats, lunges and other olympic lifts that spread the focus out between so many muscles, connective tissue and joints so that everything gets worked the right amount. You generally want to do 3 to 5 sets of 6 or fewer reps (i.e 5 sets of 5 reps) with a full rest in between sets, so 2 to 5 minutes. Remember form is everything, you should be able to complete every rep with good form.
Strength training doesn’t only improve your physical health, it is also a great mood booster! If you would like to find out more about how we at David Jones Personal Training can assist you with your strength training, please do not hesitate to contact us today.