Movement is such a huge part of my day. Whether I’m in the kitchen or in front of my computer, I always squeeze in a “mini-workout” in between.
Strength training is one of my favorite exercises. It isn’t just for the muscled-up gym buffs who lift weights. Women over 40 can do it too. In fact, it’s one of the best exercises for menopausal women!
As you age and go through menopause, physical changes are bound to happen. Your muscles and bones get weaker, and your posture and balance are less stable. Flexibility also drops, and weight gain happens. One of the benefits of strength training is that it slows down physical aging by making your body stronger.
If you want to take on a “good kind” of a challenge for your body, strength training might be just what you’re looking for! And oh, don’t worry, you’re not going to bulk up. 😉
Without further ado, let us talk about all the amazing benefits of strength training for women during menopause.BE THE GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT! Click To Tweet
7 Menopause-Changing Benefits of Strength Training!
Your muscles love resistance! It stimulates new muscle tissues, synchronizes muscle movement and maintains the health of joints and tendons.
Making you strong isn’t the only benefit of strength training, it can also change your menopause journey for the better!
How exactly? Check out some of the amazing benefits of strength training below!
1. Strong muscles and bones
Muscle and bone wasting are common with aging. Low hormones in menopause, poor diet and inactivity can all contribute to the condition.
Strength training basically breaks down your muscles. Your body will then repair, rebuild and bring them back to life – stronger and better! This helps develop muscle mass and bone density. Stronger muscles and bones mean better balance and posture!
2. Prevents weight gain
Strength training stops the middle-age spread! Better muscle mass fires up your metabolism and makes your body a fat-burning machine. You also boost your energy in the process!
A study from the Arizona State University says that if you do strength training at least 3 times a week, you’ll burn more calories than in any other exercise. When you do strength training, the residual effects of metabolism last for 72 hours. This makes it a great exercise for weight loss!
The benefits of strength training are plenty so keep on reading…
3. Slows down aging
Aging is a normal part of life, but it doesn’t hurt to stay a little youthful! This is made possible by your growth hormone, testosterone and DHEA. These hormones slow down aging by helping create new cells and regenerating damaged tissues. With strength training, the production of these hormones hikes up!
4. Balances hormones
One of the unexpected benefits of strength training is hormone balance. It regulates estrogen and progesterone levels. Strength training also streamlines all organs involved in hormone balance, such as the brain, liver, gut, ovaries, adrenals and many others. Its ability to improve blood circulation can nourish hormone-producing glands, balance hormones, and relieve menopause symptoms!
5. Boost your mood
Strength training increases oxygenation to your brain and gut. This helps boost the production of hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. These hormones make you happier, and at the same time, relax your central nervous system. As a result, you’re able to relieve anxiety, mood swings and depression!
6. Relieves stress – adrenal and stress hormone regulation
Stress hormones are a big help when you’re under pressure. However, if they stay in your blood longer than expected, they will wreak havoc and cause problems. Strength training is one of the fastest ways to flush out excess stress hormones. It also nourishes your adrenals and keeps them healthy throughout menopause.
7. Stay fit and fab in midlife
The benefits of strength training are for everyone! You can look good at any age! I’m all for wrinkles in midlife, but if I can prevent them, then why not? Strength training helps you produce more collagen and elastin. These are protein molecules that have the ability to tighten your skin and give you a youthful glow!
Besides all the benefits of strength training I mentioned, it also lowers the risk of arthritis, heart problems, insulin resistance and osteoporosis.
How to Get Started with Strength Training During Menopause!
If you are new to strength training, start slow, so you learn the right techniques. Build up and add weights as you proceed.
There are a lot of YouTube channels that offer free videos that you can do at home. If you want some guidance, you can also go to the gym.
Meanwhile, if you want to do strength training at home, you can check out the most reliable sites on YouTube! In no time, you can experience all the incredible benefits of strength training.
They have all types of strength training videos, plus cardio workouts, HIIT and more! Think it ends there? You also get hundreds of free tips on meals and nutrition. I like this no-equipment strength training workout from Fitness Blender that uses your lower bodyweight for toning [20:32]:
One of the most phenomenal sites for people who want to stay healthy and fit! Darebee has unique programs from workouts, challenges, running, fitness, meal plans and recipes – this site basically has everything!
One of the most reliable fitness trainers with a vast list of workout routines from strength training for women to cardio, total body workouts, HIIT and more! Feel like you have your very own fitness trainer at home with Melissa!
Melissa has an awesome full bodyweight workout that you can do at home! Watch it here [13:13]:
Redefining Strength is your ultimate online fitness resource. It has an array of exercise variations that you can pick from, no matter what body part you’re working on. You’ll find plenty of helpful strength training workout videos that deliver real results. She also shares in her videos the benefits of strength training for women to keep you motivated.
Girls Gone Strong
Girls Gone Strong doesn’t only have easy-to-follow and well-made videos about strength training for women. The channel also offers body-positive, nutrition and self-care information that will create long-lasting health effects! Plus, they guide you through strength training benefits while also pushing you to reach your fitness goals.
HASfit offers one of the most extensive exercise channels with over 1,000 free workout videos. They promise you results-driven strength training exercises that don’t involve games or gimmicks! This is a 30-minute full-body resistance band workout from HASfit that you can do in the comfort of your home [34:30]:
Shelly Dose Fitness
Start moving your body with Shelly Dose. Her free workout videos range from low impact to high impact, strength training, HIIT, full-body workouts and more! Her channel is for people who exercise in limited spaces. Shelly believes that you don’t need everything to get the results you want!
Engage in Other Strength Building Exercises
Besides strength training, Pilates and Yoga are great strength builders! Yoga uses gentle and light movement, but you have to hold poses for a few seconds or minutes. You build strength by using your own body weight. Meanwhile, Pilates hits your core muscles through slow, controlled and repetitive movements.
Barre workouts are also popular these days. It’s an excellent way to strength train the entire body. Barre can also align your spine better and improve your posture. Basic workout routines like planking, basic squat and modified push-up can also do wonders to your muscle mass and strength.
Tips to Make Your Strength Training Workout More Effective
Do you really need to lift weights, or is your body enough in strength training?
Your body is enough. You can build strong, lean muscles without lifting weights. But adding weights can be fun too! Not only it improves your muscle strength, but it also prevents bone loss as you age. Either way, what’s important is that you start. Find what you enjoy and that you can stick to!
- Use strength training equipment. Find a piece of workout equipment that suits your needs. In my home gym, I make sure to use different equipment alternately. Some of them include exercise bands, a kettlebell, TRX suspension, and balls. Since I don’t have that much gym equipment at home, I mix them to get great results. Check out my favorites!
- Suppose you don’t have your own exercise equipment at home yet, no worries! There’s a dozen of household items you can start with. Get a couple of cans in the kitchen or find some used water bottles. Make sure they’re heavy enough for you to lift. If water is not enough, put sand in it instead!
- Exercise in the morning. Starting your day with exercise brings in so many benefits. You can complete your workout routine without breaking your schedule, you feel energized throughout the day, and you get some “me time” without interruption. Even if you exercise in the morning with an empty stomach, your body will do fine for a couple of hours. You can always stretch your first meal later in the day.
- Do short “mini-trainings” during the day. Adding movement during the day can be the “extra” your body needs to lose that weight and get stronger. Waiting for the coffee to get ready? Why not do some pushups against the kitchen counter! You might as well grab some cans and lift them up and down. Doing squats or lunges is also good. Make it a rule to do burpees every time you go into the kitchen or do situps during commercial breaks. See where I am going? Make it a habit to move, one way or the other. Then, compete with yourself and see how many you can do each time.
- Wear nice and comfortable workout clothes! Working out is more fun if you’re wearing nice pieces. Of course, you want to look great while you sweat out, but don’t forget you also need to be comfortable. So, choose whatever gym outfit makes you look great and feel amazing at the same time. I myself feel good having a bit of support with leggings and a good sports bra. This sportswear from ODODOS are so trendy and versatile you’ll want to wear them even after your gym session. I actually wear this kind of clothes even if I’m not exercising. 🙂
With or without weights, strength training is a must for us in midlife.
We can gain so many benefits from strength training if we incorporate it into our daily or weekly routine. Please don’t take it as another chore in your already busy day. Instead, use it to spend time with yourself while building a strong body and mind. Make it a positive moment that takes the stress away.
So, what do you think of strength training? Up for it? It’s not too late to start and experience the wonderful benefits of strength training!
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Gita is the founder of My Menopause Journey. Since 2014, she has been supporting midlife women by sharing hard-earned learnings from her own experience. To advance her knowledge, Gita puts a lot of her time and effort into understanding the broad spectrum of women’s health. She immerses in extensive research about the physical, mental and emotional aspects of menopause. Gita believes in the life-changing power of healthy, holistic living — this is where she anchors her message to all women. Learn more about her marvelous mission in About us - My Menopause Journey.