Stay Strong through Menopause with Resistance Training
Resistance training builds muscle strength before, during, and after menopause by working the muscle against a force that “resists” movement. The resistance can be from a dumbbell, one’s own body weight, pushing sleds, pulling bands, or moving in the water. Strong muscles help the body function efficiently, reduce the risk of injury, and boost metabolism – which means the body burns more calories even when resting. (I like the sound of that!)
In addition to strengthening muscles, resistance training also strengthens tendons, ligaments, and bones. Physically active people have thicker tendons and ligaments, lessening their risk for injury. They also have greater bone density when compared with sedentary people, which reduces their risk of fractures. Resistance training also helps to reduce back pain.
The American Heart Association recommends resistance training at least twice weekly. Start with a comfortable amount of resistance or weight while maintaining good body position before graduating to heavier weights or more challenging movements. Focus attention initially on the major muscle groups of the chest, back, shoulders, thighs, buttocks, and arms. Benefits of training can be noticed after just 2-3 weeks! Resistance training is important for women to maintain a healthy active lifestyle.