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Use it or lose it! How physical activity boosts bone health at menopause and beyond

The popular adage ‘use it or lose it’ in a fitness context refers to the need for us to keep moving our bodies and using our muscles to avoid losing our strength and ability to move freely.

Our bones benefit hugely from us being physically active. Each time our muscles pull on our bones to move our limbs, it stimulates our bone tissue to ‘wake up’ and be active. The best way to keep bones strong is to combine weight bearing activities with impact, along with muscle strengthening exercises.

Keeping physically active is important for people of all ages but especially so from mid-life to help keep us flexible and fit into older age. The fitter and stronger we are in later life, the less likely we are to lose our balance or mobility.

Best exercise and nutrition for bone health

Marrying the benefits of the right exercise with the right nutrition for our bones, bonebalance™ has partnered with fitness expert Julie Robinson whose award-winning training company has two excellent programmes to help women stay active and healthy.

  • Menohealth is a unique, endorsed training programme delivered by a national network of MenoLeaders that empowers women to take control of their menopause.
  • Move it or Lose it helps older people enjoy active, happier lives with a particular focus on delivering exercise and education people who have been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis.

 “Taking regular exercise is crucial to achieving wellbeing throughout your life but is particularly important from mid-life as we navigate the menopause and lead into our later years,” says Julie. “Many women worry about their joints and bones when thinking about what exercise they should be doing. Some women avoid physical activity altogether which is actually the worst thing they could do!  My expert instructors at Menohealth and Move it or Lose it are highly trained to enable women to exercise at a level to suit them, thus taking away all the worry.  Meanwhile, the group exercise sessions bring great joy and social connection as well as fitness benefits.”

Menopause brings bone health concerns

Menopause is a risk factor for osteopenia and osteoporosis because of the drop in oestrogen, which plays a vital role in renewing and building bone tissue. As oestrogen levels fall during menopause, the body loses its ability to form strong bones.

MenoHealth provides the perfect balance of support, education and exercise to help women navigate their menopause with optimism, enthusiasm and realism. The sessions are delivered online and in person at community and workplace settings and include peer-to-peer support, information and exercise specifically aimed at improving health and wellness through menopause and beyond.

Exercise helps offset osteoporosis

Move it or Lose it helps older people and those diagnosed with osteoporosis to engage safely in physical activity whatever their age or ability. Its national network of licensees delivers classes in community, care and NHS settings reaching thousands of older people every week. As well as improving physical fitness, these group sessions bring friendship and social connection as participants enjoy a strong sense of community together.

“Uppermost in our mind when working with both our Menohealth and Move it or Lose it groups is to explain and show how exercise can improve their fitness, mobility, strength and bone health,” says Julie. “All these elements are of paramount importance as we age to enable us to keep mobile, flexible and independent.

Reassurance of bonebalance™

“I was delighted to find bonebalance™ as it supports our ethos of taking a natural, holistic approach to ageing well. The science behind it is very impressive and I love how easy it is for people to take. I take bonebalance™ myself and have no hesitation in recommending it to help women protect their bone health as they go through menopause. As for people with osteopenia and osteoporosis, it’s very reassuring to know that bonebalance™ is clinically approved for the dietary management of both conditions.