Navigating Menopause: Empowering Women to Manage Muscle Loss

Mar 11 / Emily Spillman
Welcome to my blog! Today, I am delving into a topic that affects many women as they enter menopause and that’s muscle loss, which can have various impacts on overall health and well-being. But fear not, I am here to provide insights, tips, and strategies to help you navigate this transition with confidence and vitality.

Understanding Muscle Loss in Menopause:

Menopause brings hormonal changes, particularly a decline in oestrogen levels, which can contribute to the loss of muscle mass. This loss of muscle, known as sarcopenia, can lead to decreased strength, mobility issues, and an increased risk of falls and fractures. Additionally, it can impact metabolism, bringing changes to our body fat composition. Studies show that, on average, women lose 1-2% of muscle mass annually, and you guessed it, menopause often accelerates this process.

Factors Contributing to Muscle Loss:

While hormonal changes play a significant role, other factors can exacerbate muscle loss during menopause. These include:

1. Sedentary lifestyle: Reduced physical activity can accelerate muscle loss. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine is crucial for maintaining muscle mass and overall health.

2. Poor nutrition: Inadequate protein intake and nutrient deficiencies can hinder muscle maintenance and repair. A balanced diet rich in lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is essential.

3. Lack of resistance training: Strength training exercises are particularly effective in preserving and building muscle mass. Including activities like weightlifting or bodyweight exercises can help counteract muscle loss.

4. Ageing process: Unfortunately, ageing itself contributes to muscle loss. However, adopting healthy lifestyle habits can mitigate its effects and support overall well-being.

Strategies to Combat Muscle Loss:

Now that we understand the factors contributing to muscle loss, let's explore some strategies to combat it effectively:

1. Prioritise strength training: Incorporate resistance exercises into your workout regimen at least two to three times per week. Focus on compound movements targeting major muscle groups, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and rows and those all important pelvic floor exercises.

2. Embrace variety: Mix up your workouts to challenge your muscles in different ways. Try incorporating different types of resistance, such as free weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises.

3. Pay attention to nutrition: Ensure you're consuming an adequate amount of protein to support muscle maintenance and repair. Aim for a balanced diet that includes lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

4. Stay active throughout the day: Look for opportunities to move more throughout your day, whether it's taking the stairs instead of the lift, going for a walk during your lunch break, or doing household chores. Every bit of activity counts.

5. Prioritise rest and recovery: Allow your muscles time to recover between workouts. Adequate sleep, hydration, and stress management are also crucial for optimal muscle health.

Empowering Women Through Knowledge:

Navigating muscle loss during menopause can feel daunting, but armed with the right information and strategies, women can take proactive steps to maintain muscle mass and overall health. By prioritising regular exercise, nutritious eating, and a balanced lifestyle, women can mitigate the effects of lower hormone levels, and live life with more vitality, and confidence.

Closing Thoughts:

As you navigate your journey through menopause, remember that you're not alone. Reach out to healthcare professionals, fitness experts, or support groups for guidance and encouragement along the way.

Join the Be Lively Club for FREE and use the community forum to ask questions to Emily specialist pelvic health nurse and strength coach as well as speak to like minded people. You can also access a free 6 week strength training course showing you the fundamentals of moving your body to help elevate your confidence with exercise. 

Click the image to join the club and start building resilience and strength in your body.

For more fitness programmes you can see my full Stronger YOU on-demand library 
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