Women as early as 35 start to lose bone mass, which left unchecked could lead to osteoporosis (when bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue normally due to hormonal changes). With the onset of menopause, this condition can really worsen due to the aforementioned hormonal changes. The best way of preventing this from happening?
Well it’s not medication. It’s weight training.
In the early 90’s there was an experiment carried out to try and prove this very point at the Human Nutrition Research Centre for Aging at Tuft’s University in Boston. Tests were carried out for a year to measure for bone loss that accompanies menopause. With twice weekly weight workouts for 45 minutes benefits were seen immediately with strength gains. Even though none of the women were dieting 93% of them also lost 2kg of fat (but this was not the point or the focus of the experiment).
The startling thing to come from the experiment was the increase in bone mass – at a stage of life when a 3% reduction is expected! This is of great importance to the prevention of osteoporosis, especially given that more than 1 in 3 women are likely to suffer from it.
The other major benefit of weight training in order to increase lean tissue mass is that muscle is the furnace for fat burning. Weight training significantly improves your metabolism. If you’re overweight then typically your metabolism is not working efficiently. This is especially true as you get older and there are hormonal imbalances as well.
The number one fear from women that I first mention this to is that they don’t want to bulk up. Don’t worry – this won’t happen. The growth / steroid hormone (that actually helps to prevent the onset of osteoporosis) is testosterone. The daily production of testosterone in Men is around 20 times more than it is in Women! This is why women will not bulk up and at the same time why women are more likely to get osteoporosis.
This is why 80% of the exercises that we do at Fitter Body Boot Camp are done with weights. But also done at a greater intensity than normal in order to maximise fat loss and toning.