Menopause causes significant changes to a woman’s body as the body produces less oestrogen. A decline in oestrogen levels is associated with decreased bone density, muscle mass, strength and increased visceral fat. After the 30’s, muscle mass gradually declines in women and this loss speeds up after the 50’s. Loss of muscle mass is associated with low physical activity, presence of inflammation, too high or too low body mass index, and decreased leg strength, balance and power. The onset of menopause sees increased storage of fat in muscle, with less ability to burn the fat.
This can all sound alarming however understanding these changes helps us understand the importance of being proactive to keep the body strong. Physical activity especially weight training is the best strategy to maintain muscle mass and reduce fat being deposited in the muscles. Strong muscles also help with balance control and with bone strength. Reduced fat storage also reduces diabetes risk. Low vitamin D levels also have adverse effects upon muscle and bone strength. Being aware of these levels is also important.
Don’t let pain stop you from being proactive in caring for your future strength and control. If pain is limiting your ability, give us a call.
Article written in “The Village Observer”, September 2012, by Burns Bay Physiotherapy.