Staying Strong for Powerful Ageing – How to Protect Bone Density

When it comes to aging with strength and power, paying extra attention to your bone health, particularly bone density, is an absolute must.

While it is common for most people to associate a person’s strength with their muscles’ size, our skeletal system plays a significant role in maintaining our body’s vitality as we age.

Acting as a supportive tree for our muscles and connective tissue, staying active is one of the best ways to maintain your bone density and strength, whether you are 25 or 85!

As a natural part of aging, it is common for people to experience bone demineralization (the loss of calcium from the bones causing weakness, also commonly referred to as osteoporosis).

If not adequately treated and monitored, age-related osteoporosis can lead to various health complications, including chronic pain, postural changes, potential bone fractures, other skeletal injuries, and ultimately loss of independence.

Like other health conditions, treating osteoporosis with prevention is always better than looking for a cure — just because bone demineralization is a natural part of aging, it doesn’t mean you are powerless over its progression.

As an area of our health that we can work on, bone density can be increased by staying committed to a regular strength-based exercise schedule — and no, you don’t have to be hitting the gym to lift super heavyweights to achieve this goal! 

As a leading provider of educational resources for staying healthy with age, our team at Fit4100 created this article to discuss the importance of maintaining bone density and sharing some inspiring stories of how to age with power and strength.

It’s time to show your bone health some extra love – and we hope this article is a helpful resource in achieving your goals.

Understanding the importance of bone density and Menopause

Composed of 206 different-sized and specialized bones, the human skeleton is an essential structural support for our muscles and internal organs.

For most, the health and strength of our bones remain stable when we are aged 25-50 — but as we age, more rapid rates of demineralization and resorption begin to occur, resulting in a decrease in bone density. As a process deeply tied to changes in other female hormones, the natural decline of estrogen caused by Menopause is believed to play a role in the increased risk of osteoporosis in women over 50.

If left untreated, age-related osteoporosis will increase your risk of experiencing a host of health problems, including increasing your risk of experiencing spontaneous bone fractures and chronic pain.

To combat this, incorporating strength-based training into your daily routine can help to reinforce your bones and reduce your risk of experiencing severe complications with age.

Prevent is better than Cure – Keep Your Bones Strong.

Like any other health endeavor, long-term commitment and building sustainable habits are the best ways to stay on top of your bone health.

While we all know that starting a new healthy habit is often easier said than done, even small changes now can make a difference in maintaining your bone density as you age.

One of the most beneficial ways to increase bone density is getting active and participating in weight-bearing exercises to refortify your bones while encouraging improved mineralization.

While it is easy for our minds to jump to Olympic weightlifting as the “best” way to partake in weight-bearing exercises, there are many other more accessible options that can still have a profoundly positive impact on your bone health.

Examples of activities that increase bone density include:

  • Low-weight strength training — As an excellent option for anyone looking to improve their overall strength, resistance training using bands and dumbells effectively supports improved bone density. For beginners, starting slow with minimal weight (2 or 5 lbs weight) is the best way to prevent injury while still getting the weight-bearing benefits of the exercises.
  • Low-impact aerobic exercises — If going to the gym is not your style, aerobic exercises like walking, dancing, and gardening are great options for maintaining your bone health. These activities can easily be enjoyed alone or with others, making working out fun and social!
  • Flexibility training — Essential for preventing injuries, stretching your muscles before and after exercise can also help reduce the stress on your skeletal system. Additionally, group exercises such as yoga and tai chi can also offer bone-strengthening benefits while encouraging improved flexibility.
  • Stability and balance exercises — Falling due to poor balance is one of the primary reasons people break bones as they age. Improving your balance through regular stability exercises can help to reduce your risk of becoming injured due to poor coordination. Pilates for Seniors is an excellent activity for all ages and can be integrated as a daily practice.

Get inspired to stay Strong, Active, and Independent.

If you are looking for some motivation and inspiration to get active, look no further than the story of Edna – Australia’s 100-year-old fitness fanatic

Averaging five fitness classes a week, including tai chi, freestyle aerobics, and weight circuit classes, Edna is keeping active, supporting her bone health, and having fun doing it!

Able to do full-body push-ups and keep up with her peers (who can be up to 70-years younger than her) when lifting weights, Edna is a prime example of aging with power and strength.

Through her commitment to her overall health and wellness, Edna has done a fantastic job looking after her bone health as she ages — and she is an inspiration to many! As a member of her local gym for over 40 years, Edna started taking more regular fitness classes with her husband after he retired to give them something to do. By doing so, Edna built a sustainable healthy habit that has helped keep her entire body healthy and strong.

Learn more about healthy aging with Fit4100

As we age, our bodies go through a series of natural changes — some of which we have more control over than others.

When it comes to maintaining your bone density, being proactive and preventative is always the best option.

With this in mind, building a sustainable habit of participating in regular bone-supporting exercises is a must for women of any age — because what you do now will benefit you later!

At Fit4100, we are proud to offer a wide variety of high-quality and accessible resources created to educate women about everything related to aging. Whether you are looking to learn about menopause symptoms and management or want to improve your bone density, we have easy-to-read articles perfect for you to share with your loved ones.

Explore our entire collection of articles on our website blog today to learn more about how you can age with power!

HRT and Weight Gain — Is There a Link?

While menopause is a natural part of the female aging process, you do not need to settle for suffering.

Menopause symptoms can act as a painful barrier to maintaining day-to-day routines for many women worldwide. Looking for ways to manage their symptoms, many women turn to their primary care providers to learn more about their treatment options.

One treatment option is hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

The goal of HRT is to minimize the severity of menopausal symptoms through the use of low-dose hormones.

Depending on where you live, HRT may or may not be a popular option; and it is necessary to separate facts from opinions.

HRT is not without side effects, and conflicting opinions from medical professionals, friends, and family can make this a complex subject to discuss.

One of the questions asked about HRT is, “does HRT cause weight gain, and what can I do to prevent it?”

This article explores the connection between hormone therapy and weight loss or weight gain.

While the experience of menopause is different for every woman, understanding risks and hearing about the most common experiences of others can help determine if this treatment is a good fit for your needs.

Understanding hormone replacement therapy for menopause

Menopause, defined as the timeline after a woman’s last menstrual period, is heavily associated with the reduction of the hormone estrogen throughout the body.

When this occurs, painful and sometimes debilitating menopausal symptoms like vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and sleep disturbances can arise, significantly impacting a woman’s quality of life.

Treatments like HRT were researched and created to combat the severity of menopausal symptoms.

The treatments were designed to provide a daily low dose of the needed female sex hormones to supply the body with just enough estrogen (or progesterone) to make the symptoms less severe.

Does HRT cause weight gain?

Many women’s primary concerns about HRT are focused on alleviating menopausal symptoms, but if you have some questions about how this treatment could lead to fluctuations in your current weight, you are not alone.

Research has indicated that there is no conclusive connection between HRT treatments and weight gain.

This being said, changes in your weight are a common component of menopause and may be why many women voice their concerns about this possible side effect when starting menopause therapies.

If you are concerned about the possibility of weight gain as a result of starting HRT, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk, such as:

  • Maintaining a daily exercise routine
  • Eating a balanced and nutritious diet
  • Practicing healthy sleep hygiene habits
  • Speaking to your primary care provider to see if HRT is suitable for you

Ten questions to ask your primary care provider before starting HRT

If you are considering HRT for your menopause symptoms, here is a list of questions that you may find beneficial to bring to your consultation appointment with your provider:

  1. What types of hormones will I be taking during HRT?

There are two primary types of hormone therapy available for women experiencing menopausal symptoms: estrogen-only therapy and estrogen & progesterone therapy. We recommend speaking with your provider about which option best suits your needs to target your specific symptoms.

  1. How will I take my daily HRT medications?

Depending on the type of HRT recommended, there are various options for taking the needed hormones. From oral tablets to vaginal creams, you can ask your provider about your options to ensure that you get the solution you are most comfortable with.

  1. What are the benefits and risks of HRT?

Like any other medication, HRT offers both benefits and risks for the person choosing to start treatment. As every person’s body and health status is different, asking this question is essential to determine if HRT is suitable for you.

  1. What dose of hormones will I be starting with?

Your provider should start you on the lowest hormone dose possible to achieve the target results as a general rule of thumb. You may need to adjust your dose throughout your treatment, depending on how you feel.

  1. What side effects of HRT should I look out for?

HRT is not without side effects. We recommend asking your provider for a list of the most common side effects of your therapy so you can more easily identify if something is not working for you.

  1. How would I stop taking the hormone if I decide to discontinue treatment?

Should you decide to stop your HRT treatment, it is important to educate yourself about the safest option for your body. Your provider should provide you with detailed instructions about how you can wean yourself off the hormones during your therapy.

  1. Is HRT safe for me?

Depending on pre-existing conditions and the severity of your menopause symptoms, HRT may not necessarily be the safest treatment option for your needs. Your care provider should be able to shed some additional light on the safety and efficacy of HRT before you begin treatment.

  1. Will HRT interfere with my other medications?

With many women taking other medications for pre-existing medical conditions aside from menopause, it is essential to ask your provider if your HRT will cause any potentially harmful interactions with your current prescriptions.

  1. Are other patients happy with the results of HRT?

While it may seem like a funny question to ask, learning more about other patients’ experiences with HRT so you can better understand the entire experience and process.

  1. Is HRT suitable for me?

At the end of the day, you will be the patient who is taking the HRT medications. We recommend asking your provider to assess if this option is best suited for treating your symptoms or if they recommend other options that may also be successful.

Learn more about your treatment options for Menopause

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to menopause symptoms.

From at-home options like exercise routines and dietary adjustments to more involved options like hormone replacement therapy, there is no wrong answer for treating your menopause, so long as you feel well and are up to date on all of the possible risks and benefits of each treatment option. Using this article as a reference, we hope to inspire women to explore their options, find out the facts, and do what feels best and suitable for their unique bodies.

At Fit4100, our team is committed to helping provide helpful and medically accurate information about menopause and aging to women worldwide.

While fluctuations in your weight are a common component of the hormonal changes associated with menopause, we understand that these changes can be limiting factors for women wanting to seek treatment for their symptoms. With this in mind, we hope that this article will act as a helpful guide for those looking to learn more about the potential benefits, risks, and association with weight gain of starting HRT.

To learn more about menopause, aging, and everything in between, please check out our other articles on our website blog today.