The Importance of Strength Training for Menopausal Women

Menopause is a natural transition in a woman’s life that happens between the ages of 45 and 55, marking the end of their reproductive years. During this period the body experiences many hormonal changes that can lead to a loss of bone density up to 20% and muscle mass at a rate of 8% per decade up to mid-sixties and as high as 15% per decade thereafter. This will increase the risks of osteoporosis, fractures, and falls.  

While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause, its use comes with both benefits and risks, making it an imperfect solution to maintain health during this period. Fortunately, there is another tool that can help women build and maintain strength, improve bone density, and reduce the risk of fractures. That tool is strength training.

The Benefits of Strength Training

Strength training is a type of exercise focused on building muscle and increasing strength by working against resistance. It can be done using free weights, resistance machines, bodyweight, or a combination of these. Whatever the method, consistent strength training has numerous benefits, especially for menopausal women.

  1. Increases Muscle Mass

Muscle mass naturally declines with age, but strength training can help reverse that process. The more muscle a person has, the more calories they burn even when they’re not exercising. This increase in muscle mass can help menopausal women maintain a healthy weight, which can be challenging during this period of hormonal change.

  1. Improves Bone Density

As estrogen levels drop during menopause, women lose bone density faster than men, which increases their risk of osteoporosis. Regular weight-bearing exercise, including strength training, can help maintain or even improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures.

  1. Reduces Risk of Fractures

As a result of the hormonal changes during menopause, women are more susceptible to fractures in the hips, spine, and wrists. Strength training provides a protective effect by increasing bone density and improving muscle strength, balance, and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and fractures. 50% of women over the age of 50 will have a fracture. Only 25% of men.

  1. Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases

Strength training has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation, which in turn can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Tips for Getting Started with Strength Training

If you’re ready to start strength training, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program
  2. Start with lighter weights and focus on mastering proper form and technique
  3. Begin with two to three sessions per week, gradually increasing the intensity and frequency
  4. Incorporate a variety of exercises that target different muscle groups to avoid boredom and overuse injuries
  5. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Recovery is just as important as exercise.


Strength training is a valuable tool for menopausal women who want to maintain a healthy weight, build and maintain muscle mass, improve bone density, reduce the risk of fractures, and prevent chronic disease. With the proper guidance, support, and resources, women can experience the benefits of strength training, improving their overall health and well-being during this transitional time.

If you only make one change to how you exercise in menopause this is the one I would recommend.

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