When I approached my menopause years I had no idea that this midlife phase could effect my bone health. Until I became a yoga teacher seven years ago and this is what I've learned.
As oestrogen levels deplete the bones can loose their density. Its important to maintain strong bones during perimenopause and post menopause to prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis developing.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak, porous, and prone to fracture. It is the most common bone disease and is preceded by osteopenia, in which bones have lost mineral density to a less severe degree.
There are four things you can do to protect your bones during menopause and beyond.
Weight bearing exercise to include metabolic performance and yoga will improve strength and bone density.
A calcium rich diet is essential to include green leafy vegetables, soya beans and tofu, nuts cheese, fish, dairy, almond and soya milk.
Take vitamin D as its important for calcium absorption
Reduce alcohol intake, since alcohol contributes to bone loss. No more than fourteen units a week. Even better try two or three alcohol free days a week.
In terms of menopause health and guidance, practising gentle weight bearing yoga exercises will help to sustain strong healthy bones. Focusing on poses to strengthen the muscles that support a neutral spine will improve posture, encourage weight-bearing in all the limbs, and promote balance.
Here are six strong yoga poses you can add into your daily routine to improve your bone health.**
Melting heart pose strengthens the spine and upper body, especially through the shoulders and arms.
Downward facing dog is a great weight bearing pose for the whole body and in particular it strengthens the upper body.
Split dog is highly effective in strengthening ankles, toes and knees while stretching the shoulders, back and calves.
Half moon improves balance, overall muscle strength, mobility and helps to develop and maintain strong legs, glutes, quads and hamstrings.
Revolved wide-legged standing forward fold stretches and strengthens the upper back and shoulders. Also the twist through the torso keeps the spine healthy by rotating the spinal joints and their surrounding muscles.
Tree pose improves balance and stability in the legs, strengthens the ligaments and tendons of the feet, strengthens and tones the entire standing leg, up to the buttocks and assists the body in establishing pelvic stability.
Since bone problems become more prominent in post menopause, practising yoga every day can not only help to strengthen the bones but also reduce the risk of osteoporosis.