Exercise to prevent bone loss after menopause

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Exercise to prevent bone loss after menopause

A recent study has shown that women who engage in an intense exercise program (shortly after their menopause) reduce their risk of having bone loss as well as tend to have less back pain. Bone loss can result in a bone condition called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disease characterized by decreased bone mass and bone strength. Bone loss is a normal phenomenon with increasing age but it proceeds at a faster rate in women especially after menopause. Loss of bone makes the bone porous, fragile and hence more vulnerable to fractures.

Some earlier studies have shown physical activity to reduce the negative aspects of menopause such as decreased bone density and increased risk of heart diseases. To further study the effect of physical activity on menopause the researchers conducted a 26-month study on 80 menopausal women. Out of these 50 women were engaged in an exercise program, which included 4 sessions/week of home-based as well as supervised exercises. The rest 30 did not exercise.

At the end of the study the researchers observed that those women who were engaged in the exercise program were 36.5 % fitter as compared to when they had started the program. On the other hand women who did not exercise just had 1.7% improvement in fitness. The bone density was found to be reduced in the non-exercise group whereas the women in exercise group had constant bone density. In addition to this the exercise group also experienced less back pain and had slightly reduced cholesterol as compared to the non-exercise group. Hence, the study shows that regular exercise can play an imperative role in offsetting many of the menopause related health concerns.

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