Up to 20% of a woman’s bone density can be lost in the 5 – 7 years after Menopause. This drop is caused by falling levels of Oestrogen – The female hormone used to protect bone strength.
Although bone density may decrease during the menopause, the risk of fractures and osteoporosis remains relatively low until you get much older.
While you cannot halt bone loss entirely after the menopause, there is plenty you can do to maintain your bone strength as you get older.
It’s recommended that adults aged 19 to 64 do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in bouts of 10 minutes or more each week. This could include activities such as cycling or brisk walking.
These are exercises where you use your muscle strength to work against resistance. When your muscles pull on your bones it boosts your bone strength. Examples include press-ups, exercising with weights or using resistance equipment such as the HIT Machine at your local HITZone studio.
Weight Bearing Exercises
These are exercises where your legs and feet support your weight. High impact weight-bearing exercises, such as running, skipping, dancing and aerobics are all great for strengthening muscles, bones and joints.
Eat A Healthy Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help keep your bones healthy after the menopause. Two nutrients that are particularly important for building strong bones are calcium & vitamin D.
Get Some Sun
Sunlight on your skin helps to build up your body’s supply of Vitamin D. Aim to spend short periods outdoors each day from late March/April to the end of September. Take care not to let your skin redden or burn.
Drink Sensibly & Do Not Smoke
Smoking is linked to a higher risk of osteoporosis and so is drinking too much alcohol. As well as protecting your bones, quitting smoking will help to lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and other smoking-related diseases.