top of page

Fit2loveLife Blog

Why Women need muscle , especially in Midlife 




Research shows that those in late perimenopause (so still having periods) had 10% less muscle mass compared to early perimenopause, and post menopausal women were also more likely to have sarcopenia ( involuntary muscle loss) .  Muscle mass is linked to longevity - the more we have the longer we are likely to live ! 


Lifting weights and focusing on building muscle used to be a male dominated area of the gym , women would tend to be encouraged to do cardio,  and the weights area in the gyms could be quite intimidating to walk into. 


Thankfully this is changing as we now realise the importance of muscle to our overall health and longevity.  Women of all ages are starting to realise the benefits of lifting weights - and it does not need to be super heavy to have benefits. It is all relative, it is about stimulating the muscle and lifting a weight that you are comfortable with, we do not all need to lift huge weights ! 


For those in early perimenopause, which generally means women in the early to mid 40s it is vitally important that we start to incorporate weights into our training, as this will have a massive impact on how we go through menopause.


As our estrogen levels start to decline , it can start to impact the body without us really realising. If we are not having hot flushes and our periods are fairly normal , generally we dont think about menopause, but as perimenopause can last 10 years , starting to make changes early to mid 40s will ensure that you have a head start !  In fact there is data to suggest that increased muscle mass can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flushes. 


For those of us in post menopause it is never too late to start to train. I have female clients who started training in their 70s and getting stronger enables them to feel more confident, maintain their independence, have greater balance  and feel that they are able to tackle anything they set their mind to. 


Greater muscle mass can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, have  better metabolic health & body composition. There is also evidence which links strength training with a reduced risk of heart disease or stroke. This is a risk that increases in post menopause , as estrogen helps to protect against heart disease, and skeletal muscle can help protect your heart by improving blood sugar management and metabolic health. This is important as heart disease is the leading cause of death for women.


It is not all doom and gloom as we hit midlife and beyond. We do not need to hit the gym everyday , but aiming for strength training twice a week, and ensuring we eat plenty of protein at every meal will all go towards being able to maintain and build our muscle mass. 


The stronger we are physically will also have a positive impact on our mental well being, we will be able to keep moving , feel energised and it will give us the vibrancy and passion we need to be fit to love our lives. 


31 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page